Creepy Critters: Crab Spiders

Crab spiders have a unique body shape and coloration. It’s their front pair of legs that quickly identify them because they are much longer and larger than the rest of their legs.

Goldenrod Crab Spider | Canon 60mm macro with EF25 II Extension Tube

Some crab spiders are white as snow, and others, like the one shown in the photo above, are bright yellow. Then some crab spiders appear plastic-looking and translucent with black hairs all over their legs and body! Which reminds of what my legs look like when I don’t shave for a week … or two. YIKES!

Like the Green Lynx spider this is another species that do not build a web. However, they do produce silk in order to create a drop line. The drop line helps the spider travel from one part of the plant to the other and may use the drop line for trapping its prey.

Goldenrod Crab Spider | Canon 60mm macro with EF25 II Extension Tube

There are a wide variety of crab spiders, and you can see my collection here: Crab Spiders

Spiders have fangs! Yep, fangs people! These fangs, kind of like injection needles, are perfectly suited for piercing the flesh of its prey to inject its venom, but only to make them immobile.

They will then use their body to grind up the prey and then they can eat. They will spit the enzymes from deep in their gut area onto the prey. They allow this to sit for a few minutes until it becomes soft enough for them to suck it all up. 🤢

Crab spiders are patient air-breathing arthropods. Instead of wasting their energy chasing after its prey, they will wait and wait and wait. Eventually, an insect will make their way close enough to be caught. But the question is, how do they know where the right spot is and when it’s time to move on? Ahhh… so many questions we have yet to understand.

But wait… I can’t let you leave without a little spider CUTENESS!

If you ever come across a jumping spider, stay for a while. These are the most adorable and entertaining spiders I have ever seen. The jumping spider in the video is so small, it’s like not even bigger then my pinkie fingernail.

Bold Jumping Spider | Canon 60mm macro

And to get you in that October festive mood for Halloween, here’s a Bold Jumping spider- who else could be a better dresser naturally than this!

Photography Tips!

Macro photography is awesome but it can be very hard when photographing insects in their natural habitats.

My macro gear: Canon 60mm – Canon EF25 II and EF12 II Extension Tubes

Here is a couple of suggestions:

  • Use your live view
    • Have your grid on for composition 
    • Adjust your AF to Flexizone-multi or single
    • Make sure you have an extra battery. Using the live view drains the battery.
  • Set up first
    • Once you know when to change your settings for the ‘light environment’ you are in, get your settings set up before you start snapping photos
  • Use your flash
    • Use your on-camera flash in shaded areas
    • Don’t forget to adjust your exposure and flash compensation
  • Set your drive mode in high continuous speed
    • We all shake and putting your drive mode to high continuous speed helps
    • Don’t overdue it- if you do, you can damage your shutter.
  • If possible, a tripod or even a tabletop tripod is awesome!
    • Helps to stay steady

Remember always to be aware of your surrounding and know what you are photographing. No matter what size some insects are, they all CAN JUMP or FLY AND ESPECIALLY BITE! That’s not the time to learn you have an allergic reaction to an insect bite.

Also, keep your time limited too. Try not to stress out what you are photographing. They could have been waiting for hours and hours to catch something to eat and finally see one in the distance, and then you come along, and well, you get the point.

I highly suggest to pace walk when you are in a macro mood!

Take a section of your walk, like ten steps forward and ten steps back on the path. Explore that area for a few minutes. I mean, really look at all the leaves, branches, and flowers while you are pacing along the edge of the path. You might be amazed at the things you will see that you wouldn’t have seen if you were to keep on walking.

Have fun exploring and be safe!

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