The green lynx spider, scientifically known as Peucetia viridans, is a bright green spider commonly found on shrub-like plants throughout the southern United States 1. It is essential to know if their bite is poisonous since these spiders are frequently encountered in various environments.
While the green lynx spider is a predator of insect pests, their bite does not pose a severe threat to humans 2. Symptoms associated with spider bites can vary, but in the case of a green lynx spider bite, you may experience minor itching or pain at the site of the bite, without any significant complications 1.
Understanding Green Lynx Spider
Identification and Physical Features
The Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) is a unique and easily recognizable spider species. Some key features include:
- Bright green color, which helps with camouflage in vegetation
- Long, spiny legs
- Part of the Oxyopidae family
Habitat and Distribution
Green Lynx Spiders have a wide distribution in North America. Here are some of their common habitats:
- Found in Central America, Mexico, and California
- Predominantly inhabit warm climates
- Commonly found in cotton fields, where they prey on insects
Example: In Arkansas cotton fields, green lynx spiders have been observed as important predators of insect pests, alongside their relative, Oxyopes salticus.
Below is a comparison table of both spider species:
|Feature||Green Lynx Spider||Oxyopes salticus|
Green Lynx Spider Behavior
Diet and Prey
The Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) is a beneficial predator in agricultural fields, particularly cotton fields. They feed on various insect pests, including corn earworms (Helicoverpa zea) and several moth species1. Some examples of their prey include:
- Corn earworms
- Cabbage pests
However, these spiders also consume beneficial insects, which may have mixed effects on agricultural pest management2.
Predators and Threats
Green Lynx Spiders, like other spider species, face threats from various predators. Some common predators include:
- Larger spiders
Despite their predation, Green Lynx Spiders remain abundant in gardens, yards, and agricultural fields throughout North America3.
Reproduction and Spiderlings
Green Lynx Spiders lay egg sacs on plants. These orange eggs are protected within a silk sac, and female spiders often guard the egg sacs until the spiderlings emerge4. Some key points about their reproductive behavior:
- Females lay egg sacs on plants
- Orange eggs within a silk sac
- Spiderlings emerge from the egg sac
In conclusion, the Green Lynx Spider is an interesting and helpful predator in many agricultural settings. Its diet consists mainly of insects, but it may also consume beneficial insects. The spider faces various predators, but populations continue to thrive in gardens, yards, and agricultural fields. Reproduction involves laying orange eggs in silk sacs on plants.
Bite: Is It Poisonous?
Bite Symptoms and Effects on Humans
The green lynx spider (Peucetia viridans) is not considered dangerous to humans. Its bite may cause:
However, these symptoms are generally mild and temporary. The green lynx spider’s venom does not cause severe reactions or potentially deadly consequences in humans like some other venomous spiders do.
Comparing with Other Venomous Spiders
Two venomous spiders known to pose more significant risks to humans are the widow spiders and the recluse spiders. Let’s compare their bites and symptoms with the green lynx spider:
|Green Lynx (Jumping) Spider||Pain, swelling, redness||Mild, temporary|
|Widow Spiders||Sharp pain, nausea, muscle aches, diaphoresis, and abdominal pain||Potentially severe but with proper treatment, usually non-fatal|
|Recluse Spiders||Pain, redness, and ulcer formation; possible necrosis and systemic symptoms||Can lead to severe complications if left untreated|
In summary, the green lynx spider poses minimal threat to humans compared to widow spiders and recluse spiders. Its bite may cause discomfort, but the effects are generally mild and short-lived.
Prevention and Safety Measures
Green lynx spiders, though not considered highly venomous, can still cause discomfort with their bites. To minimize exposure and prevent bites, follow these safety measures:
Wear proper clothing: Dress in a long-sleeved shirt, long pants, and socks. Tuck your shirt into your pants and pant legs into your socks for extra protection.
Use gloves: When working outdoors or handling objects in areas where spiders may be present, wear gloves to protect your hands.
Choose appropriate insect repellents: Apply DEET or other effective insect repellents to exposed skin or clothing, as per the product instructions.
Ensure safe indoor insecticides: When necessary, use safe indoor insecticides in your home to keep spiders at bay, specifically in the Southern U.S where green lynx spiders are more common.
When comparing methods, consider the following:
|Clothing||Provides physical barrier||Can be uncomfortable in hot weather|
|Gloves||Protects hands||Reduces dexterity|
|Insect repellent||Keeps various insects away||Must reapply|
|Insecticides||Controls indoor infestations||Chemical exposure|
Bear in mind that green lynx spiders are also beneficial predators that help control insect pests. It’s essential to find a balance between protecting yourself from bites while allowing these spiders to play their part in the ecosystem.
Images and References
The Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) is a hunting spider found in the Southern United States, known for its bright green color and black spines. They can often be found on low shrubs, where they display excellent camouflage abilities.
This spider is known to prey on various insects, including moths, larvae, cotton leafworms (Alabama agrillacea), cabbage loopers (Trichoplusia ni), and even honey bees. In some cases, the green lynx spider can be beneficial for crops as it helps control pests like the corn earworm (Helicoverpa zea).
An interesting feature of this spider is its ability to spit venom for defense. However, their bites are mostly harmless to humans, causing only mild pain and red spots.
As for appearance, the green lynx spider has a bright green body with red patches and white appressed hairs. The female guards her eggs and is larger than the male.
Here’s a quick comparison between Green Lynx Spiders and their close relative, Oxyopes viridans:
|Feature||Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans)||Oxyopes viridans|
|Location||Southern United States||Widespread|
|Camouflage||Excellent on low shrubs||Similar|
|Prey||Moths, larvae, bees, wasps, flies||Similar|
Scientific classification of Green Lynx Spider:
- Family: Oxyopidae
- Genus: Peucetia
- Scientific name: Peucetia viridans
Overall, the Green Lynx Spider is an interesting creature that plays an important role in controlling pest populations. While their bites are not considered harmful to humans, it’s essential to exercise caution around them, especially given their ability to spit venom.
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 – Brown Lynx Spider and overachieving Mantis
Hi there … Iwas cleaning out the e-mail cache and it occurs to me that I ’m still not sure what this spider may be? I’ve also attached a “Predator and Prey ”shot from this summer that you might enjoy . Thanks for the website …great pics …great resource!
Great website and looking for a little help identifying this bizarre spider that has been taking its much welcomed toll on our local beetle population. Seeing that you were in Ohio recently, this might be right up your alley! Our garden is located in the southwestern part of the state in Middleto wn. Thanks, and keep up the good work!
We are very happy you decided to resend your image. Summer months are our busiest and we get upwards of 140 letters per day. Logistically, we can only answer a small fraction, and many letters go unread. This is a new species for our site, the Brown Lynx Spider, Oxyopes scalaris. Lynx Spiders are hunting spiders that do not build webs. Your image of a Preying Mantis with and overachiever complex is very funny.
Letter 2 – Bug of the Month: November 2007 – Green Lynx Spider
I live in central florida. … As for the green spider, i am terrified of them but i am also very curious as to what
type it is. i am assuming it is female since it seems to have and egg sack. thanks for you help in advance,
Your spider is a Green Lynx Spider, and the female has just
laid eggs. It is time for us to choose a Bug of the Month
for November, and we are going to post your Green Lynx Spider
image as the Bug of the Month. This fascinating spider is
found more commonly in warmer climates, and not that winter
is approaching, our northern readers will not be writing in
much. Readers from Florida, Texas, California and other warmer
climates will start to notice Green Lynx Spiders now that
they have matured and are larger. Green Lynx Spiders are harmless.
They are hunting spiders that do not build webs, with the
exception of building a sparse web at the time of laying eggs.
Your mother spider will defend her egg sack fearlessly, and
once they hatch, the orange spiderlings will begin to disperse.
Letter 3 – Camouflaged Lynx Spider
Lynx Spider Camouflaged on peach tree bark
Location: Mount Washington, Los Angeles, California
May 11, 2014
We haven’t had a chance to post this image after more than a week, mostly because the quality is rather bad, however, in light of a sighting in nearby Silverlake several years ago, we thought it would be nice to acknowledge that this Lynx Spider in the genus Hamataliwa is also present in Mount Washington. See BugGuide for additional information and for better images.
Letter 4 – Green Lynx and Hummingbird
Green Lynx sharing Hummingbird feeder
September 1, 2009
I live in central Gerogia and have Green Lynxs in my garden. Recently I saw this one perched on a bird feeder. Even as the hummingbird feeds, the spider stays true to the hunt. I hope you enjoy!
Your letter is the third awesome Green Lynx image we are posting today. It is our experience that Green Lynx Spiders are attracted to pink and red flowers where they wait to ambush pollinating insects. We doubt that this Green Lynx could capture the Hummingbird, but we posted several images a few years ago of a Golden Orbweaver that had captured a Hummingbird in its web. There is also a photo on the internet of a Golden Silk Spider that captured a Mannikin Finch in Australia.
Letter 5 – Green Lynx eats Honey Bee and secures nesting site
A chameleon lynx spider?
Location: South Pasadena, CA
November 4, 2010 11:15 pm
I’m sending two pictures, which were taken six days apart. I’m nearly certain it’s the same spider. Apparently a lynx spider, though not all that green. It seems to have changed color to conceal itself. It also seems to be displaying a nice pink peace sign, although it’s quite a killer.
Judging by the size of your Green Lynx Spider, she is getting ready to lay eggs. Your second photo shows a tangle of silk that she will probably use as a nesting site if she is not disturbed. She will remain in the vicinity of the egg sac guarding it and the emerging spiderlings if she lives that long. There is variation in the coloration of Green Lynx Spiders and your pink individual is most attractive. BugGuide has a posting of a similar pink female and there is discussion about a comment by Lynette Schimming that older females sometimes turn red. When she lays eggs, we hope you will send us some additional photos.
Letter 6 – Green Lynx eats Honey Bee on Woody Plant
Geographic location of the bug: Mt. Washington, Los Angeles
Time: 04:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman: I spotted this couple at brunch on Saturday afternoon while visiting Mt. Washington. My friend, Constant Gardener, mentioned that honey bees do not pollinate Cannabis. What led this sweet little honey bee astray?
How you want your letter signed: Melanie on the Irish Chain
Dear Melanie on the Irish Chain,
Your friend and WTB? contributor Constant Gardener is correct that Honey Bees do not pollinate Cannabis, which is pollinated by the wind. Earlier this year, we were surprised to see Honey Bees on wind pollinated, endangered California Black Walnuts. We are confident pollination was not the goal of the Honey Bee, but we can’t think of a logical reason it would visit the plant and fall prey to that Green Lynx Spider that was so well camouflaged among the leaves. Surprisingly, we found many images online of Honey Bees and Cannabis. According to the Science Explorer: “Many people are calling the man who trained bees to make honey from marijuana a genius. It is something many have talked about doing, but no one has been able to successfully pull it off. At least until now, of course. His name is Nicholas Trainer. … Trainer managed to train his bees to make honey after gathering resin from the cannabis plants. ‘I have trained bees to do several things, such as collect sugar from fruits, instead of using flowers,’ Trainer said. “The aim arose for me to get the bees to obtain this resin.” By using what he calls “a training technique whereby the bees collect the resin and use it in the beehive,” Nicholas and his bees, which are solely responsible for the final substance, have created the world’s first batch of cannahoney.” According to Real Farmacy: “Many are calling him a genius. He is an artisan, locksmith and above all else, he explains, a beekeeper. He has accumulated over 4,300 Facebook followers, and 700 on Instagram, after the 39-year-old Frenchman — who describes himself as an advocate of medical cannabis and of complete cannabis legalization — trained bees to make honey from cannabis. He goes by the nickname of Nicolas Trainerbees, for obvious reasons. For 20 years, he has worked with bees in a way he claims allows him to “train” them to make honey from virtually anything.” According to The Organic Dream: “Nicholas says that he was told by many people that it couldn’t be done, that the marijuana plant was not capable of being pollinated by the bees, who normally specialize in flowering plants, and that even if he succeeded, the bees would be harmed in the process. But after twp years of trials Nicholas has found that the process actually works really well, and the bees are not harmed at all, in fact they seem to love it! He concludes that as bees have no endocannabinoid system, they are not affected by the cannabinoids in the same way that humans are, that sometimes makes them drowzy or lethargic.” According to Weedistry: “From what we know, bees are attracted to brightly colored flowers that produce pollen and nectar. Most cannabis is pollinated by wind and the flower color is not normally bright enough to attract bees. The male cannabis plants produce pollen but most cannabis that is grown is from the female sinsemilla plants that are not pollinated and do not produce seeds. If bees were to pollinate marijuana it would be at a complete last resort but don’t worry about the bees getting ‘high’. Bees do not contain receptors that connect to the cannabinoids found in marijuana so they will not feel the buzz that people feel.” Perhaps a bee-keeper in Mount Washington is training Honey Bees as well, which could explain your Food Chain image. The plant in your image does not appear to have any buds yet, so the reason the Honey Bee was lured to this plant is still a mystery.
Letter 7 – Green Lynx eats Yellow Jacket
Cool Green Spider
Location: Panhandle of Florida
September 17, 2011 4:20 pm
I noticed our hummingbirds weren’t using this particular feeder and then I saw why. This big yellowjacket killing spider took up residence underneath it. I took this picture and relocated the spider. Do you know what kind of spider it is?
Signature: Jeff Gibbs
Your spider is known as a Green Lynx, and it is a hunting spider that does not use a web to snare prey. Green Lynx Spiders are often found on blossoms where they wait for pollinating insects, and we are amused that it had taken up residence on this nectar substitute. We don’t believe the Green Lynx would prevent the hummingbirds from visiting the feeder. Yellow Jackets can be ornery, and it is our theory that if the Yellow Jackets frequent the feeder, they may be keeping the hummingbirds away.
Letter 8 – Green Lynx guards brood
Location: Rose Hill/Montecito Heights
October 15, 2013
Wow, if the Green Lynx has fans here are a few more shots.
She laid her eggs some time ago but I just around to photographing her this week. The first photo is from 10/10/13 and the other two I took just a few minutes ago so 10/15/13. As far as I can tell she has not been hunting and stays with her brood 24/7.
I hope all is well over the hill.
Your photo of this magnificent Green Lynx Spider eating a male California Mantis did garner 15 “likes” on our site. She probably gained enough on that single meal to enable her to lay this clutch of eggs. She will continue to guard them after they hatch, and indeed until the spiderlings disperse. If she survives, she will begin feeding again and she may even produce a second or even a third brood. Green Lynx Spiders do not build webs to snare food, but they do build webs to guard their young.
Letter 9 – Green Lynx guards Eggs
Green Lynx Protects Egg Sac
October 24, 2010 9:30 am
Hi Bugman. Everytime I hike Split Oak Preserve in Orlando I see quite a few green lynx spiders. You posted one of my photos of a lynx eating a bumblebee. This is the first ”mother” I’ve seen, though. My husband’s arm got too close and she assumed the defensive position over the egg sac quickly. Thought you might enjoy another pic of your favorite spider.
Thank you for providing us with this wonderful image of maternal instincts, the Green Lynx Spider guarding her Egg Sac.
Letter 10 – Green Lynx Spider
green spider in roses
I have several beautiful spiders that are hanging out in my roses. They catch unsuspecting bugs that go there to eat the rose or fly by, no web. They are beautiful, but I’ve never seen anything like them. I have three living on my roses. The largest one is about 1 1/2 across with prickly legs. I can take more pictures if you’d like. They have all become larger over the past week or so. I was able the feed one a small green grasshopper by hand the other day. They are very fast when they strike. Thanks!!
Despite you not providing our readership with a location for your sighting, we are posting your marvelous image of a Green Lynx Spider, Peucetia viridans. We find them in Los Angeles in our vegetable and flower garden each year and we never tire of observing their remarkable hunting skills. They are found from coast to coast in the southern states.
Letter 11 – Green Lynx Spider
Green Lynx Spider?
Love your site. I found this really cool spider while I was trimming the bushes. She is a female, and had 1000s of young spiders in the web behind her, so I trimmed the bushes all around but left her home intact. Looks like a Green Lynx Spider, based on other pictures I’ve seen. What do you think?
Yes, this is a Green Lynx Spider, but those things behind her look like plant seeds to us.
Thanks for the reply. Those are plant seeds. You can’t see the young spiders in the picture – they are hiding deeper in the web, and out of focus. If you look closely, there is a big egg mass just below her. When I blew on the web, the young crawled everywhere, then eventually ran back in.
Letter 12 – Green Lynx Spider
Green Lynx Mother
You probably tire of hearing it, but your website is *the* best insect reference on the web, bar none. I know from studying your site you really like the green lynx spider, so these will probably not be your best bunch of photos — I am continually amazed at the quality of the photos your readers send in — but I wanted to share them with you anyway. I have a small specialty crop farm, and as such have quite a large insect population, both beneficials and harmful species. I started noticing the green lynx spiders on my basil crops, and then they quickly discovered the sunflowers and zinnias and seem to prefer them. A few months ago, a big, beautiful female green lynx started living on one of my giant sunflowers. It was interesting to visit every day and see what large insect meal she had nabbed. Most of the time we were thrilled to see she’d captured another glassy-winged sharpshooter or tree hopper or leaf hopper (all cool insects, but hard on my flowers). Sadly, she also caught a bumblebee or two, but such is the price to pay to keep her around doing pest patrol. As her sunflower house started dying, we were able to successfully move her to the zinnia bed. She was surprisingly amenable, but it probably was because by then she was pretty large with eggs. In fact, it was hard to imagine how she could still creep up on or jump out at prey. After we moved her to the zinnias, she chose this lime-colored flower (naturally, it is a good color for her!) as her new home. A couple of weeks later, we found her with her new egg sac on the underside of her flower. Not long thereafter, we caught the edge of Hurricane Rita and her high winds. We thought this would bother Mama enough to move her babies, but she merely picked another green flower stem to move them to. A few weeks later, they started hatching. As you’ve mentioned, she is fiercely protective. Every time we go to peek at their progress, she comes out and situates herself between us and them. It appears they are all hatched now. It took several days. They are still hanging out close to Mama, but growing quickly. We’re hoping many decide to stay on with us as part of our Pest Control Department.
What a wonderful letter. It is nice to hear our readership sharing wonderful critter experiences instead of the endless stream of erradication questions we field. Confidentially, we have taken to just deleting those without answering. We do have a streak of vanity and never tire of getting compliments on the site, but we maintain the site would be nothing without the readership. You are far too humble. Your photos are every bit as great as others we receive. thanks for your contribution.
Letter 13 – Green Lynx Spider
Subject: What is the name of this spider?
Location: Medina, Texas
November 9, 2014 7:55 pm
Found this spider on a watermelon in our garden. Have not been able to identify it. Can you help?
Signature: Jim Callaway
The harmless Green Lynx Spider, a hunting spider that does not build a web to snare prey, is one of our favorite spiders. Female Green Lynx Spiders, like your individual, guard their egg sacs against any perceived threat.
Thanks Daniel. Spiders are not my favorites, but this is a very pretty and unique one. I appreciate your help with the identification. You made my wife happy. She can quit looking in all her books now!
Letter 14 – Green Lynx Spider
Subject: Walk Through Natural Area Turns Up Interesting Critters
Location: Juno Beach, Florida
December 2, 2015 12:06 pm
Hello Whats That Bug!
Love your site – use it all the time to identify the small creepy crawlies we find on Palm Beach County natural areas. Usually I can successfully find the critters name while looking through the photos on your web site. I am having a bit of trouble with a pesky caterpillar which defies identification. It was found at Juno Dunes Natural Area in Juno Beach, Florida. There were several on the same plant. Any help in naming this guy (I’m calling him Harry for now) will be appreciated. I am also including two other photos taken during my walk through Juno Dunes Natural Area – one of a Carolina mantid (didn’t see wings, so I’m assuming it is a juvenile) and a lynx spider (I assume it is a green lynx, but it doesn’t look quite right). Thanks for all you do to ensure the proper identification of insects and arachnids!
Signature: Ann Mathews
Your image of a Green Lynx Spider is positively gorgeous, and because we do not need to do any research, we can post it immediately. Your other requests will require a bit or more of research, and we are postponing that until later. Additionally, because your three attached images represent three unrelated groups of Arthropods, we will be creating three separate postings.
Thanks for replying so quickly. Okay, so I at least had the green lynx spider identified correctly. I guess the mantid may be an exotic Chinese mantis – I was looking up pictures of them at the same time and thought there might be a possibility that the mantid in my picture was an exotic. And for now, the caterpillar’s name will remain “Harry” until further notice. I appreciate all your help – What’s That Bug has made updating our natural area wildlife listings much easier!
Letter 15 – Green Lynx Spider
Subject: Spider in the Flower Garden
Location: Menifee, California
January 12, 2017 10:15 am
We recently moved from Santa Ana, Ca. to Menifee, Ca. nearer my wife’s parents to care for them and one day my wife spotted this amazing spider in her Aunt’s flower garden. She said that the size of the one flower is about the size of a half-dollar. Haven’t seen the spider since then but will keep and eye open for them.
Signature: David Nadzam
This is a nice female Green Lynx Spider, one of our favorite species on What’s That Bug? and this is quite late in the year to see one. Judging by her size, she is eating well, and she may be ready to lay some egg sacs that she will guard. Green Lynx Spiders do not build webs to snare prey, but rather, they pounce on their prey, often from a great distance. Green Lynx Spiders are frequently found on blossoms in the garden.
I will definitely go looking through Patti’s Aunts flower bed come the spring for more of them. Maybe I can get some on my side of the street here to hunt through my bonsai trees.