Though the Black Tail Crab Spider lacks giant claws, it makes up for it with mighty jaws and a great work ethic.
Crab spiders have longer front legs that sit more forward on the body than typical spiders. Their back pairs of legs are so much shorter and further back than the front pairs that it gives them the appearance of a crab. This particular species is very tiny and reddish-brown. The abdomen is wide and round but also flat on top. The bottom has a black crescent-shaped black mark at the end of the abdomen, as if its rear end was dipped in black ink.
Crab spiders do not use a web to catch prey. They ambush insects, lying in wait inside or on flowers. Because this spider preys on insects that may damage plants and flowers (like aphids and certain beetles), it is considered helpful to the garden ecosystem. They have also been found on piled wood and tree bark. The Black Tail Crab Spider will grab its insect prey, using its long and strong front legs to help pin the victim down. It then bites the prey with its strong jaws, immobilizing it with venom for later consumption. The Black Tail Crab Spider is not known to bite humans,however, and it takes little interest in our activity. Their venom is not poisonous.
Scientific Name: Synema parvulum
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 7mm (0.20in to 0.27in)
Note: 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 as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.
Legs: Spiders have four pairs of legs and these are attached to the cephalothorax.
Pedipalps: Small appendages near the mouth used as taste and smell organs.
Cephalothorax: Contains eyes, head, mouthparts, and legs.
Abdomen: Contains various organs related to digestion, reproduction, and web-making.
Spinnerets: Used in the production of spider silk for fashioning webs or catching prey.
NOTE: Unlike insects, spiders have both an endoskeleton (internal) and exoskeleton (external).