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The Munchies

The Munchies
Photo Information
Copyright: Anna Eksteen (Miss_Piggy) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 2285 W: 5 N: 5300] (18714)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2009-12-24
Categories: Spiders
Camera: Sony Cybershot DSC H9, Carl Zeiss Vario-Tessar 15x Optical zoom, Digital ISO 100
Exposure: f/4, 1/200 seconds
More Photo Info: [view]
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Spider, Crab spiders with prey, Spiders of the World, The predator with the Prey 2, Crab-spiders, Favorite crab spiders, Animals feeding, part one [view contributor(s)]
Date Submitted: 2010-07-05 20:14
Viewed: 7498
Favorites: 3 [view]
Points: 130
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
Flower crab spider / Thomisus australis

I captured this lovely pink crab spider over the Christmas weekend at the Emanzini Country Resort, near Vrede. I really enjoyed myself during this time as I was very fortunate to capture a great variety of insects, which I'll share from time to time in the future. I literary walked for hours around the grassy areas surrounding the camp site finding a variety of different insects and wild flowers. Unfortunately I came back from this holiday with a viral infection and was very ill afterwards, but for me, in spite of it all, it remains one of the most enjoyable venues we visited, as the photographic opportunities were endless. At the time, when I took the photo, I never noticed the fly and therefore I was rather pleased when I downloaded all the images of the weekend and I noticed that I have captured the predator with its prey. What a nice little bonus.

Crab spiders (family Thomsidae) are usually brightly coloured with colourful patterns. As with crabs, the first two legs are longer than the rest of the legs, hence the common name - crab spiders. Similar to crabs they are able to move forwards, backwards as well as sideways. The family Thomsidae is a large family of spiders with 160 genera and about 2000 known species. In Africa they are represented by 69 genera and about 360 species. Most Thomsidae species have a very wide distribution throughout the region as they are easily distributed by wind.

Crab spiders are commonly found on plants, and only a few genera are ground dwellers. They have a body size of between 3-23mm. Their body colour is variable ranging from brightly coloured pink, green, yellow or red to dark brown or grey with a mottled appearance. Their abdomens are variable in shape being triangular, round to ovoid to elongate, sometimes extending tail-like past the spinnerets. They have eight eyes arranged in two rows (4:4) with the lateral eyes usually on distinct tubercles. Their legs are very distinct with the front legs usually longer than the hind legs. The front legs frequently have a series of strong spines on the tibiae and metatarsi to assist in catching prey. The brush-like setae on the tip of each leg facilitate their movements on plants.

They inhabit grass, shrubs, flowers and trees. They have lost their agility, and have become semi-sedentary and excel as ambushers. With their cryptic colouration most species await their prey, usually on plants. They are mainly active during the day and their gait is sideways. With their robust front legs they are able to attack prey much larger than themselves. They can see movement 20cm away. Prey is seized, frequently from the air when 0.5-1cm away. Although they have weak chelicerae, they secrete extremely potent venom, which enables them to attack insects 2-3 times their size.

They have no cheliceral teeth and their prey is consequently not mashed but sucked dry. The life-like carcass is held in a natural position while it is being fed upon and thus offers some protection to the spider, while sitting on the plant. They are also commonly found on crops and prey on a variety of small invertebrates. They play an important role in the natural control of pest species such as aphids, red spider mites and other insects. Little is know about their medical importance.

Sexual dimorphism occurs in many of the species. The males are much smaller in size than the females but they not only differ in size but also in shape and colour. Mating usually takes place in spring and summer after the males and females have moulted for the last time. The female is frequently found on flowers carrying the small male on her abdomen. The male is carried around by the immature female, until she sheds her skin to emerge as an adult.

Most crab spiders live only for one year. A spider female that hatches in autumn will hibernate as an immature, mature in spring, and lay her eggs during summer only to die in late summer. Apart from normal death owing to age, there are various other factors that can influence the longevity of a spider such as starvation, shortage of water, cannibalism, landing in unfavourable habitat during ballooning, adverse climatic conditions, and predation by other animals. They are among the favourite prey of insectivorous birds and other invertebrates. They are also attacked by fungi and parasitic worms.

They display an interesting range of adaptations to their environment. They are found in a variety of habitats and are masters of camouflage. Some species mimic other animals or objects. They assume the form of inanimate objects such as bird droppings, tree bark and leaves to protect themselves.

Crab spiders are common and occur in fairly high numbers on most crops and garden plants. They form part of the natural enemy complex. Their presence should be encouraged and steps taken to protect them from harmful chemicals. Although spiders may be incapable of controlling major pest outbreaks by themselves, their role in a complex predatory community may be important to regulate pest species at low densities early in the season and in between peaks of pest species activity.


I hope you enjoy looking at this photo as much as I took pleasure in taking it.

livius, PeterZ, Mikolaj, Silvio2006, uleko, jlinaresp, cloud, marius-secan, waylim, Dis. Ac., Argus, albert, maurydv, kedarkulkarni, Sascha-Steinau, Alex99, cirano, anel, caspian, alikox, ramthakur, SUBHENDU_BAGCHI, aruntp, rommel, goldyrs, jaycee, redaipaul, Amelia, marhowie, Luis52, boreocypriensis, jlynx, pnieuwoudt, peter_stoeckl, normanw, Ingrid1 has marked this note useful
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ThreadThread Starter Messages Updated
To manyee: QuestionsMiss_Piggy 1 08-17 08:34
To boreocypriensis: SurpriseMiss_Piggy 1 07-15 01:40
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Critiques [Translate]

Hi Anna,

what an amazing shot not just for the clarity,pov but for the colourful subject itself.sad that you went ill after your vacation and I understand the delightment in finding your nic bonus(predator and the prey) :))


  • Great 
  • livius Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 300 W: 0 N: 391] (1525)
  • [2010-07-05 23:27]

Hello Anna
wonderful composition with very impressive sharpness, colours and details. Great hand of light and exposure. Optimal focusing on the killer and prey.

  • Great 
  • PeterZ Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5137 W: 166 N: 13121] (49139)
  • [2010-07-05 23:50]

Hello Anna,
Amazing Crab spider. But also the fly, flower and surroundings are very beautiful. You managed it in a very good composition. Splendid colours, sharpness, details and POV.
Kind regards,

Wow, never seen one of those before, thanx so much for sharing, Anna, also for the detailed notes. This is the first time that I think that a spider is actually pretty!
Great macro! Well done, Anna

  • Great 
  • KOMSIS Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 820 W: 0 N: 2419] (10674)
  • [2010-07-06 0:14]

Hi Anna,
Colors are very nice ...
Possible, a butterfly hunt.Excellent composition and detail.
Best wishes,

Hello Anna! Nice shot. Very nice brightness and colours, superb sharp, good contrast. Original work. Well done!

Ciao Anna, great capture of wonderful action, splendid crab spider, amazing details and fantastic colors, very well done my friend, ciao Silvio

  • Great 
  • nagraj Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1618 W: 106 N: 3208] (15166)
  • [2010-07-06 1:00]

Very interesting and colorful spider with prey, fine colors and lighting, well done. tfs.

great shot, what a colors on the spider and what a moment

very well done


hello anna, great and fantastic job you´ve done again, i like this pinky spider ....thanks a lot, and have a nice day...

An amazing powerful capture which stands out from the rest Anna! Impressive clarity and very appropriate dept of field! Bravo my friend, I am stunned!!!
George Veltchev

Hi Anna

Great shot of this crab spider enjoying his dinner. Amazing colours. Good composition and sharpness.


Hello Anna,
Amazing share! Very interesting spider!

  • Great 
  • uleko Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3396 W: 172 N: 3310] (10940)
  • [2010-07-06 6:52]

Hello Anna,
Wow, that's a beautiful Crab Spider that's obviously just caught a big fly! Fantastic focus and details and the markings and colours are most impressive. Very well timed! I love watching this species as they sit on or under the flowers awaiting their prey!
TFS and best wishes, Ulla

Hello Anna,
This is the second time I see a pink crab spider, and is the first time I see preying! ... good work, excellent light and well balanced colors. The atmosphere is very romantic for an action so hard, but so is Mother Nature! :)
Thanks for sharing, Jesús.
Regards, TFS, Jesús

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2010-07-06 9:11]

Hello Anna,
This species have unusual colours. You managed to catch in very interesting moment with prey.
Regards, Pawel

Hello Anna,
Exceptional macro with outstanding colours and razor sharp details.
Perfect focus. Nice capture and very interesting.

  • Great 
  • waylim Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 296 W: 8 N: 489] (1765)
  • [2010-07-06 16:36]

Hi Ana,
I come back to TN time and again is because of photo like this one, I learn and see some new species of nature all the time here. This is absolutely fantastic, so beautiful and yet it creep me a little, looking at the insect world in such close up lens. Not only the spinder, the overall iamge is beautiful with the flower and plant.

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  • Argus Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 5038 W: 260 N: 15594] (50626)
  • [2010-07-06 22:09]

Hello Anna,
This image is not only striking for its colours, but for its high technical quality and content!
The superb natural colours of the Crab spider that contrast against the white flower, the metallic green of its captured fly prey, the composition and the natural leafy BG combine to make this top class image a joy to view.
Thanks and kind regards,

Hello Anna,

this spider never been seen before.
Good pov and detailed picture with fine colours.
Good note's.
Interesting shot from this beautiful specie.


Hola Anna

Vaya que buena caza, aunque tenga la araña esos colores tan bonitos, no te puedes dejar engañar por que si no acabas de esa manera.

Una imagen fantastica, colores y nitidez fabulosos, y buen momento para la captura.

Un saludo de Antonio

Hello Anna,
Superb sharpness on both the spider and the poor fly!
I like the natural colours too
Well done

Hallo Anna,
a fantastic capture of the Flower Crab Spider with its prey, superb sharpness and very beautiful colours, a very nice composition; i also have taken many pictures of a Crab spider of Misumena genus in this period (summer like december in South Africa).
Best regards

Hi Anna,

This is a wonderful capture. I had never seen such a beautiful crab before. The colours of both crab and the bee are awesome! Very neatly framed. Nice PoV.


My dear friend,
Your little spider looks like ice cream with raspberry juice dribbled all over it.

Your ""action shot"" is fascinating, particularly if you did not know about the action :-)).

The colours are vibrant, how different from our local dull, dusty shades. The rain makes all the difference!

Spiders are incredibly clever - and one cannot stop admiring nature - when you think how tiny the brain is...

I know, it sounds crazy - but even without your note about the fun you had taking this photo - one can feel it when viewing this image.

Have a nice evening

  • Great 
  • lousat Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6595 W: 89 N: 15659] (65489)
  • [2010-07-07 8:16]

Hi Anna,a purple spider taken from the purple Lady...ehee...this specie is incredible,there are a lot of surprises in your country but this is truely a...big surprise.And your pic,so perfect in sharpness and colors,is the best way to discover this strange,rare and beautifull specie! Thanks for share,have a nice day,Luciano.

Hello Anna,
I am very :o))) to return to read your commentaries.
A spectacular shot!
warm regards

Ciao Anna. Waht impacting colours show! Detail and sharp are perfect so like the DOF. Great work.


Hi Anna!
WOW! What an amazing picture of that Crab Spider! I love that picture because it is absolutely fantastic! I will say it is perfect! Many thanks for your good eyes which you need to find that spider and nor for the composing! I am absolutely impressed!


Many thanks for your warm and very lovely worded critique! ;O)

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  • Alex99 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 4072 W: 133 N: 7096] (23735)
  • [2010-07-08 3:30]

Hi Anna.
What a nice picture of a dramatic scene. I am amazed with richness of colours, superb details of the flower and main characters and wonderful surroundings. Exposure of the picture is precise as well as reproduction of every colours and shade. My best wishes and compliments.

nice spider, greetings Ori

a kind of perfect color with a wonderful,
delicious timing.
great clarity.
Have given us a great pleasure.
Thank you.

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  • cirano Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 997 W: 0 N: 944] (13609)
  • [2010-07-08 15:33]

Hi Anna,
An excellent composition with great sharpness,colors and light.very fine details.well done!...
TFS and regards,

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  • anel Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 3053 W: 3 N: 8715] (40574)
  • [2010-07-09 5:00]

Hello Anna,
We have already discovered this striking Pink Crab-spider on a picture from George V. and you have had the chance to catch it too in possession of a Fly-prey on this special white flower. A very natural picture showing a view on a corner of a grassy meadow. Pleasant and interesting shot.
Thanks and kind regards

Precioso trabajo Anna. Centraste muy bien el foco en el motivo. Destacables y espectaculares colores; aquí tenemos otra especie de Thomisus ( que yo también he publicado ) y es una especie que adpta su color al medio, pudiendo ser amarilla, rosa, blanca, etc. Bien captado el entorno.
Un abrazo y buen fin de semana: Josep Ignasi.

Hallo Anna,

Is always very enjoyable to watch hunting scenes.
If hunting is not needed:)
Great timing and a great shot again.
Hunter spider's color pattern is very beautiful.
Depth of field, lighting and perspective used very subtly.
Thanks for sharing.

Best Regards,

Hi Anna,

Nice shot of a very colorful spider. Thanks. Ali.

Only once have I captured a Spider hidden inside a flower grab a Fly with the speed of lightning and then enjoy its meal at leisure, Anna.
This action shot is brilliantly taken. The details and colours on both the predator and the prey are very distinct and rich.
In addition, this is one of the most beautiful compositions from your camera.
Thanks and regards.

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  • Nilson Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 488 W: 0 N: 566] (4423)
  • [2010-07-11 15:41]

Hello Anna
Wonderful shot with good colors and details. This spider is wonderful, They change the color of your body based on what plant they are, it's an interesting animal.
The composition is amazing, you captured the exact moment.
Well done

wonderful coloration for this spider. i have seen similar white spiders in our area. thank you for sharing.

Namaste Anna,
beautiful presentation of this crab spider. It is new to me. Nice colours. Very good informative note. I enjoyed it very much. Thanks for sharing.
Best wishes to you.

Hi Anna,
Well I had quite a number of boring trips there and then suddenly during one visit I saw a number of birds,2 crocs and a huge snake skin.
First time for me to see this little pink crab spider and as you say what a bonus with its prey.Nicely composed and well exposed showing the brilliant patterns of pinks and whites.Your clarity also shows the shiny greens and small spikey hairs on the dirty fly.
Dont know when I can do some more pics as both my cameras are back to the agents in Jhb [ both with electronic faults] rather annoying.
Regards erwin...

  • Great 
  • briGG Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 195 W: 2 N: 344] (1823)
  • [2010-07-12 7:54]

Hello Anna,

This is a beautiful pig Crab spider! I like the colour!!!
the scene is successful!



What an amazing shot, my dear friend Anna!And what beautiful colours!
You truly show us the beauty of nature, Anna!
The pink crab spider looks so beautiful with its prey!
Very well done!
Kind regards,
P.S.: I cannot thank you enough for your kind comforting words upon my sister's death, Anna. You're really a wonderful person!
Thanks soooooooooo much!

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  • jaycee Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2454 W: 10 N: 8044] (25460)
  • [2010-07-12 16:09]

Hi Anna,

I never knew there could be such a pretty spider! It is such a beautiful shade of pink. Fantastic to have captured it enjoying its dinner. Colors, details, setting and composition are superb.


Hi Anna,

Veru beautiful macro picture of this crb spider, very nice and also interesting colors, as well nice composition with great details in a good light.Thanks for sharing.

Have a good day,

Hello Anna,

I am not a fan of spiders, but this one looks almost like an orchid! Wonderful details on the spider, the fly and the flower as well, particularly on the bristles of the poor unfortunate fly. A beautiful predator!

Warm greetings, Amelia

I've seen a lot of misumena vatia, but this ones wild colors take the cake..
Come to think of it, it looks like pink & white cake frosting ;-)
Very nice details, DOF, and a well composed frame.
OK, I have the "munchies" now..Call me strange :)

hello Anna
Beautiful colored Crabspider
super pose with beautiful pose on the flower
great shot
greeting lou

very impressionant photo .perfect colours and nice ambient.

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  • Luis52 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 1175 W: 8 N: 4240] (15809)
  • [2010-07-14 20:01]

Hola Anna.
At the right place, at the right time eh? Just beautiful
You said. We must be patient and have some lucky. You are right.
Great image Anna.
TFS this beautiful moment.

Utterly outstanding capture of a prdator-prey interaction Anna!
The details are so precise and impressive. Inspiring shot indeed.
TFS and have a nice day!
Greetings from Syria, aka sauna:)


Hi Anna,
An excellent macro with great sharpness,colors and light.I like it.TFS

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  • jlynx Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Note Writer [C: 87 W: 7 N: 46] (455)
  • [2010-07-18 9:09]

Hello Anna,
At first I could not figure out what it is. Only after a few seconds I realized that the picture shows the scene by a spider hunt flies. There is such a drama which is still ongoing in nature - a constant struggle for existence and survival of the species. Well, life is merciless, and this picture demonstrates it.
Great shot, sharpness, where appropriate, a nicely blurred background and good colors.
Have a good Sunday,

Hi Anna,

An absolutely fabulous shot – the crab spiders are masters of disguise but you managed not only to find one but while it is eating a fly! Beautiful colours, and great clarity.


Hi Anna,
Brilliant moment captured.Excellent colors and details on the subject. I would have personally preferred more depth of field to bring out the subject however it is both a matter of choice and also the circumstances in which you captured the picture. Comsidering you were using a semi automatic may not really have been an option as well.

Overall great moment captured with great excellent details.



I would spect to find this funky coloured Thomisus in a flower with similar colours, but it is effective in different enviroments too. I think I had never seen before this specie.
Thanks very much for sharing.
I have been reading you introduction, and I have to say that my compact Sony is also my favourite, in fact I posted a tribute for my camera HERE explaining why :)
Best regards, Felipe.

That is a very cool spider, I love the colors! The environment really adds more to the entirety of the image. The pinkish red and the greens are so complimentary to each other. Nicely compose Anna. :)

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  • OzBY Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 183 W: 2 N: 351] (1355)
  • [2010-08-02 6:07]

Hi Anna
Great macro picture of this colorful spider
Great color and sharpness


hy ana tank for the comentary, this picture is excelent, beatiful spider
sorry for my inglish :(

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  • manyee Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 3089 W: 230 N: 6774] (23770)
  • [2010-08-16 13:59]
  • [+]

That is an amazing looking crab, Anna.
Its pink and white striped exoskeleton is very... fashionable. : )
Are those black protusions up front its mandibles?
Why are there 3 of them?
And what are the holes arranged in a triangle on the back of its abdomen?
Very interesting and beautiful capture.
TFS. : )

Wow, what a spider! Nature and evolution is great, such bright colors. Nice to view. regards,

Dear Anna,
the crab spider's highly effective flower camouflage presented in stunning intensity! Lovely colours turning out to be a vital part of letal weapons. I like the off-centre composition adding further tension to the drama. Thank you!
With best regards,

Bonjour Anna!

Merci de m'avoir sélectionné comme un de tes favoris!

Quant à cette photo, je suis épaté de voir une araignée rose!!!!!!!

en plus la photo est très réussie avec une définition impeccable!


Excellent capture with fantastic clarity, focus and splendid colours!!!!

Hi Anna,
Interesting photo! Good composition.

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