Here Comes the Bride: a mysterious white spider

I’m pretty inept when it comes to gardening, so when I actually have flowers that thrive despite my inexperience, not to mention the harsh desert environment here in Las Vegas, I get excited. I may even go out to the backyard with my camera to document the fact that a plant in my care has flourished.

spider
Spider on white flowers. Image by Sarah Vernetti

As I knelt down to snap a photo of these tiny white flowers, I noticed something strange: a stark white spider. I had no idea spiders could be white, which prompted me to take a few photos from various angles and then start googling. Had I discovered a new species of spider? Or was this some sort of albino spider, an incredibly unusual deviation from the norm? Turns out the answer to both of those questions is no. However, I did learn something.

spider

I’m certainly not an arachnologist, but from what I can tell, this oddly beautiful creature is a type of crab spider. It also appears that the spider in my yard is female, since they are often paler in color than their male counterparts.

Crab spiders don’t spin webs. Instead, they wait for their prey on flowers or plants, often adjusting their color to match their temporary home. They will be very patient and wait for long periods of time on the same flower in order to nab their next meal. When they do encounter their prey, they use those long front legs to capture it.

spider

This spider might be one of the most fascinating creatures I’ve ever seen. It is such a pure white, and I’m very fascinated by the pattern of small dots on its back. I’m lucky I happened to see it there. She did an excellent job of blending in.

You can find more facts on crab spiders here.

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