Scary spider

This weekend was spent re-siting a garden shed. I thought it was late enough in the season that the toads would have moved out, but there were still three in their burrow under the shed, so they had to be relocated too.

I also nearly squashed this beautiful, but somewhat spooky, white spider.

Misumena vatia, aka the white or yellow crab spider, and the white death spider (I wonder who thought that one up!)
Misumena vatia, aka the white or yellow crab spider, and the white death spider (I wonder who thought that one up!)

I am pretty sure that it is a Misumena vatia. It’s a spider I hadn’t seen until last year when I found this one pretending it was part of a honeysuckle plant.

Misumena vatia on honeysuckle
Misumena vatia on honeysuckle. This one has pretty red go-faster stripes on her sides 🙂

Apparently these spiders are girls – they’re big, bold and tough, while the males are much smaller and less striking… And they are very tough: they kill bees and wasps.  They can also change their colour so that they blend in with their background.

These spiders are more common in the south of the UK, but, like lots of other anomalies, they seem to be quite at home here in north Wales. And it wasn’t really scary, but it does look a little spooky.

There is more information about their ecology and distribution (in the UK) on the Spider and Harvestman Recording Scheme website.

 

 

 

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