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Green Crab Spider (Misumessus oblongus)


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



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The lime Green Crab Spider is adept at ambushing insect prey in flowers, striking when they least expect it.



Updated: 07/06/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
A member of the Crab Spider family, this arachnid is able to walk forward, sideways and backwards, like its namesake. The extremely long front legs of the Green Crab Spider help it grab prey insects like bees, butterflies, and beetles while they are collecting pollen or drinking nectar on the same flower. Its second pair of legs is usually larger, longer, and stronger than any other pair. A bright, almost neon green, the Green Crab Spider is tiny, easily hiding among petals. Sometimes it is in plain view and disregarded as part of the plant. Its slender abdomen may have a diamond, or kite-like shape. Red bands along the side of the abdomen may or may not be present.

The Green Crab Spider is a wandering hunter, climbing up plants, searching for insect prey on flowers, in fields, on grass, and in shrubs. It does not spin webs, though a male may use his silk to cover a potential female mate, which is almost twice his size. The female lays her eggs in a sac made of her own spider silk and keeps it close. Females die before the spiderlings hatch.




General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Thomisidae
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          Genus: Misumessus
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            Species: oblongus
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Misumessus oblongus
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 3mm to 7mm (0.11" to 0.27")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: green; red
Descriptors: legs, crab, lime
Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 3mm (0.1in) and 7mm (0.3in)
Lo: 3mm
Md: 5mm
Hi: 7mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
State of Alabama graphic
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State of Delware graphic
State of Florida graphic
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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
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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 Green 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 Green Crab Spider. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.

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