Regina Rich, via email

Gardening Australia - - MAILBOX -

I found this amaz­ing lit­tle spi­der on our sun­flow­ers. Can you please tell me what it’s called?

Mar­tyn Robin­son says

This is a flower spi­der in the genus Di­aea. Sev­eral of th­ese spi­ders can change colour to match the flow­ers they are on, so they be­come cam­ou­flaged while they wait for prey such as bees, but­ter­flies and flies. They have very fast-act­ing venom, as their prey must die in­stantly in a life­like pose so it doesn’t at­tract the at­ten­tion of birds, which are spi­der eaters! Th­ese spi­ders are harm­less to hu­mans, although they can give you a nip.

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