My Felicia are in full bloom right now, so I’m deadheading every day. Two days ago, I discovered this little lady perched on one of the blossoms:
I have never seen a pink crab spider! Then again, I’ve never seen a crab spider trying to blend in with Felicia blossoms, either. Spiders in this family have considerable camouflage ability, ranging from white to yellow to orange to…apparently, pink.
My geek network came up with a name: Thomisus onustus, a crab spider with a tremendously large range throughout Europe, Asia and Africa. This species is sexually dimorphic, with the females dwarfing the males in size. Clearly, my visitor is a female in her prime.
I’m having to be very careful with my watering and deadheading now, and look for her every day before beginning any plant care. She’s been hanging around the same general area, always either directly on or just below a blossom. This afternoon I found her with a small fly in her grasp, already half sucked dry. She’s found a good hunting ground, so I don’t expect her to leave until the Felicia finish blooming. Which could be awhile; they usually don’t give up until the onset of summer. Since breeding season will happen before then, I might get lucky and find her in a coital embrace.
Come to think of it, that’s probably the very definition of biology geekery — you know you qualify when you’re hoping to catch a spider having sex.
(Click the image to arachnify.)