Monday, October 20, 2014

Whitebanded Crab Spider (Misumenoides formosipes)

October 6th, 2014. J spotted this small spider on a dead branch of a pine tree near the house. Crab spiders may change color to blend in with their surroundings but this little guy wasn’t doing so well in this regard. In spite of the fact that it’s yellow, we identified it has a Whitebanded Crab Spider (Misumenoides formosipes).

Crab spiders belong to three genera within the Family Thomisidae: Misumena, Misumenoides, and Mecaphesa. These genera may be identified by the arrangement of the eyes as shown in Bug Guide. 

To quote Bug Guide,
Misumenoides: All four anterior (front) eyes are about the same size. When viewed from the front, and a little above, only six eyes are visible. The posterior laterals are facing sideways and are on the ends of a long horizontal transverse ridge across the face. Eric says "Misumena has essentially no black markings (while Misumenoides may have some), which is how you can tell them apart in the field most easily."

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