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Kiss of death...

Kiss of death...
Photo Information
Copyright: Malgosia Bisinska (liziafa) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Note Writer [C: 399 W: 0 N: 346] (1231)
Genre: Animals
Medium: Color
Date Taken: 2008-07-27
Categories: Insects
Camera: Sigma SD14, Sigma 150mm F2.8 APO Macro DG HSM, RAW ISO 100
Exposure: f/11, 1/60 seconds
Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
Photo Version: Original Version
Date Submitted: 2008-07-27 3:21
Viewed: 4578
Points: 30
[Note Guidelines] Photographer's Note
misumena vatia

Geographic Range

Crab spiders occur all around the world, but Misumena vatia is only found in North America and Europe (Anaconda II 1998; Kaston and Kaston 1956)


This type of spider is terrestrial and is known to be found on fences, vegetation, and on flowers like trillium, white fleabane, white flower, and goldenrod. (Comstock 1965)

M.vatia resembles a crab, for its body is short, wide, and flattened. The first two pairs of legs are larger than the hind legs and held open -- the spider uses them to grab its prey. Females are 6 to 9 mm long, males are smaller: 3 to 4 mm. The female is light colored -- the carapace and legs are white or yellow with darker sides, and sometimes dark reddish markings on the abdomen. The male is darker over all: the carapace is a red to reddish brown with a white spot in the middle ascending to the eye area. The first and second legs are reddish brown, the third and fourth are yellow. The male also has a pair of dorsal and lateral parallel bands of red with a white background. The jaws of this spider are small and slender, and contain venom.


Crab spiders easily walk sideways and backwards as well as forward.
They do not spin webs, and only use their silk to protect their eggs.
This species will change its color to match the background it is hiding on, usually a flower. It sits on a flower or on the ground and waits for its prey to pass and uses its front legs to grasp it. It uses its small fangs to inject its prey with venom, which immobilizes its prey. It does not wrap its prey with silk but instead holds it's prey until it sucks all of its bodily fluids dry. (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 1997, Comstock 1965)

Food Habits

This spider feeds on invertebrates. It hunts on the ground or on vegetation, and it is able to attack larger insects then itself because of its venom. Some of the insects it feeds on are flies, butterflies, grasshoppers, and especially bees. This species often hides on a flower, and ambushes insects that land there. (Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 1997, Anaconda II 1998)


The main defense of this species is camouflage. It can bite other invertebrates, but that doesn't help against larger animals. Its fangs are too short and its venom is too weak.

maurydv, Amadeo, aes_thor, red45, hekcik, peter_stoeckl, marhowie, Kaszek, ramthakur, boreocypriensis has marked this note useful
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Critiques [Translate]

  • Great 
  • cloud Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 497 W: 111 N: 1535] (9539)
  • [2008-07-27 3:39]

Bardzo ekscytujacy moment, precyzyjne ujecie moze zbyt malo swiatla a stad kontrastu. Trudne warunki przy duzym zblizeniu.
Pozdrawiam, Pawel

Ciao Malgosia,
spettacolare momento di cattura, ottimo POV, bella la composizione anche con il piccolo taglio dell'ala, è un'immagine che ha la tempestività e la sorpresa dell'istantanea, ottima nitidezza.
Grazie e complimenti.

  • Great 
  • Amadeo Gold Star Critiquer [C: 168 W: 0 N: 755] (3323)
  • [2008-07-27 12:43]

Hola Malgosia, buen macro, una toma nitida, con buen detalle y luz. Un saludo

Cześć Małgosia,

piękne macro, bardzoładny kwietnik, super detale głowy muchy i fajna głębia na całego pająka. Ostatnio czytałem gdzieś,że obok krzyżaka ogrodowego jad tego pajączka może być niebezpieczny dla człowieka, zastanawiam się tylko jak taki mały pajączek może przebić skórę człowieka...


  • Great 
  • EOSF1 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1393 W: 119 N: 5267] (23955)
  • [2008-07-27 14:41]

Hello Malgosia! Wow, great moment! Very sharp macro, well composed and a great subject! Well done, thanks!


  • Great 
  • red45 Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 2636 W: 74 N: 9091] (31094)
  • [2008-07-27 23:42]

Czesc Malgosia!

Ktos mial szczescie, ktos mial pecha. Piekne, szczegolowe makro polujacego pajaka. Ladne kolory, kompozycja. Moze troszeczke zbyt ciemne :-)

  • Great 
  • hekcik Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 291 W: 15 N: 305] (1827)
  • [2008-07-28 12:21]

Witaj Malgosiu,

Fantastyczne ujecie, rewelacyjna ostrosc, szczegoly i kolorystyka.
Tak trzymac!!!


Hi Malgosia,
thrilling moment. I like those very fine details, have never seen a crab spider's eyes and rarely also the hoverfly's head and body so clearly. A slight pity that the victim's wing was cropped at the bottom. The dim colours that makes the hoverfly's thorax shine out of the darkness look very good.
Excellent macro.
With thanks, and best regards,

Hi Malgosia,
Well composed and nice POV of the spider feeding.
Great color, detail, and DOF..
I like your title too. Looks more like "necking" than "kissing" though ;}}

  • Great 
  • efsus Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 415 W: 11 N: 843] (3947)
  • [2008-07-29 10:51]

Merhaba Malgosia,
Çekiminiz sayesinde bu sarışın oldukça güzel görünüyor. Fakat bu güzel için ölmeye değer mi bilmiyorum. Ama yine de bana bir öpücük vermese iyi olur. Çünkü tipim değil:)
Kısaca enfes bir makro.

Hello Malgosia,
Good POV, composition & details of crab spider holding possibly a fruit fly. TFS.

  • Great 
  • Kaszek Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 237 W: 50 N: 391] (1451)
  • [2008-08-05 13:41]

Witaj :)
Swietne ujecie polujacego kwietnika. Zyletka tak zwana ;)
Swietne kolory (metalizujacy zloty bzyga). Czekam na kolejne!

What a pleasure to finally see your fresh picture, Malgosia!
It is, indeed, a stunning action image in which the Crab Spider has taken hold of its prey -- a Hoverfly.
I have taken numerous images of this fly this summer, so it feels sad to see it turning a meal for the predator spider. Anyway, that is the law of nature which you present here with great sense of aesthetics.
The image is technically perfect.
Regards, and already looking forward to your next.

Hi Malgosia, an excellent macro shot of an ambusher and its prey with superb clarity. TFS.
Greetings from TRN Cyprus,


  • Great 
  • mariki Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 838 W: 60 N: 2307] (9477)
  • [2008-08-17 11:41]

Hello Malgosia,

This one is a great picture! You could capture both the crab spider and the syrphid fly very well. Great focus at the important location. Splendid colours.

Calibration Check