Spiranthes romanzoffiana

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naoki

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We went to blueberry picking last weekend. My son managed to find an orchid, he is usually the one who find cool plants or creatures. Well there were lots of them once we developed the search image. Then I noticed a hover fly on one of them. It wasn't moving much even if I went really close, and it was positioned in an unnatural way. I assumed that it was really focused on foraging (I'm not sure if they make nectar or any rewards, though). When I was processing the photos at home, I found out why it wasn't moving much! I miss the days of no presbyopia, but it was so well camouflaged. Later, my son also found a cool grasshopper (link to my observation in iNaturalist); the ID needs to be confirmed by experts, but it looks like the first Alaskan iNaturalist record of the species. Here are a couple photos of Goldenrod Crab Spider (Misumena vatia) eating a hover fly on Spiranthes romanzoffiana. The hover fly might be Black-legged Flower Fly (Syrphus vitripennis), which was suggested by an iNat user, but the ID of this group is tough for me. Someone may correct the ID in the future in this iNat link.

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KyushuCalanthe

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Ha, ha! I know how you feel. I'm always finding "things" in my photos and videos after the fact - yes, my closeup vision is getting worse by the minute.

Neat orchid, but an even neater spider. It always amazes me how an animal can be so narrowly adapted - I'm assuming it can only effectively hunt on white flowers. Ambush predators are at once cool and spooky!

Thanks for the awesome pics, as always.
 

naoki

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I should probably start wearing glasses... But it is so inconvenient because I'm not accustomed to it.
iNat showed yellow individuals, too, so I looked it up. It turned out that they can change their color! Going from white to yellow takes 10-25 days, and 6 days for the opposite direction. It is very cool. I can that their life isn't easy. They have to keep moving one flower to the next, or one plant species to another species. And when they are on green background, predators can easily spot them.
 

abax

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Outstanding discovery and wonderful photos. Sometimes you just
make my day Naoki. I have noticed spiders can change color and
very quickly on my front porch...perhaps not that dramatically.
 

BrucherT

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Super cool!!!!!

Reminds me of the photos a friend got of some beautiful red mushrooms and didn’t realize until she got home that that her nose had been 4 inches from a small timber rattlesnake curled right up next to them.
 

Paphluvr

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I think I've taken a photo of this same spider on an ox-eye daisy back in the days before digital. It had nabbed a bee and was in the process of webbing it up. I had a 50mm macro mounted at the time, but the plant was in full shade. I had to cut the flower and "plant" it in a sunny spot in order to get decent depth of field for the photo. Great photos, by the way.
 

naoki

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Wow, I'm glad that your friend was ok, BrucherT! Aren't they supposed to rattle? Fortunately, we don't have anything hazardous around here. We have moose and bears, but they are relatively easy to spot.
Paphluvr, the spider is widely distributed, so it is likely to be the same species. The red marking seem to vary quite a bit. I'm not sure if it uses any webbing, though.
Eric, do you mean yellowish color? I think it is normal, but it might be greener before flowering.
 
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