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For Insects, Spiders & Their Kin
For the United States & Canada
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Species Misumena vatia - Goldenrod Crab Spider

Misumena vatia with prey - Misumena vatia - female Golden rod spiders are out again. - Misumena vatia - female Spider Pic - Misumena vatia - female Flower Spider - Misumena vatia - female White spider - Misumena vatia - female Yellow crab spider eating a horse fly? - Misumena vatia - female Goldenrod Crab Spider - Misumena vatia - female Unknown Crab Spider from California - Misumena vatia - male Goldenrod Crab Spider - Misumena vatia - male Spiders mating - Misumena vatia - male - female
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Araneae (Spiders)
Infraorder Araneomorphae (True Spiders)
No Taxon (Entelegynae)
Family Thomisidae (Crab Spiders)
Genus Misumena (Flower Crab Spiders)
Species vatia (Goldenrod Crab Spider)
Other Common Names
Flower Spider (1)
Goldenrod Spider (1)
Lengths: female: 6-9mm, male: 2.9-4mm (1)
Female: Carapace white to yellow with sides darker. Eye area often tinged with red. Abdomen same color as carapace, sometimes with no markings, but otherwise with a red band on both sides. Legs are light colored. (1)

Male: Carapace red to reddish-brown, with white spot in center going to eyes and clypeus. First two pairs for legs are reddish brown, the others yellow. Abdomen has pair of dorsal and lateral red bands on a white background. (1)

Some closeups of facial images to aid in identification:


ALEs larger than AMEs.

All four anterior (front) eyes are about the same size. When viewed from the front, and a little above, it seems all eight eyes are visible and form a crescent shape. The lateral eyes are on tubercles, but the posterior laterals are visible. See

All four anterior (front) eyes are about the same size. When viewed from the front, and a little above, only six eyes are visible. The posterior laterals are facing sideways and are on the ends of a long horizontal transverse ridge across the face. Eric says "Misumena has essentially no black markings (while Misumenoides may have some), which is how you can tell them apart in the field most easily." See

The anterior lateral eyes are a little larger than the anterior median eyes. When viewed from the front, and a little above, only six eyes are visible. The posterior laterals are facing sideways and backwards on tubercles that include the anterior laterals. Mecaphesa is also often (always?) hairy. See

M. vatia palp:

Comments, corrections, and suggestions most welcome. Please add them to discussion thread here.

Images by Tom Adams, Troy Bartlett, Derrick Ditchburn, Tony DiTerlizzi, Bill DuPree, Vincent J Hickey, Richard Leung, Paul F Wagner, Paul McNelis, Bill Claff, and Chris Wirth
Across southern Canada and US (2)
fields and sometimes flowering shrubs. The spider waits at a flower for visiting pollinators. (2)
Adults: May-Aug. In the north this spider may take 2 years to mature (2)
They come in various colors:
Sometimes camouflaged:
Sometimes not!
The male is much smaller than the female:
They wait in flowers in ambush:
What an insect shouldn't see on flower approach!
And they eat just about anything that happens by: flies ,
bees/wasps ,
even !! or worse yet


Mature males:

Subadult males:
See Also
Misumenoides formocipes - Whitebanded Crab Spider (3)
Print References
Kaston, p. 230 & figures 588, 589 (1)
Spiders and Their Kin, p. 94 (photo of female and illustration of male) (4)
Works Cited
1.How to Know the Spiders
B. J. Kaston. 1978. WCB/McGraw-Hill.
2.Common Spiders of North America
Richard A. Bradley . 2012. University of California Press .
3.Whitebanded Crab Spider
4.Spiders and Their Kin: A Golden Guide from St. Martin's Press
Herbert W. Levi, Lorna R. Levi, Nicholas Strekalovsky. 2001. St. Martin's Press.