Sometimes unexpected things happen when you’re observing spiders. The following series of photos is by Catherine Aitken, who has a wonderful wildlife photography blog: Lardeau Valley Time. She recently witnessed and captured this incredible interaction in her garden, and kindly gave me permission to share her photos here.
Here we see a lovely pink and white flower crab spider (Misumena vatia) peacefully slurping her lunch (an unfortunate hoverfly).
But soon an uninvited guest (a foraging western yellowjacket) arrives.
A great struggle ensues.
The wasp emerges victorious, while the spider retreats.
Crab spiders are pretty formidable predators, and I’ve seen them feeding on yellowjackets themselves, as in the photo below. So I found this instance of a wasp stealing a crab spider’s prey rather surprising and fascinating. You never know what wonders you might witness when you spend time watching spiders!