Monday, September 28, 2009
Crab Spider Kill and a Bee with Ears
White-banded Crab Spider (Misumenoides formosipes)
September 23, 2009
This crab spider caught one of my honey bees last week--I came back out several times to see her in the same position, perhaps sucking fluids from the body. This spider has the ability to change colors over several days to match the flowers where its sits waiting for prey (rather than spinning a web).
Why yellow when the phlox is purple? (Note: my garden phlox blooms late because the deer eat it early in the summer) I assume the spider was trying to fool the bee thinking it's a big source of yellow pollen--as the anthers on the other blossoms have.
Crab Spider with eggs rolled in petal
September 24, 2009
The next day, I went out to see the bee gone and the crab spider had rolled two petals to protect her eggs which she deposited. She won't eat while she protect the eggs which will hatch in about 3 weeks.
Today, I went out to check and could not find the spider or her rolled nest nor any flowers on the plant. The flowers probably fell during our deluge of rain on Saturday--over 3 inches.
Honey Bee on Obedient Plant
This honey bee looks like it has ears on its head but it's the anthers of the plant. The plant evolved its design perfectly so that the bee picks up the pollen while feeding on the nectar deep inside. Then, when it goes to the next flower, it will deposit some pollen. When the pollen piles up, the bee uses its legs to put the pollen in sacs.
I am so glad I have quite a few fall flowers in the yard because there's very little in the fields now.
Native Bee on White Snakeroot Flowers
Finally, I wanted to post this photo of a copper-colored bee on White Snakeroot. It's about the length of a worker honey bee but slimmer. Does anyone know what it is?