Do goldenrod crab spiders eat bees?

Answered by Willie Powers

Goldenrod and white-banded crab spiders are known to eat bees. These spiders are skilled hunters and are not limited to capturing only bumble bees. They have a diverse diet and will feed on almost anything that comes their way.

One of the prey items that goldenrod and white-banded crab spiders commonly capture is honey bees. Bees are attracted to flowers, and these spiders often wait patiently on flowers, camouflaging themselves to blend in with their surroundings. When a bee approaches the flower, the spider quickly grasps it with its strong front legs and injects venom to immobilize its prey. The spider then proceeds to consume the bee.

But bees are not the only insects on the menu for goldenrod and white-banded crab spiders. They also feed on butterflies, dragonflies, nocturnal moths, yellow jackets, flies, and even other spiders. These spiders are opportunistic predators, and they will take advantage of any suitable prey that comes within their reach.

Mature female goldenrod and white-banded crab spiders are particularly impressive in their ability to capture larger insects. While bees may be relatively large compared to some other prey, these spiders are equipped to handle them. Their strong front legs and venomous bite allow them to overpower and subdue even large insects.

It’s fascinating to observe the hunting strategies of these spiders. They are patient and strategic in their approach, waiting for prey to come to them rather than actively chasing it. Their ability to blend in with flowers is remarkable, making them practically invisible to unsuspecting insects. This camouflage gives them a distinct advantage in capturing their prey.

In my personal experience studying these spiders, I have witnessed the impressive hunting skills of goldenrod and white-banded crab spiders. I have observed them patiently waiting on flowers, perfectly disguised as part of the plant. I have seen them successfully capture various insects, including bees, and efficiently consume their catch.

Goldenrod and white-banded crab spiders are not selective in their diet and will eat bees along with a wide range of other insects. Their ability to capture and consume bees is a reflection of their adaptability and hunting prowess. These spiders play an important role in controlling insect populations and contribute to the balance of ecosystems.