Currently viewing the category: "Crab Spiders"
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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.

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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.

 

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Subject: Crab Spider in Los Angeles? BONUS QUESTION
Location: Los Angeles, CA
August 17, 2012 4:10 pm
Hey Bugman. I wanted to show you a couple pix of a crab spider I found in my yard in Los Angeles. At least, I think it’s a crab spider. Can you please confirm?
BONUS: The third (and obviously different) photo is a black orb weaver – can you confirm too?
Signature: -Amy

Crab Spider: Misumenoides formosipes

Hi Amy,
Though it is highly variable in coloration according to BugGuide, we believe we have identified your individual as a White Banded Crab Spider,
Misumenoides formosipes, based on this image on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide:  “The identifying characteristic, according to Florida’s Fabulous Spiders, is a white ridge on the spider’s face below the eyes. Can be either white or yellow. Most sources say this is a response to its surroundings, but I did find one claim that color depended on whether the egg was laid on a yellow or white-flowered plant. See here for brief description of this theory.”  The theory, according to the Spiders of Kaweah River Delta Region by Marjorie Moody is:  “According to ‘Spiderman’ Brian Carroll, this flower crab spider cannot change its color like a chameleon. He performed an experiment and disproved the myth that this spider can change to white or cream if placed on a white flower. What he did discover, however, is that if a yellow crab spider lays her eggs on a white-flowered plant, her offspring will be white, not yellow. Furthermore, if a white crab spider lays her eggs on a yellow-flowered plant her offspring will be yellow, not white. “  Crab Spiders do not spin webs to trap prey.  They often wait on flowers and plants to ambush insects that are attracted to the plants.  Though we cannot determine the species by your photograph, the other spider does appear to be an orbweaver.

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Green Spider in Kauai
Location: Alakai Swamp (4000ft) Kauai, HI USA
March 2, 2012 6:06 pm
Found this spider in Kauai near Alakai swamp (4000ft) but can’t find this spider in the insects/spiders in north west america book i have.
body was about 2mm.
Signature: Toshiro Stang

Crab Spider

Dear Toshiro,
This is a Crab Spider in the family Tomisidae.  We are unable at this time to provide you with a species name.  Many species in the family exhibit great variability between individuals.  Your spider resembles this unidentified species we found on the Insects of Hawaii website.

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