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Goldenrod spider

Misumena vatia

These spiders, like the other Thomisidae, have characteristics normally associated with crabs: their first two pairs of legs are longer and often held apart, ready to catch their prey, and they scuttle sideways when disturbed.

The females are yellow or white. Their abdomens, wider toward the rear, have two bright pink longitudinal stripes. They are from 6 to 11 mm long, without their legs. The males are smaller (3 to 5 mm) and darker. Their legs and bodies are reddish brown, with a white mark above the eyes.

Crab spiders


It’s easy to understand why the Thomisidae are called “crab spiders”: their flattened bodies, the way they often hold their front legs apart, ready to catch their prey, and the way they scuttle sideways when disturbed.

They are from 1.5 to 11.3 mm long. Their first two sets of legs are generally longer than the others. They are used for hunting, while the four hind legs are used for movement. These spiders generally move sideways or backwards.

Many species use mimicry to camouflage themselves in their surroundings.

Some resemble bird droppings, while others can even change colour to match the flower they are living and hunting on.

The males are often much smaller than the females. In some genera, the two sexes are quite dissimilar, even of different colours.

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