MISUMENA VATIA RECORDS
My request for records of this spectacular flower spider in 2002 seemed to fall on deaf ears, although, to be fair, it did seem to be poor year for them! However, I would like you to keep an eye out for them in the sunny days ahead.
This pale female crab spider can be found in flower heads on sunny days, just sitting and waiting for insects to land before it grabs them for its next meal. Its coloration varies from white to pale yellow and pale green, with the mature females able to change the colour to match the background. For this reason, pictures of the spider in its natural habitat are not very clear, especially when reduced to black and white.
The new national atlas shows a very clear cut-off line for this species which goes straight through Worcestershire (map reproduced with permission), and our own county records, based on 2 km squares, show the same thing. It would be interesting to know how sharp this line is, whether it matches up with any natural features in the county, and whether it is moving. It is most likely to be found on umbellifer heads, or it could turn up in sweep nets for the habitual vegetation bashers amongst our recorders. It is quite frequently seen in gardens on cultivated flowers. Your records, please, to me, John Partridge, via e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or any other route.
|Photo: Alan and Adrian Uren|
National Atlas Mapping of Misumena vatia records
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