Misumena vatia (Clerck, 1757)

goldenrod crab spider


Males

Females

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How to Identify Misumena vatia (Clerck, 1757)

Family: THOMISIDAE Sundevall, 1833

Genus: Misumena Latreille, 1804

Species: Misumena vatia (Clerck, 1757)

Origin of Name: The Genus Misumena is Greek for "to hate", while the specific epithet vatia is Latin for "bow-legged".

Official Common Name: goldenrod crab spider


Males
Male dimensions A = 1.43 mm 
B = 1.57 mm 
C = 1.46 mm 
Females
Male dimensions A = 3.03 mm 
B = 4.97 mm 
C = 2.97 mm 

Can Be Confused With

Misumena vatia (Clerck, 1757) can be confused with Misumenoides formosipes (Walckenaer, 1837) (whitebanded crab spider). The latter is found from California to Florida and northward to the Great Lakes. Females and males of M. formospides have a characteristic v-shaped marking on the dorsal surface of their abdomens (see below) and also have a white ridge on the front of the carapace, whereas M. vatia do not.

Misumenoides formosipes (whitebanded crab spider) femaleMisumenoides formosipes (whitebanded crab spider) male
M. formosipes (Walckenear, 1837) female
(image courtesy Tom Murray)
M. formosipes (Walckenaer, 1837) male
(image courtesy Dept. Entomology, U. of Nebraska-Lincoln)

Range

California and Mexico to Florida, north to Alaska and Newfoundland and Labrador; Europe, Asia, and North Africa.

Collection Map of Museum Specimens
in The Nearctic Spider Database

Museum Specimens in The Nearctic Spider Database

Other Web Pages

Animal Diversity Web (http://animaldiversity.ummz.umich.edu/site/accounts/information/Misumena_vatia.html)

The Nearctic Spider Database (http://www.canadianarachnology.org/data/spiders/30580)


Recent Submissions

Misumena vatia (Pamela Martin [August 17, 2007])Observation Date: August 17, 2007 Coordinates: 44.4297, -77.2302 Observer: Pamela Martin
Observation: Now that the goldenrod is in bloom I've been hoping to see a Misumena vatia enjoying it. This morning I found this yellow adult female enjoying a fly on goldenrod, out in the fields. The numbers of these spiders in the garden is way down, though there are a few on the Buddleia and the anemone just coming into flower.

Observation Date: August 16, 2007 Coordinates: 40.8138, -73.9468 Observer: Sean Pollock
Observation: Didn't get a photo, but I'll try tomorrow.  This large female was in a butterfly bush.  We've got plenty of yellow-jackets, butterflies, moths, etc. for it to hunt in the garden.  Looks like a good biological control for the annoying insects.