Crab spider is a pretty good description of this group of spiders, as they sit with arms stretched out waiting for prey to arrive. This fairly large female spider is decorated with a pair of pink stripes.
Male goldenrod crab spiders tend to be smaller than females with red striping on the abdomen.
Crab spiders are typically seen perched on flowers waiting for a meal to come along. However, they are very wary and any vibration or shadow passing over will send them off to hide under the flower.
Camouflage is the name of the game for an ambush predator and goldenrod crab spiders are very good at this, even being able to change color to match the flower on which it lives. Consequently this spider is yellow to match the dandelion's coloration.
This dewy female spider has spent the night among thistles. Once she has warmed up and dried off she will take position to capture nectar-seeking insects as they make their morning rounds.
As a predator of flying insects, crab spiders possess a venom that contains both fast acting toxins, to rapidly immobilize prey, and enzymes to digest the prey outside of their own bodies. This latter ability is especially important since prey is very often similar in size to or quite a bit bigger than the spiders themselves. Indeed I have seen a good-sized damsel fly caught in the jaws of a goldenrod crab spider!
The struggle that ensues following capture is quite rigorous but short-lived as toxins targeting the nerves controlling flight muscles take full effect.
Photography of these small animals requires good optics and the ability to shoot at small apertures to get decent depth of field. I tend to shoot completely in manual mode, presetting aperture and shutter speed. I also focus manually, using the eyes as focal points.
Goldenrod crab spiders do indeed live on goldenrods! In this picture you can see the line of silk the spider uses, not to capture and wrap up prey but as a tether to maintain an attachment to its home.

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