Did You Know? 17 Incredible Goldenrod Crab Spider Facts

Goldenrod crab spider facts about the famous flower spider species

Have you ever wondered what a color-changing spider would look like? Wouldn’t it be fascinating? The goldenrod crab spider (Misumena vatia) changes its colours! They are smart hunter spiders who fool their prey by changing colors and thus capture their food. However, they do not harm humans, so you can surely look at them closely sitting camouflaged in flowers in parks of North America and Europe! The male spiderlings are associated with a brown thorax and a small white or yellow abdomen. Another distinctive feature is the pink streaks on the abdomen. These spiders have the ability to camouflage.

As the population of these spiders is abundant, their conservation status is of Least Concern at present. They feed primarily on pollinators who can be found on flowers. Read on to know more about the goldenrod crab spider. Afterward, do check our other articles on crab spider facts and sac spider facts as well.

goldenrod crab spider

Fact File

What do they prey on?

Small Insects, Wasps, Bees

What do they eat?


Average litter size?

Between 2-1000 eggs in sacs

How much do they weigh?

0.00014 oz (0.0039 gm)

How long are they?


How tall are they?

Female: 0.40 in (1.01 cm)

Male: 0.20 in (0.50 cm)

What do they look like?

Bright Yellow, Orange, Pale Green, Black

Skin Type


What are their main threats?

Large Insects, Birds

What is their conservation status?

Least Concern

Where you'll find them

Grass plains


North America, Europe, Northern parts of Asia





Scientific Name

Misumena Vatia





Goldenrod Crab Spider Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a goldenrod crab spider?

The goldenrod crab spider is a color-changing spider that transforms its colors depending on the color of the flower it sits on. They are also called banana spiders or flower spiders. Their name is derived from the yellow or white-colored flowers like the goldenrod on which they sit. Flower spiders resemble the physical description of crabs as they walk sideways, including the normal forward and backward walk. The female spiderling has red stripes and is larger than male spiderlings. The male spiders have a brown thorax accompanied by a yellow or white abdomen.

What class of animal does a goldenrod crab spider belong to?

The goldenrod crab spider Misumena vatia belongs to the class of Arachnida. It is a class consisting of terrestrial invertebrates and eight-legged arthropods. Thus, most of the spiders are included in this class. They do not weave webs to catch their prey, but instead sit on the flower and wait for pollinators to arrive closer before devouring them.

How many goldenrod crab spiders are there in the world?

There are about 2000 crab spider species spread all over the world. Exact estimates of the goldenrod crab spider species have not been made..

Where does a goldenrod crab spider live?

Goldenrod crab spiders inhabit areas where they find a lot of flowers and they sit on yellow or white flowers like goldenrods or daisies, thereby changing their color accordingly over a month. They are extensively found in North America, Asia, and Europe.

What is a goldenrod crab spider's habitat?

Goldenrod crab spiders show their activity mostly during the fall and are found all over North America, Europe, and northern parts of Asia. Their habitat can be found in grasslands, wetlands, and meadows, sitting on yellow or white flowers like goldenrod or daisy as well as leaves of herbs and shrubs.

Who do goldenrod crab spiders live with?

Goldenrod crab spiders live alone, blending their colors on bright flowers and changing them over 29 days. The female goldenrod crab spiders live with their egg sacs thereby protecting and guarding their territory against predators. They do not weave webs to catch their prey, but instead sit on the flower and wait for pollinators to arrive before attacking.

How long does a goldenrod crab spider live?

Goldenrod crab spiders have varying lifespans with respect to their sex. The females have a lifespan of two years and are associated with guarding the eggs as well as the flower throughout their life while the males have a short one-month lifespan.

How do they reproduce?

The female goldenrod crab spiders basically produce certain draglines of silk as they move from one place to another. The males follow these draglines in search of a partner for mating and thus reach the female spiders. After pairs have been formed and mating has been completed, the females release egg sacs which are then protected and nourished by them for a span of approximately 3 weeks. After completing the guarding duty, the female spiders die. The sex ratio is inclined towards the female spiders as the male spiders die from predators as they move to search for mates.  

What is their conservation status?

The young goldenrod crab spiders are abundant in the wild. It surely is a common species that does not face any extinction threat as such and thus, does not need special protection.

Goldenrod Crab Spider Fun Facts

What do goldenrod crab spiders look like?

Flower crab spider can change body color from white to yellow to blend in with the flower.

The golden crab spider changes its colors from yellow to white to pale green over a few days depending on the color of the flower they sit on, as well as the environmental factors. The spider is associated with a crab because it spreads the two pairs of legs from the two sides which are similar to the appearance of a crab. The two legs at the front are longer than the other legs. Talking about the size of the spider, the female spider is larger than the male spider. The female spider is also associated with red stripes on its side. The male spiderlings are associated with a brown thorax and a small white or yellow abdomen. Another distinctive feature is the pink streaks on the abdomen. They have the ability to change their body color to merge with its surroundings

How cute are they?

They are venomous color-changing spiders residing on bright flowers. They blend with the flower color and use it to attack as well as defend. They resemble a crab with their style of walking.

How do they communicate?

Goldenrod crab spiders communicate by matching the color of the flower and camouflaging them. The female spiders release draglines of silk which are followed by the male spiders. The male spiders are thus able to reach the female spiders.

How big is a goldenrod crab spider?

The goldenrod crab spider is not much bigger than a wasp. Within the flower spider species, they are one of the largest and the most recognizable ones. Female goldenrod crab spiders are considerably larger than male goldenrod crab spiders. The females are about 0.40 in (1.01 cm) tall while the males have a height of 0.20 in (0.50 cm) only.

How fast can a goldenrod crab spider run?

The goldenrod crab spider moves pretty fast while catching its prey. It has legs that resemble those of a crab and it walks sideways and exhibits normal forward and backward walk as well. The speed of crab spiders as well as their jumping prowess proves to be an advantage over normal spiders.

How much does a goldenrod crab spider weigh?

Goldenrod crab spiders weigh approximately about 0.00014 oz (0.0039 gm). Female spiders are larger than male spiders.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Goldenrod crab spiders do not have any distinct male and female names as such. Different sexes of flower crab spider are hence known as male goldenrod crab spider and female goldenrod crab spider respectively. The female goldenrod crab spider is almost twice the size of the male misumena vatia.

What would you call a baby goldenrod crab spider?

The young ones or a baby goldenrod crab spider is called a spiderling.

What do they eat?

Goldenrod crab spiders prey on pollinators like grasshoppers, flies, butterflies, dragonflies as well as bees who land on a particular flower to suck nectar. They do not spin webs, instead they camouflage themselves over the flowers and wait for the pollinators to land on them. As soon a bee lands on the flower, they poison her by grabbing her with their front legs making her numb.  

Are they poisonous?

Yes, goldenrod crab spiders are poisonous in nature as they poison their prey with their strong front legs and numb them. They can attack insects larger than them as well because their venom has a great potential of causing harm. However, they do not attack humans but if a crab spider bites you, then you may experience some swelling and irritation.

Would they make a good pet?

Most goldenrod crab spiders have a small bite that cannot pierce into the human skin and thus their venom is not dangerous for humans. However, some of the large crab spider bites might break into the human skin and thus they are not suitable as a good pet.

Did you know...

Goldenrod crab spiders take time while changing their colors. In changing from yellow to white, they take about five or six days, while the reverse is associated with an interval of 10-25 days.

What do crab spiders do?

Crab spiders are well known as hunting species. They camouflage themselves according to the color of the flowers and the environment. They sit and wait for their prey instead of spinning a web to catch it. Once a bee or a fly lands on the flower, they attack it with its front legs thereby inducing venom inside it and making it numb.

What is the most poisonous spider in the world?

Phoneutria is one of the world’s deadliest spiders in the world. It is a very poisonous crab spider with a toxic venom causing irregular heartbeat and gradual death. The word Phoneutria is Greek for murderess as the spider has a deadly bite.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other arthropods including bark scorpion facts or great black wasp facts.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our Goldenrod  crab spider coloring pages.



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