Female ©Rollin Verlinde

Goldenrod spider

Know more?

Crab spiders get their name from the elongated first and second leg pair that together look a bit like claws of a crab. They often move in jerks and can even walk sideways, strongly reminiscent of crabs. Adult females of the Goldenrod spider can change colour according to the colour of the flower they inhabit (from white to yellow and vice versa). This process can take several days.

Goldenrod spider (Misumena vatia)

Web: Crab spiders don’t make catching webs, but use their elongated first and second legs to overpower their prey. They are sit and wait predators, often well camouflaged and laying in an ambush to surprise passing prey.

Habitat: in sunny environments such as grassland, forest edges, but also gardens. Is very often found on flowers.

How to recognize?

  • ♀: colour variable: white to yellow to greenish, sometimes with red stripes
  • ♂: cephalothorax brown to black
  • ♂: abdomen white with two dark length stripes.

Looks similar to:

  • This species is hard to confuse with any other species when observed in detail.


♀: 9-11 mm

♂: 3-4 mm


♀: May till August

♂: May till August