Thomisadae – Crab Spiders

The comment on the post below, from Chatou11, reminded of how much I enjoy finding and watching the Thomisadae which are one of the spider species commonly referred to as Crab Spiders or Flower Crab Spiders because of their hunting habits. The ones I find are ambush predators. They hide away with a drag line spun behind them and wait for prey to come to them. A drag line is just a single bit of silk which is attached to their hideaway in case they miss their attack. Sometimes I find them by shaking a branch and seeing if there is anything that falls out and climbs back quickly.

I don’t know all the species and it is confusing sometimes because they can take on the color of their hideout over a few days. Here are a few shots where I have found them in action.
_DSC9949cr107 Southern Skipperling - Copaeodes minimus_3344a_cr107

I didn’t realize I had this one. I was trying to get a shot of this tiny moth and it wasn’t until I was home and post processing when I realized that it had already been attacked by a small spider that was riding along on it’s left wing. This is the same shot with a very tight crop to show the spider in the second image.
DSC_9307cr107 DSC_9307tight
One of the other species which is called a crab spider is the crab-like Orb Weaver – Gasteracantha cancriformis it actually looks more like a crab with it’s hard shell.


About birds n' bugs

Retired, living in SW Florida and spending my time at nature photography in my local area. I volunteer with a couple of local organizations to help my adopted home town. Travelling is now by airplane and car instead of a sailboat but happy anyway.
This entry was posted in animal behavior, Bug, Spider and tagged , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

1 Response to Thomisadae – Crab Spiders

  1. chatou11 says:

    I am glad I reminded you to write this article…. I’am also enjoying observing the way they hunt.
    There are a lot of Thomisidae and more of that they can change from white to yellow or green..
    etc…. clever little things.
    I think that your last photo is a beauty..

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