Nat Geo moment

My resident crab spider, Thomisus onustus, has stayed in my Felicia as I suspected she would. It’s been nearly a month now, and I’ve watched out for her whenever I watered or deadheaded the plants. She moves around from flower to flower as they wither, always seeking out a new one that will offer enough pollen to attract tasty little insects.

Today I found her with a bonanza in her grasp: a female mason bee, doubtless from the colony on my kitchen veranda (one veranda over). The bee is as big as she is.

crab spider with bee

It’s not uncommon for crab spiders to catch prey their own size or even larger, but I hadn’t seen it before and I was impressed! That was a grand meal indeed.

This moment officially makes my verandas a complete food chain. I have plants, which nourish a colony of mason bees living in my shelving unit, which in turn are hunted by spiders living on the plants. The plants also nourish caterpillars and aphids, which are picked off by birds, but that doesn’t count because the birds don’t live on the verandas.

Given that I have just a few square meters of veranda space to work with, I’m quite pleased that I’ve managed an entire ecosystem. Though…I do feel a bit sorry for the bee.

(Click the image to arachnify.)

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About Fletcher DeLancey

Socialist heathen and Mac-using author of the Chronicles of Alsea, who enjoys pondering science, politics, well-honed satire (though sarcastic humor can work, too) and all things geeky.
This entry was posted in biology, life. Bookmark the permalink.

4 Responses to Nat Geo moment

  1. Cathy White says:

    Hmmmm, I feel a ” save the bees ” campaign might be in order lol. I understand how you can get attached to your spider, I am on nodding terms with one that lives behind the sink unit in my toilet. It has been there for several years , I have no idea if it is the same one of course, but it acts the same. Pops it’s head out, I say hello, and we agree to keep a respectable distance 🙂

  2. Ana_ñ says:

    Impressive!
    Birds don’t count? 😦
    And hunting cats?

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