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Hitchhiker on crab spider - feeding site? - female

Hitchhiker on crab spider - feeding site? - Female
Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA
August 11, 2015
Size: 0.5mm
Could this be the feeding site of this mantispid larva? The spider is an adult female Misumessus.

Images of this individual: tag all
Hitchhiker on crab spider Hitchhiker on crab spider Hitchhiker on crab spider - feeding site? - female

Moved from Mantidflies.

I'm leaving the immature box checked, since this image shows the apparent damage from the larva. The info page for the family says that paralyzed spiders have been used for the rearing of some larvae.
Please double-check the date and size info on these images. Are all three shots from the same day?

I'm not sure what to make of this shot--my understanding is that mantispid larvae just hitchhike without feeding on the spider, until there are eggs to feed on, but I could be wrong.

Hi Charley. I suspect that this is evidence for feeding by mantispid larvae on the host spider. Consider that the mantispid was present on the spider when I collected her at a prior instar. I don't have a clear shot of the larva at the spider's prior instar, but the shot I do have suggests that the larva was pretty small. The spider molted, grew into a larger spider, and now has a large, conspicuous mantispid larva on her. How did the larva grow?

I also have a photo of the previous instar of this spider, and there are no injuries on any legs. She acquired this leg injury after becoming an adult, and I only noticed it at the same time that I noticed the large larva.

I guess other explanations are possible, but this one seems the simplest so far.

Thanks for explaining
I had missed the part about the larva having grown.

Well, I'm surmising that. Smaller spider with less conspicuous larva vs larger spider with much more conspicuous larva. I guess I should post a penultimate photo.

Moved from ID Request.

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