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Slender Crab Spider (Tibellus spp.)

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

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Image Credit: Carol in DeSoto, IL
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Image Credit: Joseph M. from Payson, AZ
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Thanks to their narrow bodies and cryptic coloring, the small Slender Crab Spider is difficult to see.

Updated: 07/09/2021; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
Slender Crab Spiders are a long and skinny group of seemingly hairless spiders. There are a handful of species in North America, and they all share a slender physique. Many are pale tan or ivory with a dark brown line of color that runs from the front of the face to the tip of the abdomen. These types of spiders hunt in turf, backyard lawns, and grassy fields where narrow bodies and linear coloring help hide or disguise them among their prey. They may sit on a blade of grass with four legs stretched in front of them and four stretched behind them to further reduce their profile. Females lay eggs in narrow egg sacs placed on thick blades of grass and then guard the sac until the spiderlings hatch. Look for Slender Crab Spiders in open lots with patches of grass or fescue, and well as lawns, fields, and other grassy areas.

General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
Insect biting icon
Striped or banded insect icon


Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Philodromidae
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          Genus: Tibellus
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            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Tibellus spp.
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 11mm (0.19" to 0.43")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: tan, brown, white, green
Descriptors: line, spine, stripe, pale, skinny, narrow, biting

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 5mm (0.2in) and 11mm (0.4in)
Lo: 5mm
Md: 8mm
Hi: 11mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Slender 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 Slender Crab Spider. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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