Suffer yet another sunflowerÂ post, won’t you? This time around, it’s not just something amazing about the flora I found, but rather the discovery of an opportunistic hunter making its home on one of the blooms. Behold the goldenrod crab spider (click for the bigger picture):
At first I was blown away considering the odds of such a specifically and perfectly camouflaged arachnid pairing up with our sunflowers, but then I found some fascinating facts from asktheexterminator.com:
The goldenrod crab spider is completely yellow when sitting on a goldenrod flower or sunflower, but can change its color to white when on a daisy. Its body is white, but the spider can produce a yellow liquid pigment in its skin when on a yellow flower to become nearly invisible. It can then excrete the pigment to return to a white color. It takes the spider twice as long to produce yellow pigment and turn yellow than it does for it to turn white. Other Crab spiders resemble tree bark, leaves, fruit, and even bird droppings. Another group of fascinating crab spiders has adapted to look like ants, presumably so they can get closer to their ant prey without being noticed.
The wonders of nature will never cease.