Mother of the Year

Stillwater Diary, July 13, 2016

The wild roses are blooming in the forest, and they’re beautiful! I actually think this crab spider is beautiful, too – beautiful, and complicated, like most of us females. 

Crab Spider on Rose

She’s a camouflage expert, able to shift color from yellow to white and back again by secreting a yellow pigment that coats her body like a skintight gown. If she’s on a white flower, the yellow pigment goes beneath some superficial white glands, becoming fancy yellow underwear under a white dress. On a yellow flower, she changes into her yellow dress. (The change from white to yellow takes up to 25 days, so next time your husband moans about how long it takes you to get ready for a party, just tell him you’re faster than a crab spider.)  

Crab Spider on Rose 2

Evidently she has a limited wardrobe. No pink pigment, means she was easy to spot on this rose. I’m sure she’s embarrassed to be caught in her underwear. She probably refuses invitations to visit the Wild Bergamot for the same reason, even though it attracts plenty of delicious prey.

Bergamot 2

And parties held at the Chiming Bluebells are out of the question – although its such an elegant venue with its dangling chandeliers.

Chiming Bluebells

Despite her embarrassing state of undress, she’ll hang out here all day, posing for pictures in her underwear while waiting in ambush for a meal. When some unsuspecting insect passes by, she’ll swing into action and BAM!  


Photo by Mario Mancuso
                                                                                                                       Photo by Mario Mancuso

But once she mates and lays her eggs, she’ll stop eating entirely in order to stand guard. Her eggs take three weeks to hatch, and once the babies emerge she’ll die, providing their first meal.  

And you thought human mothers were devoted!!!

Devoted Mother