Whitebanded Crab Spider
By xagi Follow | Public

Misumenoides formosipes, commonly known as the whitebanded crab spider, is found across the United States and Canada. It was considered a pretty unremarkable spider up until recently, when it was discovered that not only does this spider have camouflage; it has active camouflage..
Rather than using a web to trap prey, this spider sits atop flowers and pounces on anything that comes too close. Since the arachnids themselves are usually either white or yellow, they tend to stick with plants of those colors. But it was only in 2015 that scientists realized that female whitebanded crab spiders can swap back and forth between the colors by moving pigmented fluid through their bodies. The reason we hadn’t observed this before is that it’s the slowest camouflage ever. It takes between three and nine days for the spider’s color to completely change, so it’s easier for them to find a flower that matches their current color than to match whatever flower they find.
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