Crab Spider Molting
Species Philodromid (probably histrio)

 

Crab spider at Willard Bay State Park
I came across this crab spider hanging around near the beach at Willard Bay State Park.
I thought I saw an insect flying around some weeds and that's when I spotted this little guy.
I took a few pictures and thought I'd check back on it after I'd scouted around the place
some more. I did find a Long-jawed Orb Weaver. When I came back to this spot, I
discovered something
very strange. Check out the photo below.  © Carol Davis 9-9-2015

crab spider molted
The first thing I noticed was (what I call) a "spider skeleton" that wasn't there before. "How can
 that be?" was my first thought and then I surmised this may not be the same spider, but it was -
same weed, same location. In the sixteen minutes I was away (I checked the information on the
photos), this spider had molted! You can see it was still attached at the end of the abdomen. It
probably had to hang there and dry out enough to disengage. I would also like to point out how
well the spider blends in with its surroundings - not by chance, I think. © Carol Davis 9-9-2015

crab spider
Judging from the body pattern, this is probably a Philodromus histrio crab spider. They are "running
crab spiders
" and, even so, they still like to hang out in the center of flowers like their rounder and
fatter cousins, the "flower crab spiders".  I still can't believe my luck in finding this gem. I only wish
I'd know sixteen minutes earlier that this spider was going to molt. I have a new found knowledge of
 how fast the molting process can be.  (Thanks to Bugguide for the links.) © Carol Davis 9-9-2015

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