Crab Spider: Possibly Bark Crab Spider

primitive looking spider
Sat, May 2, 2009 at 10:58 PM
I live in the middle of a woodland forest in Mendocino County, northern California. All types of bugs find their way in my house. I promptly put them in a jar and take them back into the woods, mostly beautiful wolf spiders. But this certain spider I’ve never seen before (please see photo). It looks primitive to me, almost crab-like. Can you identify it? That would be amazing! I’d love to know what it is.
Mendocino County, CA, woodlands

Crab Spider
Crab Spider

Hi Nat,
This is most certainly a Crab Spider in the family Thomisidae, and we believe it is a Bark Crab Spider in the genus Bassaniana based on a photo posted to BugGuide.  BugGuide does not list this genus in California, but the range is quite great, from coast to coast.  Like Wolf Spiders, Crab Spiders do not build snare webs.  Rather they are hunting spiders.

1 thought on “Crab Spider: Possibly Bark Crab Spider”

  1. I was browsing to identify a spider that made it home in our camping gear (not alive). We live in Southern CA and went camping a few hours north of L.A in the Sierra Nevadas last weekend. A spider that looks exactly like this was laying in the bottom of a bowl, dead. It was strange; most spiders curl up when they die, this one still has his legs sticking straight out. But it looks exactly like this one. I’ve never seen them at home, just in the mountains (that was about 5K elevation I think)


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