Tag Archives: Thomisus

Crab spiders of Marlera

A very common species of this region, and easily found hidden between flower petals: Thomisus onustus (Fig. 1) is a crab spider known also as the flower spider. In fact, this species and other members of the Thomisidae family don’t build a web – instead they wait hidden and camouflaged on flowers for a prey to come. When a flower-visiting prey arrives, they grab it with the long front pairs of legs and paralyse it with a venomous bite.

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Fig. 1 Thomisus onustus – white female (size up to 6-7 mm).

Females can change their colours according to the surroundings. They can be white, yellow or pink and the colour can change in couple of days so that it perfectly mimics the colour of the host flower (Fig. 2). Males are always brownish and never change their colour (Fig. 3).

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Fig. 2 Yellow form of a female on a pink flower. Sometimes they adapt their colour to the surronding.
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Fig. 3 Thomisus onustus – a male (size 2,5-3,5 mm) on Ornithogalum flowers.

Another member of the Thomisidae family, Synema globosum (Fig. 4), is also called Napoleon spider because of the black drawing that resembles the silhouette of Napoleon. Found on dry grasslands or forest edges in warm areas, often on red and yellow flowering plants (mostly members of the Apiaceae or Asteraceae  family).

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Fig. 4 Synema globosum with his prey, wich can be much larger. Usual prey are bees, butterflies and other flower visiting insects.

Light green hairy spider that can be found on hairy vegetation. This picture (Fig. 5) enables only to determine the genus, Heriaeus. To discern the species it is necessary to look at the dorsal drawings of the opisthosoma and sometimes even the genitals.

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Fig. 5 A member of the Heriaeus genus – the  green body is covered with white-yellowish spines.

Photos by Borjan Radolovic