BiodiverseCity St. Louis

BiodiverseCity St. Louis is a growing network of organizations and individuals throughout the greater St. Louis region who share a stake in improving quality of life for all through actions that welcome nature into our urban, suburban and rural communities. Learn more about this effort, and join in.

Take Action Today…and Make It Count

Throughout St. Louis, every day, people are making big and small changes to their backyards, balconies, streetscapes, schoolyards, parking lots, and play areas. Some are doing this because they love nature and want to experience more of it in their daily lives. Others recognize that native plants in the right places help prevent flooding, clean and cool our air and improve human health and well-being. Still others embrace the positive impact that leafy streets, accessible parks, hiking/biking trails and other quality green spaces have on property values and the economic vibrancy of our region.

For all these reasons and more, the BiodiverseCitySTL Network invites each of the 2.9 million citizens of the greater St. Louis bi-state region to take action. In this spirit, we are excited to launch the Nature in Our Neighborhoods citizen action project. No matter who you are or where you live, all of us can do something to beautify, bio-diversify and better the communities in which we live, work, learn and play. To get started, check out our curated list of expert ideas and local resources from across our region, connect with others and share your stories.


Species Spotlight

Misumena vatiaFemale goldenrod crab spider (Misumena Vatia) with prey. Photo by Andreas Eichler.
Goldenrod crab spider (Misumena vatia)
Common on all sorts of flowers, herbs, and shrubs in gardens, orchards, pastures, and other green spaces, goldenrod crab spiders are not only frequently found on goldenrods but also milkweed, a favorite plant for laying their eggs and guarding them until they hatch. This sit-and-wait, eight-eyed predator does not use a web to capture prey, but sits patiently perched atop blooms to catch everything from bumblebees, honeybees and butterflies to moths, flies and even other spiders.

Missouri and Illinois are home to more than 300 kinds of spiders, ranging from the easily overlooked size of a pinhead to some with a 4-inch leg span. Residents of the earth for 400 million years, spiders live in virtually every type of habitat, and in staggering numbers. U.S. arachnologists have estimated populations ranging from 30,000 spiders per acre in woodlands to more than 2.5 million individuals in a grassland acre. A friend to farmers and gardeners, spiders eat more insects than birds and bats combined, consuming huge numbers of crop-damaging insects. Spiders themselves are food for a diversity of wildlife, including assassin bugs, mud dauber wasps, bats, birds, shrews and other spiders.

To do: Practice pronunciation of this spider’s scientific name—“miz-YOU-men-uh VAY-tee-uh,” then pledge to greet it as such the next time you find it tucked away on a flower head awaiting its next meal. If you really want to impress friends and random passers-by, casually mention that M. vatia is a holarctic species (simply meaning it is found across the entire Northern Hemisphere).

Fun fact: This species is one of the few North American spiders capable of changing their body color from yellow to white, or vice versa, depending on the flower they are perched on.


Featured Partner Programs

Milkweeds for Monarchs logo   Bring Conservation Home logo   Operation Clean Stream logo   Show Me Rain Gardens logo
A Community Initiative to Promote, Protect and Plan for Biodiversity Throughout the Greater St. Louis Region