In a recent study, Ball State University researchers found that the whitebanded crab spider has the unique ability to change colors while hunting.
These crab spiders make their living by preying on bees, flies, and wasps. Females fix themselves to flowers that attract the prey species and gradually change color to match the flower they are guarding, hiding in plain sight.
Scientists found that white crab spiders were more capable of matching yellow flowers than the yellow variety was at matching white flowers.
This color changing ability only occurs in female crab spiders, which are 20 times larger than males.
Male whitebanded crab spiders reach maturity before females. There are also more males than females. The Ball State study showed that, like other species, males compete for breeding rights. Several males will surround a female waiting for her to reach maturity and fights will determine the female’s mate.