Summary for Misumena vatia (Araneae)

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National Distribution

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M. vatia immature male Copyright: Paddy Harrison
Identification difficulty rating: 2
Name: Misumena vatia
Authority: (Clerck, 1757)
Order: Arachnida: Araneae
Family: Thomisidae

Records: 1821
First Record: 1861
Latest Record: 2015

1992-on hectads: 302
Pre-1992 hectads: 175
Total hectads: 383

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About this species

Recorded altitude range
0m to 350m

Species text

The species is widespread in the southern half of England and Wales. It is widespread in western and central Europe, but commoner towards the south of the region (Roberts 1995).

Habitat and ecology
This species seems to be most commonly found in the boundary region between grass and scrub, such as the edges of woodland rides but it also occurs in more open locations. It may be found in the vegetation, or sitting on a flower head waiting for prey. In these situations its cryptic colouring may make it difficult to see until it moves, especially as the colouring may vary through white, yellow and greenish to match the flower. Only mature females can undergo background-matching colour changes. Some females have red anterior, dorso-lateral lines or spots which appear to be genetically determined and are unaffected by the background colour. Mature males are smaller and predominantly brown. The sexual dimorphism for colour is probably a result of males and females occupying different niches (Oxford and Gillespie 1998). Adults of both sexes have been recorded between May and August, but mainly in May and June with females occasionally persisting into the autumn or perhaps even through the winter with one female recorded in leaf litter in March.

The spider is fairly common in the south.

Original author of profile: W.J. Partridge

Text based on Harvey, P.R., Nellist, D.R. & Telfer, M.G. (eds) 2002. Provisional atlas of British spiders (Arachnida, Araneae), Volumes 1 & 2. Huntingdon: Biological Records Centre.  References

Adult Season

Adult Season Data (based on 485 records with adult season information)


background methodology

Broad Habitat Data (based on 615 records with habitat information)

Broad subhabitat Data (based on 33 records with subhabitat information)

Structural Habitat Data (based on 352 records with structural habitat information)

Habitat Detail and Method (based on 341 records with habitat detail and method information)

Recorded management for locations with Misumena vatia

Recorded substrate and hydrology for locations with Misumena vatia


M. vatia immature male
M. vatia immature male
Misumena vatia and nest of spiderlings 31.08.13
Misumena vatia and nest of spiderlings 31.08.13
Misumena vatia
Misumena vatia
Misumena vatia Female 2
Misumena vatia Female 2
Misumena vatia red striped
Misumena vatia red striped
Misumena vatia yellow form
Misumena vatia yellow form
Misumena vatia male and female
Misumena vatia male and female
Misumena vatia white form
Misumena vatia white form
Misumena vatia female
Misumena vatia female
Misumena vatia male
Misumena vatia male
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