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Bark Crab Spider (Bassaniana versicolor)

Detailing the identifying qualities of the Bark Crab Spider, including physical features and territorial reach.

 Updated: 2/5/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©

  Bark Crab Spider  
Picture of Bark-Crab-Spider
Picture of Bark-Crab-Spider Picture of Bark-Crab-Spider

The long and thick front pairs of legs on the Bark Crab Spider help explain part of this arachnid's name.

When moving, Bark Crab Spiders resemble a crab by walking sideways or backwards as well as forward. The long front pairs of legs are helpful in restraining insect prey while it is bitten. The black spider is covered in light brown or ivory speckles. The speckling patterns vary between species. It may allow the spider to more closely resemble bird droppings or variations in tree bark coloring, making it easier to catch unsuspecting insects. The abdomen is wide and flat.

Bark Crab Spiders do not bark. They silently roam the exterior of trees, searching for insects to eat. Bark Crab Spiders are usually found in woods, forests and parks on tree bark, though they also include short plants, the forest floor, and areas under stones and dead wood as part of their hunting ground. They are active hunters and do not spin webs for ensnaring prey. Spider silk for this species may be mostly reserved for courting, where males adorn prospective females with strands of silk.

Picture of the Bark Crab Spider
Picture of the Bark Crab Spider

Bark Crab Spider Information

Category: Spider
Common Name: Bark Crab Spider
Scientific Name: Bassaniana versicolor

Taxonomy Hierarchy

 Arrow graphic Kingdom: Animalia
  Arrow graphic Phylum: Arthropoda
   Arrow graphic Class: Arachnida
    Arrow graphic Order: Araneae
     Arrow graphic Family: Thomisidae
      Arrow graphic Genus: Bassaniana
       Arrow graphic Species: versicolor

Size, Identifying Tags and Territorial Reach

Size (Adult, Length): Size (Adult, Length): 4 mm to 7 mm (0.156 inches to 0.273 inches)
Identifying Colors: black, tan
Additional Descriptors: crab, fast, wide, speckled

North American Territorial 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

A Note About Territorial Reach: Keep in mind that an insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above. Insects are driven by environmental factors, food supplies and mating patterns and do not nescessarily work within hard-and-fast territorial lines like we humans do.

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