Misumena Vatia (Crab Spider) and a Wasp

Caught on Macro: Watching a Spider Kill a Wasp

The highlight of my trip to Estacada today was playing with my make-shift macro lens in an attempt to photograph a bee or a wasp, only to catch it getting caught for brunch by a peculiar spider. (I sometimes take off my lens, turn it around and hold it against the camera body with my hand. This then requires a few practice shots to get the light metering right and a lot of “walking like an egyptian” head movements to focus.)

I’ll spare you the details on how I fumbled my way through self-timer settings since I needed three hands for this camera trick and recommend a fixed macro lens. After doing some research (aka. googling), I can report that my spider is a Misumena Vatia: a chameleon of arachnids belonging to the Crab Spider species.

As I leaned in to test a macro shot on a white flower, the bee I’d been eyeing disappeared. When I heard him buzzing, I stepped back cautiously and that’s when I saw him fluttering as if he were stuck in something. I figured a web but did not expect that the white “goo” I thought I saw was actually a spider. <shudder>

Luckily, the red markings I initially took for blood made the spider easier to identify. These 2 red stripes are simply the devilish markings on this spider that camouflages itself to match the flower it hunts on.

Really hope I can think of something else to dream about. And not Robin Tunney from a scene in The Craft.