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Bark Crab Spider (Bassaniana versicolor)


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



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Image Credit: Arch Baker
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Image Credit: Arch Baker
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Image Credit: C. Wilson taken in Bailey, CO
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The long and thick front pairs of legs on the Bark Crab Spider help explain part of this arachnid's name.



Updated: 01/26/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
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.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Fast insect icon


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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Thomisidae
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          Genus: Bassaniana
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            Species: versicolor
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Bassaniana versicolor
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 4mm to 7mm (0.15" to 0.27")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black, tan
Descriptors: crab, fast, wide, speckled
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Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 4mm (0.2in) and 7mm (0.3in)
Lo: 4mm
Md: 5.5mm
Hi: 7mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
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State of New Jersey graphic
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Canadian territory of Alberta graphic
Canadian territory of British Columbia graphic
Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
Canadian territory of New Brunswick graphic
Canadian territory of Newfoundland and Labrador graphic
Canadian territory of Ontario graphic
Canadian territory of Quebec graphic
Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Bark Crab Spider may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Bark Crab Spider. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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