Misumena vatia (Clerck, 1757)
goldenrod crab spider
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
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.
|M. formosipes (Walckenear, 1837) female|
(image courtesy Tom Murray)
|M. formosipes (Walckenaer, 1837) male|
(image courtesy Dept. Entomology, U. of Nebraska-Lincoln)
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
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)
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: 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.