Family Thomisidae – Crab spiders

Family Thomisidae – Crab Spiders
Live crab spiders macro photographed at
various North American locations.
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Northern Crab Spider
Northern Crab Spider
Crab spiders (often called flower spiders) are known for their oversized front legs and superficial resemblance to the familiar crustacean seafood item. Species in Thomisidae have camouflage which makes them nearly invisible when lying in wait on or near flowers, where they snag unwary insects blundering within range while nectaring. Their prey includes butterflies, flies, beetles, and bugs.

Somehow, crab spiders seem to take on the colors of flowers on which they sit. It is only against the neutral background of automotive carpeting that the true jade-green colors of this spider really stand out.

Like all spiders, crab spiders go through a simple metamorphosis.  Young crab spiders hatch from eggs and look like tiny adults.  They shed their skin as they grow. Most live for less than 1 year. Females produce hundreds of eggs in the fall, and the offspring hatch in the spring.

Golden crab spider
Golden crab spider Misumenoides sp.

Crab Spider
Misumenoides sp.
Crab Spider
Misumenoides formocipes
Crab Spider
Xysticus sp.
Crab Spider
Synema sp

  1. Paul Hillyard, Private Life of Spiders (New Holland Publishers Ltd, 2007)
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