Crab Spider

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Crab spiders, or the “macrocheira kaempferi,” belong to the arthropod family. Crab spiders are named so because of their size and resemblance to both crabs and spiders.

Google “crab spiders” and you will see mesmerizing images of them. Some suggest that crab spiders are human eaters! They can live for at least one hundred years and weigh more than 20 kg during their lifetime. Crab spiders use camouflage-hunting techniques to trap their prey.

Scientifically, its poisonous bite is not dangerous to humans but they hurt a lot. The females of the species are aggressive hunters rather than the male ones. The females, are also the ones to be aware of when they have eggs. They stand like an unmovable guard until the eggs hatch.

If one bites you, you will feel excruciating pain like a hammer blow on the nail. The cut grows to double its size, the nail turns black, the finger discolors and the pain shifts from the fingers to the hand. The symptoms only subside after a few hours.

However, for other preys, they are quite the passive hunters. They remain at one place waiting for the prey. After they trap the prey, they suck them dry. In addition, they move a lot less; they can keep sitting at one place for weeks and not budge a bit.

Crab spiders have marvelously developed eyesight. It is extremely difficult to spot them instantly with the naked eye because they camouflage. Only when you nudge them do they sway their tentacles like a crab.

There are many genera of crab spiders found all over the world, with the most common being the flower crab spiders (genus misumena).

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Identifying a Crab Spider

Filed under: Crab Spider,General Facts About The Crab Spider - 09 Jul 2013  | Spread the word !

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Since the term ‘crab spider’ is commonly applied to many spider species, many people have a hard time identifying it. However, this term is most nearly consistently to members of the Thomisidae family, among which it refers most often to the familiar species of ‘flower crab spiders’.

Generally, crab spiders are found outdoors and, interestingly, do not make a web. What they do instead is catch their pray with their front legs. Another interesting fact about this species is that the crab spider can actually remain in the same place – a flower, for example – for days, or even weeks, until its dinner arrives.

Without further ado, here are some tips that will help you identify crab spiders easily.

Crab spiders are usually found on flowers, rocks, leaves, bark or soil, so these are the places you should look first. These spiders just sit around waiting for their prey, without spinning webs.

Crab spiders change their color to match their background, which makes them harder to find. Their colors range from pale yellow to white and even green, depending on what they are sitting on. This is why you may have to observe a flower or leaf for quite a while before being able to detect a crab spider sitting on it, since their camouflage ability is quite impressive.

Their legs are also something you want to observe. Remember that their first four forward legs are extended out to the sideways and are usually a bit longer than the rear four legs. In this respect, crab spiders are very similar to crabs.

If you have managed to detect a crab spider in one of its preferred habitats but still aren’t sure that you have found what you’re looking for, a good idea would be to tease the spider by gently poking it with a twig. If the spider widens its legs and moves sideways, then you are lucky to have found a crab spider. This spider will also wave its “tentacles” in the same way that water crabs do.

Besides these great tips, here are some other pieces of information on the crab spider that will help you know the species better.

  • The crab spider is 1/10” to 2/5” long (4 to 10 mm);
  • This species is not poisonous to humans; it is only poisonous to its prey;
  • It can be found worldwide, but lives mostly in North America;
  • Crab spiders eat insects and bees, which they immobilize by injecting their venom;
  • Finding crab spiders indoors is very rare. However, since they prefer sitting on flowers, you should check the flowers you cut from your garden before bringing them in.

Hopefully, these tips will be very useful in case you want to find a crab spider or, on the other hand, if you are keen on avoiding this species.

Image source: wikiHow

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The Bite Of A Crab Spider

Filed under: Crab Spider - 07 Jun 2013  | Spread the word !

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Crab spiders are an absolutely unique species of spiders. They don’t build webs to catch their prey. Actually, crab spiders have the ability to use camouflage and ambush with the purpose to catch a prey. They are colorful spiders, which can perfectly blend into the environment. The crab spider can be seen on plants or flowers, where it sits waiting for its prey. Some crab spider species have the ability to chance colors, depending on the environment in which they live.

Well, one of the main questions that people ask regarding crab spiders is if they are poisonous or not. Can a crab spider hurt with its bite? Are any of the crab spider family poisonous? Are crab spider venomous? Are crab spider poisonous to humans? These are just few of the most common questions regarding this species. Do not worry, as you will find all the answers here.


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Crab spiders possess venom, which they need to hunt. Hunting is done with the use of the camouflage technique. So, what these spiders do is blend in with the environment, waiting for a prey. When the prey comes, they grab it with their powerful front legs. They hold the prey while paralyzing it with a venomous bite. So, crab spiders do possess venom, which they use to catch a prey. However, in case you get bitten, you should not be that worried.

The venom of a crab spider is not deadly to humans. The bite can be deadly to insects, but humans should not fear these spiders. However, there can be cases in which people develop complications due to a crab spider bite. Such complications can include irritation, allergic reactions, as well as severe itch. Still, such reactions are only experienced in few cases. In the great majority of situations, there are no problems linked to the bite of a crab spider.

There are cases in which people are allergic to the venom of the crab spider, too. In such situations, seeing a doctor is important for diagnosis and treatment.

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Crab Spiders In Videos

Filed under: Crab Spider - 13 May 2013  | Spread the word !

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Crab spiders are extremely interesting. This is a spider that has the ability to change colors, depending on the environment in which it lives. The crab spider is a predator which awaits for its prey patiently. It hunts using the camouflage technique and can feed with all kind of insects. Below you can watch an extremely interesting video in which you will see a crab spider hunting a bee. This is a white crab spider.

Crab spiders prefer living in nature, where they can find their prey. This is why crab spiders will commonly be seen in gardens, on plants and flowers. A crab spider will avoid encounter with humans, as well as with other animals. Below you can watch a cute video on the encounter between two dogs and a white crab spider.

Japanese Spider Crabs are the largest arthropods in the world. They live in the waters around Japan. This is an absolutely impressive species you can watch for yourself in the video below.

Worldwide there are known to exist more than 2000 species of crab spiders. About 200 species can be found in the United States. They don’t need to build webs when willing to catch a prey. Crab spiders can remain for days, sometimes even weeks, in the same spot, waiting for their prey to come. Patient predators, crab spiders commonly have short, wide, flat bodies. They can easily be distinguished by their large first two pairs of legs.

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Crab Spider Hunting Technique

Filed under: Crab Spider - 29 Apr 2013  | Spread the word !

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Crab spiders can easily be recognized. These spiders don’t build webs to catch a prey. They actually have a really interesting hunting technique. Crab spiders base their feeding on camouflage and ambush. This means that these colorful spiders have the ability to blend in the environment in which they live. No matter if they can be found on leaves, flowers or plants, crab spiders will use the camouflage technique, waiting for their prey. In many cases flies and bees can actually sit on these spiders, being unable to see them. Crab spiders are patient predators. They can wait for as long as necessary for flies and bees. There are some crab spiders which can change colors to match the flower on which they seat.

Below you can watch a video in which you will be able to see a yellow crab spider seating on a yellow flower. The spider is quite hard to be noticed, perfectly blending with the environment. The spider’s hunting method can also be seen in this video.

Spiders are by nature predators and crab spiders make no exception from this point of view. The crab spider is extremely interesting, being one of the few species of spiders which is able to distinguish itself inside flowers and plants. This spider will hunt only the moment when a prey sits near it. The crab spider has very strong front legs, which will be used when hunting. With these front legs, the crab spider will wrap its prey. Then, with the use of its venom, the prey will be immobilized. Crab spiders are not very picky when it comes to what they eat. This means that they can feed with all kind of insects, including butterflies and bees. The spider will wait until an inset sits in its proximity and only then will attack.


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The crab spider is such a patient predator that it can actually wait for days for the prey to come to it. One of the most curious facts about crab spiders is that they are color blind. How they are able to take the exact color of the environment in which they hunt is extremely interesting from this point of view, if not actually fascinating. There are many colors that crab spiders can take, from yellow to white. Their ability to change colors varies from one species of crab spider to another.

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Crab Spider: Diet and Habitat

Filed under: Crab Spider - 19 Mar 2013  | Spread the word !

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Crab spiders are among the most interesting species in the world. These spiders can be found in gardens, plants and flower beds all around the United States. As crab spiders are able to use the camouflage technique when hunting, they can be quite difficult to see, taking the color of the environment in which they live. Despite what you may imagine at first, you should know that the venom of a crab spider is not dangerous to humans.


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Habitat

A crab spider is able to live in a wide range of habitats. It can be found on all continents, with the exception of Antarctica, but most species can be seen in the United States. Crab spiders live in all states of America and it is actually believed that there are more than 120 species of crab spiders in this country. Over 2000 species can be found throughout the whole world.

One of the most interesting facts about crab spiders is that they are able to live in all type of climates. They can adapt to temperate, terrestrial and tropical climates easily. They can live in grasslands, deserts, forests and wetlands, too. This means that crab spiders are not really picky and they can easily make a home in all type of habitats, regardless of their specific. There is no wonder after all that they can be found all around the world.


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Diet

The diet of a crab spider is interesting, too, as crab spiders actually live anywhere they can find food. Crab spiders commonly feed on insects. They sit on leaves or flowers and plants and wait for their prey. In some cases, the prey actually sits on them, as crab spider use the camouflage technique to hunt. After catching the prey, the crab spider will infect it with venom.

Variations in the diet of a crab spider are commonly going to depend on the availability of different foods where it lives. Diet can be much or less diverse depending on what the crab spider can find in different periods of the year, as well.


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So, a crab spider will pick a habitat depending on its possibilities to find food there. Since crab spiders are not picky when it comes to diet, they can find food in all areas of the world.

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It’s Better To Avoid Crab Spiders

Filed under: Crab Spider - 26 Feb 2013  | Spread the word !

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There are numerous species of crab spiders existent. One of the most important characteristics of the crab spider, is that this specie is able to take the color of the environment in which it lives.The preferred habitat of most crab spiders will be flower blossoms, but they can also be found all around gardens, including on woods, fields and at edges.


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Crab spiders can see perfectly, having a good eyesight. Crab spiders will use this feature to be able to catch their prey.The crab spider will hunt the moment when the bee sits on the flower. Since the crab spider has very strong front legs, it will use them to be able to hunt.


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It’s interesting that the crab spider is color-blind, aspect which makes the ability of the species to take the exact color of the pant on which it sits even more fascinating.

Nonetheless, the crab spider is not a dangerous species either and it will not commonly seek the encounter with humans.In fact, most people are not going to be affected in any way by the crab spider bite. Of course, at first you may experience a soft discomfort, but that is all you will feel after the crab spider bite.


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There are people who are allergic to the venom and in this case, diagnosis and treatment have to take place fast. The common crab spider has less than one centimeter length. The giant crab spider can, however, shock with its dimensions, measuring more than 2.5 cm. In their natural habit, crab spiders will most likely hunt in nature, preferring flowers and vegetation areas.


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The best hunting technique a crab spider has, it is camouflage, so it will be very hard to distinguish it from its habitat. Although the crab spider it is not usually venomous, it is better to avoid the places where it lives or do not travel to those areas where you know it is its habitat. This way, you will avoid unpleasant circumstances.

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Tips To Identify A Crab Spider

Filed under: General Facts About The Crab Spider - 01 Feb 2013  | Spread the word !

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A crab spider is an interesting creature, but also controversial. Crab spiders resemble crabs and catch their prey using their front legs. Such creatures can sit in a flower, a leaf or any other place for days or even weeks, waiting for a prey.


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To identify a crab spider, you should take into consideration the following:

  • Physical features: 1/10” to 2/5” (4 to 10 mm) long
  • Walking forwards, sideways or even backwards
  • They usually sit on bark, rocks, leaves, soil or flowers
  • Crab spiders don’t spin webs

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  • Colour ranges from pale yellow to white or green, their colour is changing in order to match the background, so look for a longer time to a flower or bark to observe this creature
  • Observe their legs: the first forward legs jut out sideways and are usually a bit longer than the rear 4 legs

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    To be sure that it’s a crab spider, you should tease it by gently poking with a twig. If it moves sideways and widens its legs, then it’s a crab spider for sure. Plus, they will wave their tentacles in the same way with crabs.


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    Keep in mind that crab spiders don’t spin webs to catch their prey and they are camouflage hunters which wait patiently for their prey to come to them.

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Curious Facts And Information About Crab Spiders

Filed under: Crab Spider - 19 Nov 2012  | Spread the word !

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Crab spiders belong to the Family Thomisidae. Their name has been established due to their resemble with crabs. Crab spider have crab-like appearance and movements. They have two large and strong front legs that crab spiders usually use to hunt their prey.


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Below you can read numerous other interesting facts about crab spiders.

  • Crab spiders are quite unique, being different from all other types of arachnids.
  • Crab spiders are believed to have really unique feeding habits.
  • They utilize the camouflage technique to the able to hunt their prey.
  • Crab spiders have the ability to change their color, depending on the environment in which they live.
  • Crab spiders await for their prey to come to them.
  • They use their venom to be able to kill the prey.
  • Crab spiders kill through a poisonous bite.

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  • The bite of the crab spider is not harmful for humans. However, some people may be allergic to the venom.
  • Crab spiders produce eggs within a few weeks after mating.
  • The eggs are deposited into two silken eggs sacs. Females commonly remain close to them, to offer them protection.
  • Crab spiders undergo a series of changes until becoming mature and fertile.
  • These spiders can easily hide in flowers, waiting patiently for their prey.
  • Crab spiders belong to the family of Thomisidae.
  • Crab spiders have 8 legs. The first four are larger and stronger than the back 4 legs.
  • Most commonly, crab spiders can be found outdoors, as this is the environment in which they can hunt.
  • Crab spiders range in color from pale yellow to white or green. These spiders change their color to be able to match the environment in which they decide to live. This environment can be a flower, a leaf or anything outdoors, including rocks.
  • It takes about 10 to 25 days for a crab spider to change its color and match the flower it sits on.
  • The eyesight of these spiders is really excellent.

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  • When they spot a possible enemy, crab spiders move very fast. They usually tend to avoid the encounter with humans.
  • The common crab spider is impossible to mistake with the Japanese crab spider, as this species lives only in the waters around Japan.
  • When they are protecting their egg sacs, female crab spiders are extremely aggressive.


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Crab spiders are rarely found indoors, as they prefer sitting on flowers. This is why you should be very careful in checking flowers before taking them into your home.

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All You Should Know About The Japanese Spider Crab

Filed under: Crab Spider - 25 Oct 2012  | Spread the word !

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The Japanese spider crab is a very interesting species that lives in the waters around Japan. This species is also known as Takaashigani, which actually means tall-footed crab. It has the largest leg span of any arthropod in the world. It is able to reach up 12 ft, weighting no less than 41 pounds.

There are numerous interesting facts you should know about the Japanese spider crab. Below are listed some of them:

  • The Japanese spider crab can grow to a size of 16 inches.
  • This is a unique species in the world.
  • The Japanese spider crab is orange, having white spots along the legs.
  • The species is common on the southern coasts of the Japanese island of Honshu.
  • Japanese crab spiders are the longest living creatures in the world living up to 100 years. 
  • The species lives at depths of 150 to 1000 feet.
  • Adult spider crabs are usually found in deep waters. Still, their most prominent habitat is the depth of 800 to 1000 feet.
  • Their claws are longer than their legs when they are open.


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  • The Giant Japanese spider crab can usually be found in the Pacific Ocean.
  • Male spider crabs usually are larger than females, having bigger claws.
  • Male spider crabs have longer life span than females, too.
  • In their natural habitat, Japanese spider crabs feed on shellfish and animal carcasses. Diet may also include plants, deep water algae, mollusks and starfish.
  • However, Japanese crab spiders are omnivores, meaning that they can easily survive on a large food menu.
  • Giant Japanese spider crabs have separate sexes, similar to most crustaceans.
  • The Japanese spider crab was first described by Coenraad Jacob Temminck, in 1836.


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The giant spider crab is the best known species of crab in the world. The species is found in the Pacific Ocean, around Japan, at depths of no less than 150 feet. Spider crabs have very long legs, this being the reason why so many myths were raised around them.

However, a very interesting thing about this species is that, despite their size, Japanese spider crabs are quite vulnerable. They are considered to be a delicacy in Japan, the meat of these spider crabs being extremely delicious. However, hunting them is prohibit during the spring, when the crabs lay their eggs. These measures are taken with the main purpose to prevent the decline of the Japanese crab spider population.

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Crab Spiders’ Attack

Filed under: Crab Spider - 18 Oct 2012  | Spread the word !

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Crab spiders are no active hunters. They make more use of the camouflage techniques than other spiders. They do not make a web but catch their prey with their front legs. The color of the spider is adapted to the environment or the hunting terrain. They remain unmoved until the prey arrives and catches it.


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With a poisonous bite, not dangerous to humans, they kill their prey and suck it dry. They can be found on flowers or leaves of plants. Often the crab spider remains for days, even weeks at the same spot. The front two legs, that are often larger and stronger than the other six, are held sideways, ready to catch the prey immediately.

Because they sit on easily spotted places they are also easy to catch by predators. When they spot a possible enemy they move quickly at the other site of the flower or leave. Their eyesight is excellent and they normally have two big front eyes.


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Though their chelicerae, or jaws, are rather small and slender, many crab spider posses potent venom that quickly immobilize their prey. Flower spiders, a particular type of crab spider, rest on flowers and remain motionless for long periods of time. They ambush butterflies, bees, flies and other flower visitors.


Crab Spider attacking butterfly

They do not wrap their prey in silk after biting, but instead remain with the immobilized prey until they have sucked it dry. Some of the flower spiders are able to change their color over several days, typically between white and yellow, depending on the color of the flower on which they are resting. A common North American species is the goldenrod spider. The cockroach hunter is a warm-climate species which often moves northwards on shipments of bananas.


Yellow Crab Spider

Other species of crab spiders with flattened bodies, either hunt in the crevices of tree trunks or under loose bark, or shelter under such crevices by day, and come out at night to hunt. As mentioned before, the crab spiders are not harmful for people. Nevertheless, spiders of an unrelated genus, Sicarius, which are sometimes referred to as crab spidersi, or six-eyed crab spiders, are close cousins to the recluse spiders, and are highly venomous, though human bites are rare.

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