Currently viewing the category: "Crab Spiders"
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Subject: UNUSUAL CRAB SPIDER
Location: Fannie, Arkansas
September 10, 2014 2:43 pm
I know this is a crab spider but the coloration and design are new to me. The spider is white, pink and green with a pink combed effect on the sides, pink area on the abdomen and green on the thorax top. Do you know which crab spider it is?
Signature: Bill Burton

Crab Spider catches Fly

Crab Spider catches Fly

Dear Bill,
What wonderful Food Chain images you have submitted.  We believe that based on this image from BugGuide, your individual is a Whitebanded Crab Spider,
Misumenoides formosipes, which is a highly variable species.  Browsing through the images on BugGuide, you can see just how variable the colors and markings are on the Whitebanded Crab Spider.  We have run out of time this morning, and we can’t identify the fly at this time.  Perhaps one of our readers will provide a comment.

Crab Spider eats Fly

Crab Spider eats Fly

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Any Idea?
Location: Sydney, NSW, Australia
August 2, 2014 5:13 am
Hey,
I found this 2cm big guy near a salt water river in Sydney, Australia. I have no clue if its a spider/scorpion thing or just a bug or whatever. I am not even sure if there a 4, 6 or 8 legs …
I googled a lot but cant find anything helpful…
(sorry for my english ;) )
Signature: Ben

Crab Spider:  Sidymella species

Crab Spider: Sidymella species

Dear Ben,
Your English is perfectly fine.  Your confusion is well founded.  Both Spiders and Scorpions are classified in the zoological class Arachnida, the Arachnids, so they share many physical similarities.  Insects and Arachnids, including Spider and Scorpions, are classified together in the phylum Arthropoda, and again, they all share certain physical characteristics.  With that stated, this is a Spider in the order Araneae, and Spiders are identified because they have two body parts, the cephalothorax (combined head and thorax) and abdomen, and eight legs.  This particular Spider is holding its two front pairs of legs together, which makes it a bit difficult to count.  The two front pairs of legs are considerably longer than the rear two pairs, and this is a physical trait shared by Crab Spiders in the family Thomisidae.  Once we got to that level of identification, we turned to one of our favorite sites for identifying Australian Arthropods, the Brisbane Insects and Spiders, where we found a very similar looking Crab Spider identified as being in one of two genera:
Tmarus or Sidymella.  The site author coined the name Peak Crab Spider ” because its abdomen rises to a dorsal peak.  Its two front pairs of legs are much longer than the hind two pairs.”  Scroll to the bottom of the page to see the Peak Crab Spider.  Armed with that information, we found other representatives in the genus pictured on Spiders of Australia, and the closest matches are not yet fully identified, and are given the names Sidymella ZZ477 and Sidymella ZZ592.  Those letter and number identifyers indicate that the Spiders have yet to be described in a published paper at which time they can be given species names by the describer.  This is a very exciting posting for us and we are featuring it in our scrolling featured posting bar.

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Subject: A yellow spider on Marin County’s Mount Tamalpais
Location: Mount Tamalpais, near Mill Valley, CA, USA
March 10, 2014 8:03 pm
I saw several of these small yellow spiders on leaves of Arctostaphylos glandulosa near the top of Marin’s Mount Tamalpais. Any idea?
Signature: S. R. Gilbert

Crab Spider

Crab Spider

Dear S.R. Gilbert,
This is a Crab Spider in the family Thomisidae.

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Subject: Crab Spider with Flesh Fly in Cyprus
Location: Nicosia (Lefkosia), Cyprus
December 6, 2013 2:49 pm
Seems the site submissions might have slowed down a bit so thought I would send you a two-part submission of the same beautiful yellow lady spider on different days back last February (though mistakingly the pictures are titled with 0212 it was 0213).
The first day she had captured what I believe is a flesh fly (which I know because of this site).
What I find amazing is she’s not holding on with her legs.
So, the question is, is there a name for this crab spider?
Part two coming in a moment.
Signature: Curious Girl

Crab Spider Eats Fly

Crab Spider Eats Fly

Subject: Crab Spider with Mate in Cyprus
Location: Nicosia (Lefkoşa), Cyprus
December 6, 2013 2:56 pm
Hi Again Daniel!
This is the second part showing the Beautiful Yellow Crab Spider on her flower in the first picture. But when I looked closely at her I realized she had additional legs encircling her. That’s when I realized she was being courted and I took a lot of pictures (so I have more if you want them). The little guy was all over her, as can be seen in the second picture.
Really amazing the size difference. On the flower next to her too was at least one other gentleman I guess hoping for a chance but not willing to get on the flower yet. I have some pics of him too.
Signature: Curious Girl

Crab Spiders Mating

Crab Spiders Mating

Dear Curious Girl,
Thanks for waiting until our number of submissions declined.  North American winter is our slowest time of the year for identification requests, but that is also the time the Australian, South African and other southern hemisphere submissions peak, but there are not nearly as many as we get during the summer.  Most of our northern hemisphere submissions at this time are for carpet beetles and other household intruders.  Your photos are awesome.  We cannot confirm that the prey is a Flesh Fly, and though your photos say it all, we would love to be able to provide you with a species name for this lovely Crab Spider in the family Thomisidae.  The knobs on the abdomen are quite distinctive, and if this species is like others in the family, color is not an accurate identifying feature as many Crab Spiders are colored so they blend in with their surroundings, which your photos graphically illustrate.  We found a similar looking individual posted to PBase and again her on PBase, but alas, there is no species ID.  There is another unidentified image on TrekNature.  We wonder if this might be the Goldenrod Crab Spider ,
Misumena vatia, which according to Animal Diversity Web, is found in Europe as well as North America.

Crab Spiders Mating

Crab Spiders Mating

Correction Update:  December 8, 2013 7:44 am
I saw the pictures of the yellow Thomisidae spider of which you say it might be Misumena vatia. Of course I am no specialist at all, only generally interested in insects and spiders, but I have seen several Misumena vatia females here in Europe (Germany and other countries) and not one had these two tubercles (if this is the right word). I understand that such tubercles occur in genus Thomisus, and I found a picture of a spider that is similar to those posted by “Curious Girl”, identified as T. onustus:
http://www.treknature.com/gallery/photo155051.htm
Kind regards, Erwin
Signature: Erwin Beyer

Thanks so much for the correction Erwin.  It is greatly appreciated.  Nick’s Spiders of Britain and Europe has some wonderful photos showing various color variations on Thomisus onustus, including a yellow form, and they all have the bumps on the abdomen.  Encyclopedia of Life also pictures a yellow individual that closely resembles the spider photographed by Curious Girl.

Curious Girl Writes Back
Ah well, you snooze you lose :~)
I was going to reply to tell you that I had found the spider name. Of course I needed to be reminded, or prompted by you but, I’ve found if I look up insects of Greece that many of those found on Cyprus will be revealed as they share a similar zoology (?). So, I had found Thomisus onustus as the genus name but the common English name is Heather Spider. Not all that different from Goldenrod.
Ironically, just before I left on my big travel adventure I randomly found a Goldenrod Crab Spider in my bed. An odd place for her I thought. I had seen pictures of them and found them fascinating so hoped to find one someday but really was not expecting one where I found her. That one was white with the pretty pink bands.
Seems the Heather Spider can be yellow (as we see) white, pink, and even partly green.
I wonder though if you noticed that not only does she happened to have what appears to be pollen on her pedipalps but also that her silk seems very yellow as well. She’s also missing a front leg on her right side.
Seems the little ones will eat pollen and nectar if they can’t capture prey. Might help them with their color change miracles.
Good job to Erwin on identifying the spider, and maybe he can find an identification for the wasps from Germany I sent in last year. :~)
Oh, and thank you for the compliments on my pics. When I get the others ready I’ll send a few more to you (if you’d like).

Oh, and the Encyclopedia of Life link has the common Portuguese name for the spider which is “Aranha-florícola-de-tubérculos” which makes me happy because Portugal is my favorite place in the world. This leads to a great picture of a spider guarding her egg-sac.
http://www.flickr.com/photos/luisgaifem/5989104744/

 

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Subject: brown recluse? crab spider? help.
Location: Atlanta GA area
December 4, 2013 8:12 pm
Hey guys. Hoping you can help me as I have 2 children in the home and hoping they arent in any danger of brown recluse spiders in my house.
Thanks yall are always amazing!!!!
Signature: Allison

Crab Spider

Crab Spider

Hi Allison,
This is most definitely NOT a Brown Recluse.  Because of the relative length of the two pairs of front legs, we agree that this is a Crab Spider in the family Thomisidae.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Unkonwn green-abdomen spider
Location: Central Russia
September 29, 2013 5:20 am
Hi! Would you be so kind to take a look and identify?
Signature: Alexander

Unknown Spider

Crab Spider

Hi Alexander,
We do not recognize this beautiful spider and we have not had any luck finding a matching image on the internet.  We can tell you that this is a male based on the developed pedipalps.  We suspect this is an Orbweaver, or perhaps a Crab Spider.  Perhaps one of our readers will be able to assist in the identification.

Unknown Spider

Crab Spider

Karl provides an identification
Hi Daniel and Alexander:
It does look like a Crab Spider (family Thomisidae), probably Ebrechtella tricuspidata. It also goes by the synonym Misumenops tricuspidata. Either way, it is the single species in the genus. It is widely distributed, eastern and southern Europe to China, but is apparently uncommon throughout its range.  Several web sites refer to it as the Triangle Crab Spider, but given its range it may have other common names as well. Regards.  Karl

Welcome back Karl, and thanks for the identification.  We were wondering if cooler weather and shorter daylight hours might be providing you with additional time to research some of our unidentified species.

Thank you very much!
You’re doing great job!
Sincerely,
Alexander Ivanov
http://ZooBot.ru

Update from Karl:  October 21, 2013
Hi Daniel. We are still pretty busy here but you are right about the cooler weather and (hopefully) more free time being on its way. Actually, the main reason you haven’t been seeing much from me recently is that we have been having huge issues with internet connectivity. We moved back to the country a few years ago and unfortunately our property is in some kind of cyber dead zone. This summer has been particularly bad, with internet connectivity and speed ranging from poor to non-existent. However, I believe we may have finally defeated all the problems and things are running rather smoothly at this time (fingers crossed). Also, you and your growing flock of helpful readers aren’t leaving many unresolved mysteries anymore. I enjoy seeing the increased interaction and participation. In my spare time I have been working steadily to identify and catalogue all the insect pictures (and spiders, etc.) that I have taken over the years but it has been a slow grind. Not being able to access the internet doesn’t help. I if I ever get caught up it will probably be years from now, but I hope to have a substantial number uploaded to my photo site over the next few months. Good luck and keep up the great work.  Karl

Hi Karl,
Your input is always greatly appreciated.  Please send us a link to your photo site when it is ready for more public consumption.

 

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination