Ground Crab Spider (Xysticus spp.)
Detailing the identifying qualities of the Ground Crab Spider, including physical features and territorial reach.
Updated: 1/20/2014; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Ground Crab Spider wanders around until it can pounce on an unsuspecting insect victim.
Crab spiders get their name from the resemblance they share with the crustacean as they walk and when they sit at rest. Their crab-like appearance is linked to the slightly longer sets of front legs than back legs. Ground Crab Spiders are able to walk sideways and backwards as well as forward. Not all spiders can do this.
They sit on flowers and leaves, ambushing their prey as it visits the plant. Butterflies, bees, flies and beetles are all targets. The strong front legs are used to grab the insect and then it is quickly bitten and immobilized.
Males use silk to gently secure females before mating. Females lay fertilized eggs in silken sacs that they guard until spiderlings hatch. The Ground Crab Spider does not weave a web for trapping prey.