Insect Identification
Insect Identification

Running Crab Spider - (Philodromus spp.)

Authored By Staff Writer | Last Updated: 1/30/2014

The Running Crab Spider is always on the hunt for food. Its remarkable speed make it a stealthy predator while simultaneously making it hard to catch.

These fast-moving spiders are agile enough to outrun predators as well as human hands trying to collect them. Their camouflage coloration makes it difficult to spot them in nature when they aren't moving.

Running Crab Spiders have a front pair of legs that look longer than the back legs, but they really aren't. They are close relatives to members of the Crab spider family so it may be easy to mistake them. The way they hold and use their front legs is similar to true Crab Spiders.

Running Crab Spiders do not spin silk webs to catch insects. They chase them down, bite them to inject their venom and consume them when they like.

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Category: Spider
Common name: Running Crab Spider
Scientific Name: Philodromus spp.

  Kingdom: Animalia
   Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
     Order: Araneae
      Family: Philodromidae
       Genus: Philodromus
        Species: spp.

Adult Size (Length): 2mm to 11mm (0.08in to 0.43in)

Identifying Colors: brown; black; tan; red

Additional Descriptors: spiny, spots, crab-like, biting, venomous, hairy

North American Reach (Though Not Limited To*): Alabama; Alaska; Arizona; Arkansas; California; Colorado; Connecticut; Delaware; Florida; Georgia; Hawaii; Idaho; Illinois; Indiana; Iowa; Kansas; Kentucky; Louisiana; Maine; Maryland; Massachusetts; Michigan; Minnesota; Mississippi; Missouri; Montana; Nebraska; Nevada; New Hampshire; New Jersey; New Mexico; New York; North Carolina; North Dakota; Ohio; Oklahoma; Oregon; Pennsylvania; Rhode Island; South Carolina; South Dakota; Tennessee; Texas; Utah; Vermont; Virginia; Washington; West Virginia; Wisconsin; Wyoming; Alberta; British Columbia; Manitoba; New Brunswick; Newfoundland and Labrador; Nova Scotia; Ontario; Prince Edward Island; Quebec; Saskatchewan; Mexico

* Keep in mind that insect reach is not governed by lines on a map and therefore may appear in areas/regions/states beyond those listed above.