This stunningly beautiful arachnid has eluded me on many occasions as it is camera shy and cannot stand the paparazzi!
Introducing another of my garden helpers. The Crab Spider (Misumena vatia).
This spider is a regular feature in my garden. Yesterday I saw it on a Strawberry plant but it was too fast for me to photograph. The beauty I came across today was more than happy to pose for pictures for a while but then once it knew I had my shots it was off.
These spiders look so exotic that when I first saw it, a number of years ago, I thought I had stumbled upon a foreign stow away which must have come in on a Banana shipment from some far flung sun soaked destination, well maybe I got a bit carried away, but you can see my point.
This spider looks so incongruous in a British garden. Well that is when its away from plants whose flowers are matched to the colour of the spider itself. These spiders can vary in colour from shades of white, yellow and pink. This helps enormously when the spider lives on flowers of these colours. Quite what my spider was doing on Bluebells is another matter!
The reason that camouflage is so important is that not only does it keep the predators away but it helps the spider get to grips with its food. You see, this spider is an ambush predator and as a result it relies heavily on it's camouflage to get up close and personal with prey which often includes Bees, Butterflies, and Hoverflies amongst other insects. Unlike a lot of spiders this one wanders and does not rely on spinning a web to catch its prey.
So next time your in the garden get up close and personal with your flowers and look for this great little garden helper!