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Running Crab Spider (Philodromus spp.)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Running Crab Spider.

 Updated: 3/4/2019; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




The Running Crab Spider is always on the hunt for food, stealthily stalking and rapidly dispatching insect prey.



These fast-moving spiders are agile enough to outrun predators as well as human hands trying to collect them. Running Crab Spiders do not spin silk webs to catch an insect. They chase it down, bite it to inject spider venom, and then consume it when convenient. With such alarming speed, it is a comfort to many that this spider remains a small one.

The camouflage brown and tan mottling on a Running Crab Spider makes it difficult to spot it in leaf litter and on tree trunks if it sits motionless. The front pair of legs may look longer than the back legs, but they really are the same length. The way these front pairs of legs are held and how they are used when moving is similar to true Crab Spiders. It may be easy to mistake a Running Crab Spider for a Crab Spider as they are close relatives, but true Crab Spiders have much longer front legs than back legs.

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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Philodromidae
          Genus: Philodromus
            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Philodromus spp.
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 2mm to 11mm (0.08in to 0.43in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; black; tan; red
Descriptors: spiny, spots, crab-like, biting, venomous, hairy
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
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
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Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
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.




Spider Anatomy
Graphic showing basic parts of spider anatomy
1
Legs: Spiders have four pairs of legs and these are attached to the cephalothorax.
2
Pedipalps: Small appendages near the mouth used as taste and smell organs.
3
Cephalothorax: Contains eyes, head, mouthparts, and legs.
4
Abdomen: Contains various organs related to digestion, reproduction, and web-making.
5
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).