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Crab Spider (Tmarus spp.)


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



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Image Credit: Cline J. from Louisville, KY
Full-sized image of the Crab-Spider-Tmarus Thumbnail image of the Crab-Spider-Tmarus

Crab Spiders quirky way of walking and abnormally long front legs hint at their distant relationship to familiar marine crabs.



Updated: 01/26/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Crab Spiders have front legs that are considerably longer than the back pairs. Species in the Tmarus genus tend to stretch them out in front of themselves while resting on branches and twigs. This position resembles that seen in Long-jawed Spiders and can make it difficult to recognize that they are spiders. Tmarus Crab Spiders have brown mottled coloring that camouflages them, adding to their inconspicuous habits.

Crab Spiders are active hunters and do not spin webs to trap prey. Their ability to blend in with foliage makes it easier for them to capture unsuspecting insects. The longer front legs can be useful in holding down insects while trying to bite them. Crab Spiders wander indoors sometimes, but are usually found in gardens and on plants.




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




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Thomisidae
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          Genus: Tmarus
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            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Tmarus spp.
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 3mm to 5mm (0.11" to 0.19")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown, tan
Descriptors: legs, straight, front, skinny, venomous
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Range Between 3mm and 5mm
Lo: 3mm
Md: 4mm
Hi: 5mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
State of Arizona graphic
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State of Colorado graphic
State of Delware graphic
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State of Nebraska graphic
State of Nevada graphic
State of New England graphic
State of New Jersey graphic
State of New Mexico graphic
State of New York graphic
State of North Carolina graphic
State of North Dakota graphic
State of Ohio graphic
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State of South Carolina graphic
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State of Tennessee graphic
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State of Utah graphic
State of Virginia graphic
State of Washington graphic
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State of Wyoming graphic
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 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 Crab Spider. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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