Goldenrod Spider

Misumena vatia

Copyright, Peter Bryant

The Goldenrod Spider is a member of the crab spider family. It is best known for its ability to change its color from white to yellow in order to camouflage among flowers.

The female is the one most often seen. She is either yellow or white, depending on where she is, with red streaks on her abdomen.

The male is dark reddish-brown, with a whitish abdomen with dark red streaks. The male is smaller (about 1/8 inch) than the female (up to 3/8 inch).

Goldenrod Spiders are found wherever there are yellow and white flowers, especially goldenrod and daisies. This is usually in a field or garden.

Copyright, Tanya Sewell

Copyright, Joseph Dougherty, California Academy of Sciences

Copyright, Ed Nieuwenhays

Goldenrod Spiders eat insects, either by hunting on the ground, or by ambushing from a flower. They especially attack bees, butterflies, and flies which visit flowers for nectar. Grasshoppers and other plant-eating insects are also frequent prey.

Goldenrod Spiders have small jaws which contain venom. This venom allows them to take on animals much larger than them.

Usually, the Goldenrod Spider grabs its prey with its front legs and injects the venom. It then sucks all the body fluids from its prey.

Copyright 2001, Troy Bartlett (http://troyb.com/photo/index.htm)

Goldenrod Spiders can walk forwards, backwards, or sideways. They do not build webs.

After mating, female Goldenrod Spiders will spin a silk sac to hold eggs. This is done by folding a leaf over the eggs and wrapping the silk around it.

The female usually dies before the young spiderlings hatch. They are on their own from the moment they are born.

Copyright, Ed Nieuwenhays

Additional Media

Description
Type
Credit
Spider Anatomy Diagram
Link to Printable Page
EnchantedLearning.com

Relationships in Nature:

PREY
PREDATORS
SHELTER
OTHER

Honey Bee

Chinese Mantid

Goldenrod

Goldenrod FP SP

Golden Northern Bumble Bee

Rabid Wolf Spider

Spotted Joe-pye Weed

Eastern Yellow Jacket

Daring Jumping Spider

Ox-eye Daisy

Clouded Sulphur

Garden Centipede

Spotted Jewelweed

Goldenrod Gall Fly

Carolina Chickadee

Evergreen Blackberry

Painted Lady

Southern Leopard Frog

Common Milkweed

Hummingbird Moth

Downy Woodpecker

Queen Anne's Lace

Cabbage White

Common Dandelion

Differential Grasshopper

Black-eyed Susan

Bald-faced Hornet

Bird-foot Violet

Bushy Aster

Swamp Rose Mallow

Common Mullein

Relationship to Humans:

Goldenrod Spiders are very helpful to gardeners. They eat many pests, such as grasshoppers. They also help control bee and fly populations. The bite of a Goldenrod Spider is not harmful to humans.

SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION

KINGDOM
Animal
PHYLUM
Arthropod
CLASS
Arachnid
ORDER
Araneae
FAMILY
Thomisidae
GENUS
Misumena
SPECIES
Misumena vatia

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