Botanical Vampires

The Selfheal flower makes sweet nectar and this attractive color to lure insects into her boudoir, where she powders them with pollen and hopes they will deliver it to a different Selfheal flower where this pollen will inseminate that flower and make fruit with fertile seeds.

The Bee collects pollen because its a super fantastic food packed with carbs, fats, proteins, vitamins and minerals. (And probably all sorts of phytonutrients that do magical things too, this is a powerful medicinal plant) She picks it up and puts it in her leg baskets so she can carry lots home in one foraging foray, just like I do when I fill my basket with mushrooms in the fall.

The Crab Spider is a hunter. She finds sexy flowers and hides in them, waiting for a pollinator to come by and while they are distracted by the bounty of pollen she jumps out and delivers a Vampire bite like this and sucks the life juices right out of them. I bet she eats the pollen baskets as desert.

Lady Crab Spiders are amazing at camouflaging. I actually took several photos of this bee before I saw the spider and I was actually out in the meadow looking specifically for Crab Spiders so I could tell you this story! I saw her as an anomalous red striped white flower on the purple flowers and my brain accepted that as normal. The nifty thing is that these spiders are…. What’s the word for when you can presto-chango your colors to blend in with the environment? Like Chameleons and Octopuses? Later I was musing about it, I thought it was weird that she would even try to hide in a purple flower because she can be white and yellow but not purple. Since yellow is the opposite of purple, maybe being as unyellow as she can makes sense. I mean, I saw her but I couldn’t see her.

Selfheal, Goldenrod Crab Spider & Common Eastern Bumble Bee

Male Crab Spiders are different, they don’t do any of that stuff. They can be 50x smaller than females. The boys don’t hunt, it takes too much patience, instead he jumps from flower to flower looking for girls and eats pollen and nectar as he goes. This is not the only animal I can think of where the boys are vegetarian and the girls are vampires. It takes a lot of protein to make eggs.


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