Green Lynx Spider: All You Need to Know in a Nutshell

The Green Lynx Spider, scientifically known as Peucetia viridans, is a fascinating creature that has captured the interest of many. This bright green spider is commonly found in the southern United States, particularly in Florida, where it tends to inhabit shrub-like plants EDIS. As the largest North American lynx spider, its distinctive appearance makes it easily identifiable among other spiders.

These spiders play a crucial role in their ecosystem, especially in cotton fields where they serve as helpful predators of insect pests Entomology Department. While they may seem intimidating to some, rest assured that they are generally harmless to humans and contribute positively to maintaining a balanced natural environment. In the following article, we will explore everything you need to know about this captivating spider species.

Overview of Green Lynx Spider

Scientific Classification

The Green Lynx Spider, scientifically known as Peucetia viridans, belongs to the family Oxyopidae. It is a type of arachnid, specifically part of the Araneae order. Below is a brief summary of its classification:

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Family: Oxyopidae
  • Genus: Peucetia

Physical Characteristics

The Green Lynx Spider exhibits a striking appearance with its bright colors and unique features. Some physical characteristics include:

  • Size: Ranges from 12 to 16 mm in length
  • Color: Pale green with variations like yellow, bright orange, white, or red patches and spots
  • Legs: Eight long legs with black spines
  • Cephalothorax: Features a large, fused head and thorax

Compared to other lynx spiders like Oxyopes salticus, the Green Lynx Spider has a distinct appearance with its larger size and lack of black markings on its face. A comparison table between the two species can be seen below:

Feature Green Lynx Spider Oxyopes salticus
Size 12 – 16 mm Smaller
Color Pale green Brown
Black markings Absent on the face Present on the face
Leg banding Absent Present

In summary, the Green Lynx Spider is a fascinating arachnid member of the Oxyopidae family. Its unique appearance and physical characteristics, such as its pale green color and lack of black facial markings, set it apart from other spiders like Oxyopes salticus, making it an interesting subject for study and observation.

Habitat and Distribution

North America

The Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) is found primarily in the southern United States, including states such as Florida and Alabama. They are often found on shrub-like plants, where they use their bright green coloration to blend in with the vegetation. Some common habitats include:

  • Cotton fields
  • Meadows
  • Gardens

Central America – Mexico and West Indies

Green Lynx Spiders are also known to inhabit areas of Central America, such as Mexico and the West Indies. Similar to their North American habitat, they prefer green plants to camouflage within their surroundings.

In comparison, the distribution of Green Lynx Spiders is as follows:

Region Countries/States
North America Florida, Alabama, and others
Central America Mexico
West Indies Caribbean islands

It’s important to note that while these spiders are native to these regions, some populations have been found in places as far as Venezuela. However, this remains a less common occurrence.

Remember that the Green Lynx Spider plays a vital role in controlling insect pests found in cotton fields and other environments, making them a useful part of these ecosystems.

Behavior and Biology

Diet and Predatory Behavior

The Green Lynx Spider is known for its active hunting, preying on a variety of insects like moths. It does not use webs to capture prey, but rather relies on its excellent vision and jumping abilities to catch its targets. Some examples of its prey include:

  • Moths
  • Flies
  • Butterflies
  • Bees

Reproduction and Life Cycle

Both male and female Green Lynx Spiders participate in the reproductive process. The female spider lays multiple egg sacs during her life, each containing hundreds of eggs. The mother guards her egg sacs until the spiderlings hatch, ensuring their survival. The life cycle of Green Lynx Spiders includes several instars, or growth stages, before reaching adulthood.

Physical Adaptations

The Green Lynx Spider possesses multiple physical adaptations that enhance its predatory abilities and survival:

  • Venomous bites: Though not dangerous to humans, their bites can cause swelling and irritation.
  • Jumping ability: Highly skilled jumpers, they can leap to catch their prey or escape predators.
  • Vision: They have excellent vision, which aids in hunting and navigating their environment.
  • Dragline: Although they don’t use webs for capturing prey, they create a dragline for safety and mobility purposes.
Adaptation Green Lynx Spider Jumping Spider
Venomous bites Yes Yes
Jumping ability Excellent Excellent
Vision Excellent Exceptional
Web for capturing No No
Dragline Yes Yes

Interaction with Agriculture and Crops

Beneficial and Harmful Effects

The Green Lynx Spider is known to play a role in agriculture, as it can be both beneficial and harmful. As a predator, it preys on various crop pests, helping to keep their populations under control. For instance, it has been observed as an important predator of pests in cotton fields.

However, the Green Lynx Spider may also have a detrimental effect on some beneficial insects. For example, it has been known to prey on honeybees, which are essential pollinators for various crops.

Agricultural Pest Management

When it comes to pest management in agriculture, the Green Lynx Spider can be considered a natural form of pest control, as it preys on crop pests such as the cotton leafworm and cabbage looper. That said, it’s important to note that they might also prey on beneficial insects like honeybees. Therefore, their presence in the field must be carefully managed to ensure a balance between pest control and maintaining healthy pollinator populations.

Pros and Cons of Green Lynx Spider in Agriculture

Pros Cons
Preys on crop pests May prey on beneficial insects
Helps reduce pesticide dependency Potential harm to pollinators
  • Features of Green Lynx Spider:

    • Bright green color
    • Found on shrub-like plants
    • Largest North American lynx spider
  • Characteristics of Green Lynx Spider:

    • Predatory behavior
    • Active during the day
    • Builds webs as a means for capturing prey

Considering the Green Lynx Spider’s impact on agriculture, it is essential to strike a balance between encouraging their predatory behavior on crop pests while minimizing their harm to beneficial insects, such as honeybees.

Identification and Comparison

Variations Within Species

  • Green lynx spiders are a large, bright green species found on shrubs throughout the southern United States.
  • The largest North American lynx spider, females can measure up to 22 mm, while males are slightly smaller at 12 mm1.

Differences between males and females include:

  • Males: smaller in size with longer, more slender legs1.
  • Females: Larger in size and have thicker abdomens1.

Comparison with Other Species

Green lynx spiders (Peucetia viridans) can be easily distinguished from other lynx spiders, such as:

  1. Striped lynx spiders (Oxyopes salticus):

    • Smaller in size (4 to 7 mm) and have thin black lines on their chelicerae and legs2.
    • Important predators of corn earworms in cotton fields2.
  2. Jumping spiders (Phidippus audax):

    • Black with an irregular orange to white spot on their abdomen3.
    • Often found in gardens and homes3.

Comparison Table

Species Size Color Habitat Distinct Feature
Green Lynx Spider 12-22 mm Bright green Shrub-like Largest North American lynx spider
Striped Lynx 4-7 mm Thin black lines Cotton fields Thin black lines on chelicerae/legs
Jumping Spiders Varies Black, orange spot Gardens/Homes Irregular spot on the abdomen

Common Questions and Risks

Is the Green Lynx Spider Venomous?

Yes, the Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) is venomous, but its venom is considered harmless to humans. The bite may cause mild pain, itching, and swelling, but the effects are generally short-lived.

Aggressive Behavior

The Green Lynx Spider is not overly aggressive towards humans. However, it is quite aggressive when hunting prey, capturing them with its quick speed and powerful bite. The spider’s diet mainly consists of insect pests such as cotton field pests.

Some key features of the Green Lynx Spider:

  • Bright green color
  • Large size (up to 16mm)
  • Predatory nature
  • Venomous but harmless to humans

Comparison of Green Lynx Spider and Striped Lynx Spider

Aspect Green Lynx Spider Striped Lynx Spider
Size 12 to 16 mm Slightly smaller
Color Bright green Brown with black stripes
Markings on the face None Distinctive black markings
Diet Insect pests Insect pests

The Green Lynx Spider is an efficient predator of harmful insects in the wild and poses minimal threat to humans. While its venomous bite may cause discomfort, it is not known to be dangerous to people.

Conservation Efforts

The Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) plays an essential role in maintaining the balance of ecosystems. This spider helps control insect pests in cotton fields and other agricultural environments, as observed in Arkansas cotton fields.

Efforts to conserve the Green Lynx Spider revolve around preserving its natural habitat. Key factors in ensuring their survival include:

  • Environment: Protecting the natural surroundings where these spiders thrive.
  • Flowers & foliage: Preserving plant life that supports the spider’s prey population.

The following features contribute to the spider’s conservation:

  • Predator of agricultural pests
  • Positive impact on the food chain
  • Role in maintaining ecological balance

Here’s a comparison of the Green Lynx Spider’s habitat preferences:

Habitat Green Lynx Spider Presence
Cotton fields High
Gardens Moderate
Forests Low

In summary, conservation efforts for the Green Lynx Spider focus on maintaining a healthy and stable environment. By protecting the spider’s habitat and the diversity of plant life within it, we can ensure their continued contributions to ecosystem health.

Footnotes

  1. https://edis.ifas.ufl.edu/publication/IN521 2 3

  2. https://entnemdept.ufl.edu/creatures/MISC/SPIDERS/striped_lynx.html 2

  3. https://entomology.wsu.edu/outreach/bug-info/jumping-spider/ 2

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Green Lynx Spider eats Budworm while guarding Spiderlings on Woody Plant

 

Subject:  Green Lynx Spider eats Budworm
Geographic location of the bug:  Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Date: 10/23/2019
Time: 07:15 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
Exactly one month ago, I sent in images of a Green Lynx Spider that laid an egg sac on one of my medical marijuana plants, and this morning I noticed her eating a Budworm, and her brood has hatched.  I thought they would hatch in the spring.  What gives?
How you want your letter signed: Constant Gardener

Green Lynx Spider eats a Budworm while guarding brood.

Dear Constant Gardener,
Thanks for keeping our readership up to date on the mundane dramas in your garden.  Daniel has always thought that the eggs of Green Lynx Spiders would hatch in the spring.  Lower beasts are much more attuned to their environments than are most humans, and perhaps global warming is affecting the hatching cycle of Green Lynx Spiders.  According to the Orlando Sentinel:  “A green lynx spider’s egg sac is much easier to spot than the spider itself. The sac is a slightly bumpy, sand-colored container housing up to 600 bright orange eggs that will hatch within 11 to 16 days. The sac is about an inch diameter with one flat side and one rounded. After its construction is complete, the female spider surrounds the sac with a sketchy tent of randomly woven silky threads. She then protects it further by clutching it with her legs as she hangs upside down.”

Letter 2 – Green Lynx Spider eats Green Bottle Flies

 

Totally necessary carnage (lynx spider)
September 1, 2009
Hi! I just thought you might like to see this neat lynx spider who was devastating the fly population on my garbage can. Thanks for the site…it comes in useful for me all the time!!
Andrea
San Diego

Green Lynx eats Green Bottle Flies
Green Lynx eats Green Bottle Flies

Hi Andrea,
Your subject line caught our attention and made us cringe.  We are thrilled to see that once we opened your email, you misidentified the term carnage.  Your photo of a Green Lynx Spider feeding on Green Bottle Flies belongs in Food Chain.  Unnecessary Carnage is reserved for human instigated killing of insects and other creatures.  So often, Green Lynx Spiders, our favorite spider species, feed on pollinating insects.  It is a refreshing change to see them feeding on pestiferous species.

Letter 3 – Green Lynx Spider eats Green Bottle Fly

 

THRILLING ACTION SHOTS of PEUCETIA VIRIDANS!!!!
Hello Daniel and Lisa,
I’m a huge fan of your site so I was really excited when I identified this female Green Lynx Spider using your pages, which I saw that you consider your personal favorite spider. This beautiful bright specimen was quite patient with me while I took photos of it feasting upon this fly it had just snatched for lunch. Looking around the web, I saw that mid-meal shots of these guys are rather common, but I wanted to send mine to you anyhow. Your site has really helped fuel my lifelong loves of nature, photography and the internet. keep up the good work,
Zach Putnam
highland park (LA), CA

Hi Neighbor Zach,
It warms our hearts to know about your developing interest in nature, photography and the internet. Your photos are quite nice and we haven’t posted a recent Green Lynx Spider photo in quite some time.

Letter 4 – Green Lynx Spider eats Hairstreak Butterfly

 

Green Lynx Lunch
August 31, 2009
I know that this is a green lynx with a moth, but I thought the picture was a good one. Everyone I show it to says something like “ewwww, or thanks for the nightmares” so I thought I’d show it to someone who would appreciate it. 🙂
I also snapped a shot of her boyfriend who was a couple leaves away from her on the rosebush.
Kelli the spider lover
San Marcos (San Diego County) CA

Green Lynx Spider eats Hairstreak Butterfly
Green Lynx Spider eats Hairstreak Butterfly

Dear Kelli the spider lover,
The prey in your photo is actually one of the Hairstreak Butterflies and not a moth.  Green Lynx Spiders do not build a web to capture prey, but rather ambush flying insects from a tall perch, like a blossom on a rose bush.

Green Lynx Spider
Green Lynx Spider

Letter 5 – Green Lynx Spider eats Honey Bee on Cannabis

 

Subject:  Green Lynx Spider eats Honey Bee on Cannabis
Geographic location of the bug:  Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
Date: 07/15/2021
Time: 09:24 AM PDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
This is not the first time I have seen a Honey Bee on my Cannabis.  The herb is pollinated by the wind.  Why are the Honey Bees attracted to my Cannabis?
How you want your letter signed:  Constant Gardener

Green Lynx Spider eats Honey Bee

Dear Constant Gardener.
Thanks for your Food Chain image.  We don’t know why Honey Bees are attracted to
Cannabis.  There is a lengthy article on Bee Culture called Bees and Cannabis that states:  “The cannabis plant is mostly wind pollinated and therefore has not evolved to attract bees. It does not produce a smell that would attract bees, nor is it colorful and finally, and most importantly, it is unable to provide a reward in the form of floral nectar. As those familiar with Apis mellifera know, it is nectar and not pollen that is required by bees to make honey. But the male plant does provide pollen in some circumstances. The existing scholarly article on the topic (Dalio, J.S., 2012) notes that cannabis pollen seems to be a food of last resort for bees. The author notes that bees (in India where the observations occurred) turned to cannabis plants as a source of protein but only visited male plants during times of dehiscence when the male plant’s reproductive organs released pollen and that bees were only interested in that pollen during a pollen dearth.”

Letter 6 – Green Lynx Spider eats Skipper

 

A photo for your “food chain”
Bugman!!
I love catching these shots. I was trimming my butterfly bushes today when I ran across this Green Lynx feasting on a butterfly. Enjoy!
Sheila
Savannah, GA

Hi Sheila,
Thanks for sending in your wonderful photo of a Green Lynx Spider feeding on a Skipper. We also just cut back a dead tomato plant and found a fat female Green Lynx Spider that we relocated onto a live tomato plant. We are currently preparing for a lecture we have been asked to present next Sunday at the Los Angeles County Fair in conjunction with the Fair Exchange art exhibition. Our lecture will be devoted to creatures that a fair visitor might encounter at the Pomona fairgrounds and surrounding LA County vicinity. Your hefty digital file will save us the time of searching through our archives for an image to print and laminate for our lecture.

Letter 7 – Green Lynx Spider eats Yellow Jacket

 

Survival of the fittest
Hi guys,
I check your site daily. I find it endlessly fascinating! I found this struggle between the yellow jacket and some sort of spider going on this morning on my barbed wire fence. Can you identify the spider? I don’t normally see such light-colored spiders. Thanks for your help.
Susan Rockwell
Alva, FL (Southwest Florida)

Hi Susan,
Your spider, the Green Lynx Spider, was our featured Bug of the Month for November. We are especially fond of these hunting spiders that do not build webs, preferring instead to leap at flying insects. In our garden, they frequently perch on flowers like roses and daisies, and the coloration of the spider blends with the foliage of the plants. Thanks for sending us your awesome Food Chain image.

Letter 8 – Green Lynx Spider from Botswana

 

Subject:  Green Lynx Spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Botswana
Date: 08/20/2019
Time: 07:56 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hello
I found this spider in Botswana 2018. I searched in the Internet and it looks like it must be a Green Lynx Spider. But that one only exsist in America. What is your opinion?
How you want your letter signed:  Greetings, Niklas.

Green Lynx Spider

Dear Niklas,
You are correct that the North American Green Lynx Spider,
Peucetia viridans, is not native to Botswana, but the genus is represented in Africa as evidenced by this FlickR image from Madagascar and this FlickR image from Mozambique.  The large pedipalps indicate that your individual is a male. 

Update:  September 1, 2019
Thanks a lot for your reply,
So here’s some evidence that it also exists in Botswana. We found it at our previous home in Dekar close to Ghanzi, Botswana.
Greetings

 

Letter 9 – Green Lynx Spider Having a Snack?

 

You bet it is.
(09/10/2004) Hello from Houston Tx
We caught this cool pic of what I believe to be a Green Lynx munching on a leaf footed bug (we have a bunch of leaf footed bugs on our young pecan tree) We live in a suburb of Houston (Katy Tx).
We moved into our home about a year ago and we have been trying to make our large backyard into a sort of wildlife haven for our 4 children to enjoy and learn . We planted Butterfly weed, morning Glory Passion flower, and all sorts of other flowers and foilage. The Butterfly , Hummingbird, and Tree frog response has been fantastic! The unexpected insect population has been even more fascinating! I never cared for "Bugs", but over the summer I have developed a big interest! Seeing creatures that I have never seen before.
A couple of weeks ago we found a Assassin bug on one of our vines. Iwas researching on the internet trying to Identify this creature to see if it was harmful to our vegetable garden, when I stumbled upon your site. Since then I have been a daily WHAT’S THAT BUG visitor, and my wife has used it for reference in the classroom! (She is an Environmental Science Teacher at the High School level) Needless to say , I credit your extremely Cool site for sparking this interest in me (at the ripe old age of 37), and my wife is thankful for anything that keeps me off the golf course!
Thanks
Tony Fossee

Hi Tony,
We get many letters that make us feel good about our humble site, but yours is one of the best. I am so happy to hear we are helpful and have had a positive influence. Yes, your spider is a Green Lynx, Puecetia viridans. It is our favorite spider. I once saw one leap about a foot to capture a butterfly, which it missed, but I was still impressed. If you are a recent visitor to our site, you should know that we usually go offline about mid month due to heavy traffic.
On a side note, we were just approached to do a limited edition What’s That Bug? calendar, and we would love to include your letter and photo. Most of our favorite letters are so old we cannot even contact the senders, but I wanted you to have a heads up. Thanks again for the warm letter and have a nice day
Daniel

Letter 10 – Green Lynx Spider Having a Snack?

 

You bet it is.
(09/10/2004) Hello from Houston Tx
We caught this cool pic of what I believe to be a Green Lynx munching on a leaf footed bug (we have a bunch of leaf footed bugs on our young pecan tree) We live in a suburb of Houston (Katy Tx).
We moved into our home about a year ago and we have been trying to make our large backyard into a sort of wildlife haven for our 4 children to enjoy and learn . We planted Butterfly weed, morning Glory Passion flower, and all sorts of other flowers and foilage. The Butterfly , Hummingbird, and Tree frog response has been fantastic! The unexpected insect population has been even more fascinating! I never cared for "Bugs", but over the summer I have developed a big interest! Seeing creatures that I have never seen before.
A couple of weeks ago we found a Assassin bug on one of our vines. Iwas researching on the internet trying to Identify this creature to see if it was harmful to our vegetable garden, when I stumbled upon your site. Since then I have been a daily WHAT’S THAT BUG visitor, and my wife has used it for reference in the classroom! (She is an Environmental Science Teacher at the High School level) Needless to say , I credit your extremely Cool site for sparking this interest in me (at the ripe old age of 37), and my wife is thankful for anything that keeps me off the golf course!
Thanks
Tony Fossee

Hi Tony,
We get many letters that make us feel good about our humble site, but yours is one of the best. I am so happy to hear we are helpful and have had a positive influence. Yes, your spider is a Green Lynx, Puecetia viridans. It is our favorite spider. I once saw one leap about a foot to capture a butterfly, which it missed, but I was still impressed. If you are a recent visitor to our site, you should know that we usually go offline about mid month due to heavy traffic.
On a side note, we were just approached to do a limited edition What’s That Bug? calendar, and we would love to include your letter and photo. Most of our favorite letters are so old we cannot even contact the senders, but I wanted you to have a heads up. Thanks again for the warm letter and have a nice day
Daniel

Letter 11 – Green Lynx Spider in Florida

 

Green Lynx Spider
Hi! I just found your site. It’s really neat! I thought you might enjoy this picture I took of what I think is a Green Lynx Spider. I found it hanging out on one of my roses last summer (in northeast Florida).
Love,
Grace

Hi Grace,
The Green Lynx Spider is our favorite spider in the world. Thanks for sending your gorgeous photo.
Jumping Spider eats Cockroach
(02/10/2007) Spider eating cockroach
Hi Mr. Bugman,
‘Tis me again from Halls Head, Western Australia. This spider took almost 2 hours to demolish a fair sized cockroach, he then returned about an hour later to check for left overs. I have looked on your site and in my books, is it a Grey Crevice Jumping Spider please? Thank you, cheers,
Karen
P.S. I did send this back in Dec/January but I think you must be still mega busy….

Hi Karen,
This is a Jumping Spider in the Family Salticidae, but we do not know what species. Without going into the myriad reasons we are unable to answer each and every question that is sent to us, we will say that if your letter does not get answered within three days, chances are very good that it will not get answered since so many additional letters have arrived and we try to devote time to the newest arrivals when we are selecting what to answer on a given day. Additionally, a catchy subject line generally catches our eye, and a subject line that reads “no subject” generally gets ignored.

Letter 12 – Green Lynx Spider in Mexico

 

Subject: Green spider
Location: San Jose del Cabo, B.C.S., Mexico.
May 30, 2013 10:56 am
Hello,
I live in a semi desertic area located in Los Cabos, Mexico, and found a spider i never seen before just outside my house. I want to know if its in any way harmfull as we appreciate bugs that arent a danger to us or our pets.
Signature: Luis Meza

Green Lynx Spider
Green Lynx Spider

Hi Luis,
This is a harmless Green Lynx Spider.  They are hunting spiders that do not spin webs to trap prey.  They blend in with foliage or sometimes hide in blossoms, and they pounce upon unsuspecting flying insects with amazing accuracy, often from a great distance.

Letter 13 – Green Lynx Spider Lays Egg Sac on Woody Plant

 

Subject:  Green Lynx Spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Mt. Washington, Los Angeles, CA
Date: 09/23/2019
Time: 04:15 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Dear Bugman,
Harvest season is here and I noticed this very swollen Green Lynx Spider on the second generation descendant of a seed that came from a Woodhead bud purchased at Cornerstone Collective about three years ago.  I harvested the plant on Saturday, but on Friday I noticed the Green Lynx Spider was much thinner and she was now guarding an egg sac.  Needless to say, I did not need the buds on half of the bifurcated stem, so I tied an orange tag on the stem that reads “Spider Nursery” and I will let her live out her days guarding her eggs before I harvest the remaining buds so she will have habitat around her.
How you want your letter signed: Constant Gardener

Green Lynx Spider

Dear Constant Gardener,
We always enjoy your submissions, but because of your self sacrificing impulse regarding the survival of your Green Lynx Spider’s brood, we are bequeathing you with the Bug Humanitarian Award.

Green Lynx Spider with Egg Sac

Letter 14 – Green Lynx Spider from Madagascar

 

Subject:  Two insects from Madagascar
Geographic location of the bug:  Madagascar
Date: 03/16/2018
Time: 04:31 AM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi,
I had the good fortune to visit Madagascar last September.  While I was there I accumulated a wealth of pictures of the native species. I have two insects that I cannot identify and I would like to request your help.  The first is a caterpillar that I saw in Ranomafana National Park in Madagascar.  The second is an unusual yellow banded spider that does not appear to be Nephila inaurata, also from Madagascar.  I am in the process of writing a post on unusual insects from Madagascar for my website www.traveltoeat.com.  Like you, my website is a labor of love but I would be happy to cite you and link to your site as the source of the identification. I really have looked everywhere and I just cannot identify these two insects. With many thanks.
How you want your letter signed:  Kurt Buzard

Subject:  Malagasy Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia madagascariensis)
Geographic location of the bug:  Madagascar
Your letter to the bugman:  Sorry for writing again so soon but I don’t know any other way to contact you. I had literally just written to you for help in identifying the Malagasy green lynx  spider when I happened upon a page of lynx  spiders. Sorry, no need to identify that one but I would still like to know what you think of the fuzzy white caterpillar. I think it’s great that you take on the task of identifying unknown insects and I will certainly link to your page on my website. Thanks again.
How you want your letter signed:  Kurt Buzard

Lynx Spider

Dear Kurt,
Thanks for writing back with your identification of
Peucetia madagascariensis.  We found images on iNaturalist and on Encyclopedia of Life to verify your identification.  We will attempt to identify your caterpillar. 

Letter 15 – Green Lynx Spider pounces on a Bee

 


Daniel.
Thanks for the ID. I really appreciate it. Keep up the excellent work
with the site. I attached a couple of photos of Lynx Spiders for your viewing pleasure.Take care,
Adam

Hi again Adam,
The Green Lynx photo with the captured bee is a nice addition to our site.

Letter 16 – Green Lynx Spider shelters eggs sac from torrential rains

 

Spider in the Rain
Location: South Pasadena, CA
December 21, 2010 1:03 am
Here’s the lynx spider sheltering her egg sac from the rain.
Signature: Barbara

Green Lynx shelters Egg Sac

Dear Barbara,
Thanks for continuing to send us documentation the female Green Lynx Spider living in your garden.  We have stated previously that the strong maternal behavior exhibited by this species is rivaled by few other species of spiders, though the Nursery Web Spiders are named because of their protective instincts.  Since our Mt Washington offices are but a few miles from South Pasadena, we know that this protective Green Lynx has already kept at least five inches of precipitation from drenching her eggs during this Pineapple Express storm that is predicted to be the worst in a decade by the time the rains subside on Thursday.

Update: December 30, 2010
Hi Daniel.  I’m sad to report that the Green Lynx Spider did not survive.  Too much rain and nothing to eat I suppose.  The egg sac looks collapsed as well.  I haven’t taken pictures, because it’s just too sad, but I have left it on the roses, hoping the baby spiders will emerge in some kind of Charlotte’s Web happy ending.

Hi Barbara,
Green Lynx Spiders only live a single season, so this death is not unusual.  We hope you see some young spiderlings in the spring.

Letter 17 – Green Lynx Spider with Egg Sac

 

Giant lynx spider with egg-sac?!!
October 5, 2009
Hi,
I found this HUGE lynx spider at my aunts house last week. It was guarding what looked like an egg sac. The spider was about an inch long, with large mandibles, and big, hairy legs. The egg sac was about half the size of a gum ball, but shaped like a gumdrop, with a flat bottom and a domed top. The outside was golden brown, and looked like curly wool.  I thought you guys would like to see these pictures since you don’t have any showing an egg sac. I hope you enjoy these shots. Keep up the good work.
Josh Kouri

Green Lynx Spider with Egg Sac
Green Lynx Spider with Egg Sac

Hi Josh,
Thanks so much for sending in your photos of a Green Lynx Spider with its egg sac.  We actually have images buried in our archives of female Green Lynx Spiders guarding their eggs.

Green Lynx Spider guarding Egg Sac
Green Lynx Spider guarding Egg Sac

Letter 18 – Green Lynx Spider with Egg Sac

 

I Found the Lynx Spider
Location: South Pasadena, CA
December 12, 2010 10:37 am
I was very happy to spot this lynx spider mother. I’ll keep on eye on her and try to get some baby spider pictures.
Signature: Barbara

Green Lynx with Egg Sac

Dear Barbara,
We are happy that you have located your female Green Lynx Spider and that she has produced an Egg Sac.  She will defend it against any potential predator, and the seemingly fearless mother does not even seem intimidated by a human thousands of times her size approaching her precious clutch.  Luckily, Green Lynx Spiders are not harmful to humans.

Letter 19 – Green Lynx Spider with egg sac

 

Subject:  Green lynx spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Kernersville, NC
Date: 09/22/2021
Time: 03:31 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hi, I spotted this new (to me) visitor to my yard a couple of weeks ago. She captured a little bee while hanging out on a cedum and guarded him for a while ( you can see it’s still present but long dead). Today, I noticed what I believe to be the egg sac. It’s been raining a few days so I don’t know when it was formed. Pretty cool.
How you want your letter signed: KB

Green Lynx

Dear KB,
Now that your Green Lynx Spider has laid an egg sac, you will be able to watch her fearlessly defend her brood.

Thank you for the information. I believe the rain will move out tonight and I can spy on her over the coming days. Any idea how long they take to hatch or whatever it’s called with spiders
KB

Hi again KB,
This seems late in the season for a hatching.  Our guess is they will over winter and hatch in the spring.

Letter 20 – Green Lynx Spider with spiderlings

 

Green Lynx & Babies
I think this is a Green Lynx. She had at least 100 babies running around her when I took this picture. She would try to get in front of them, every time I moved to get a better picture of all of them!
Laurie

Hi Laurie,
A mother Green Lynx Spider will fiercely defend her brood.

Letter 21 – Green Lynx Spider on Woody Plant

 

Subject: Spider on woody plant
Location: Mt Washington, CA
August 21, 2017 5:59 pm
Dear Mr. Bug,
There is a lovely green spider living on my woody plant. My boyfriend insists that this spider is just guarding the plant from other, more nefarious bugs. It is quite a beautiful spider and has black hairs on its legs. What is it? And will this spider eat my stigmas?
Thanks!
Signature: Lady Nugs

Green Lynx Spider

Dear Lady Nugs,
Goodness gracious, Mt. Washington seems to be a fertile environment for growing woody plants.  Your boyfriend is correct.  Spiders are predatory and not phytophagous, so your plants are safe.  This is a Green Lynx Spider, and the shape of the pedipalps indicates this is a female.  We did need to brush up on our botany regarding the “stigma”, so we headed to Encyclopaedia Britannica to rediscover that “The gynoecium, or female parts of the flower, comprise the pistils, each of which consists of an ovary, with an upright extension, the style, on the top of which rests the stigma, the pollen-receptive surface.”  Your images are gorgeous, and the detail is incredible.  It is our experience that Green Lynx Spiders gravitate toward plants where they will be well camouflaged.  Your Green Lynx Spider blends in perfectly with the inforescence also visible in the image.

Green Lynx Spider

Letter 22 – Green Lynx Spiderlings

 

Baby spiders, bee, grasshopper
Hi! Thought you might enjoy these pix of: newly hatched linx spiders (hard to tell on small picture, but when I zoom in they look just like Mom), cute bee (maybe you can ID this one?), and a big grasshopper on a cactus. Thanks for the wonderful site.
Best Wishes,
Donna in San Diego

Hi Donna,
Thanks for the images of the Green Lynx Spiderlings.

Letter 23 – Green Lynx Spiderlings emerge from egg sac

 

Daniel, the green lynx spiderlings emerged
Location: South Pasadena, CA
January 24, 2011 12:40 am
I was happy to spot these tiny spiders yesterday morning.
Signature: Barbara

Green Lynx Spiderlings

Hi Barbara,
Thanks so much for continuing to document to the life cycle of the Green Lynx Spider in your garden.  Your hatchling Spiderlings are so cute.  The weakest among them will most likely provide food for their more aggressive siblings, ensuring that only the most robust individuals with the best survival skills will contribute to the gene pool of future generations.  Since we both know that Daniel is the only person who deals with the content of What’s That Bug? I can dispense with the use of the royal we in this response.  I am currently creating some homemade signage to post in Elyria Canyon Park where there is a patch of native milkweed,
Asclepias eriocarpa, that comes up every year, though it sometimes gets trampled to the ground when brush clearance is too aggressive along the paths.  I would like permission to use some of your monarch caterpillar photos with the signage, though I have never seem any Monarch Caterpillars at the location.  More on this later because I will be late for work if I don’t tear myself away from the computer now.

Green Lynx Spiderlings

Letter 24 – Green Lynx Spiders, Mating???

 

Any idea’s?
These guy’s (?) were taken in north Alabama. Don’t know exactly what they are doing or what they are.
Bud Watkins

Hi Bud,
We know some things and can speculate on the rest. These are Green Lynx Spiders, Peucetia viridans, our personal favorite spiders. The spider on the left, or as we reproduced your image, on top, is a female. The other appears to be a male. This seems to be a mating ritual. It could end in dinner for the lady. Great photo.

Letter 25 – Lynx Spider eats Pod Boring Bug while Freeloader Flies share the feast in Australia

 

aussietrev foodchain
February 19, 2010
Hi guys,
Thanks for clearing up that velvet ant gender. This Lynx spider has caught herself a pod boring bug but is having to share it with minute flies that feed on the victims of spiders. I guess they must be immune to the effects of venom or feed before it has made its way through the body of the bug.
aussietrev
Queensland. Australia

Common Lynx Spider and Freeloader Flies eat Pod Sucking Bug

Hi Trevor,
This is such an intricate Food Chain image and we are impressed with the excellent focus and detail on the individuals.  The Common Lynx Spider is well represented on the Brisbane Insect website, but the prey you have indicated, the Pod Sucking Bug, is not recognizable in your photo.  We did locate images of the Pod Sucking Bug, Riptortus serripes, on the Brisbane Insect website.  You sent us another example of Kleptoparasitism with Freeloader Flies last year, and we did extensive research at that time on the phenomenon.  These Freeloader Flies are in the family Milichiidae, and the Biology of Milichiidae page has this information:  “Another very interesting feature of Milichiidae behavior is kleptoparasitism or commensalism. Species of several genera suck at the prey of spiders or predatory insects such as Reduviidae, Asilidae, Mantidae, or Odonata. Mostly they are attracted to predators feeding on stink bugs (Pentatomidae) or squash bugs (Coreidae) (Frost 1913, Robinson & Robinson 1977, Sivinski & Stowe 1980, Landau & Gaylor 1987). In almost all cases it is only the females that are kleptoparasitic. In some cases a close association between milichiid and predator has been postulated, because it was observed that the fly “rides” on the predator for some time, staying with the one predator rather than changing between different predators (Biró 1899, Robinson & Robinson 1977).
”  Irina Brake is the expert on this fascinating family.
Interestingly, in the past two days, we have received numerous beetle corrections from a Dr. Trevor J Hawkeswood of Australia, and we lamented that we have not had any recent submissions from you.

Common Lynx Spider and Freeloader Flies feed on Pod Sucking Bug in Australia

Letter 26 – Lynx Spider eats some Flies in Australia

 

Food Chain of Events
Thu, Mar 5, 2009 at 9:50 PM
Hi guys,
It appears these two small flys were having an argument and didn’t notice the lynx spider coming to make a meal of both. One of the flys looks like a common long legged fly but the bright blue one is a new one for me. It appears to have two large forward facing eyes, reminiscent of a jumping spider, set into a metallic looking carapace. Strange one eh?
aussietrev
Queensland, Australia

Lynx Spider gets Two-fer
Lynx Spider gets Two-fer

Hi Trevor,
Your photos always amuse us.  This tangle of bodies is quite wonderful.  Seems as though the Spider got a double meal, though it is uncertain that is will suck the fluids from both flies.

Lynx Spider eats two flies
Lynx Spider eats two flies

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

7 thoughts on “Green Lynx Spider: All You Need to Know in a Nutshell”

  1. Thank you very much for the quick response!, i will definilly take care of them. There was actually a huge infestation of white moths in the state last year, probably the spiders are the obvious natural counter meassures.

    Last year you could see kilometers with plants totally covered of coweb of white moths, it was escandalous :/

    Reply
  2. Thank you very much for the quick response!, i will definilly take care of them. There was actually a huge infestation of white moths in the state last year, probably the spiders are the obvious natural counter meassures.

    Last year you could see kilometers with plants totally covered of coweb of white moths, it was escandalous :/

    Reply

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