Swamp Rose Visitors

I follow the bloom of a group of wild swamp roses along the edge of a swamp. They appear to be thriving in several inches of water and muck, their feet wet year-round; an incredible display of site adaptation and tolerance.

Bees swarm the blossoms, presenting a target-rich environment for my favorite Arachnid: the Flower Spider. Also called Goldenrod Spider or Crab Spider, they’re an impressive ambush predator with a deadly toxin that immobilizes prey instantly. Bees are common prey, but I’ve photographed Flower Spiders with kills as large as the Tiger Swallowtail butterfly and Hummingbird Moth (Clearwing) in their grasp!



Photos by NB Hunter. © All Rights Reserved.


11 thoughts on “Swamp Rose Visitors

  1. The spider is so white. I’m not sure that I have consciously observed that spider before. Great pics as always.

    • Much appreciated Tina. Unfortunately, our bugs and spiders aren’t big fans of the golden hours and I often find myself sweltering in mid day sun and heat as I battle to balance contrasts in harsh light!

  2. Is it possible that we also have that bright white spider in our neck of the woods? I think I’ve seen it, but I’m not sure. He certainly sounds ferocious. I feel sorry for the bee.

  3. A swamp rose? That lives with its feet in water? Would love to see that … all our roses prefer well-drained soil. (Rather wimpy compared to yours.) I’ve noticed a lot of crab spiders showing up recently … looks like a good season for them here in Alberta.

    • I had a similar response when I discovered the roses several years ago. At that time I had to photograph with a telephoto lens because I didn’t have my rubber swamp boots with me! I know that tree species native to poorly drained habitats often do well in harsh urban soils and wonder how this rose (Rosa palustris) would perform in a cultivated landscape. Re: the range, one of my references says “Minnesota to Nova Scotia and south”. I might gather a few rose hips when mature and experiment with it. Thanks Sally.

    • Thanks! I’ve been observing these spiders for years and no longer photograph them — — unless I see a big female with an impressive catch, as in this post. The predation story is just too good to pass up.

    • I know exactly what you mean. I’ve had similar experiences when posting predator/prey images – regardless of the species involved. (eg not everyone appreciated an eagle/deer carcass image that I got all excited about a couple of years ago!).

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