Spiders: Popular Species of Crab Spiders

Crab spiders can be found all across the country. There are over 40 species of the crab spider, but some species are seen more often than others. Also some states seem to attract particular species more than others. Some of the more popular crab spider species are what you would find outside of your house. These are the most popular species of crab spiders:

Grass Crab Spider

spider crab spider

Here's a grass crab spider walking on some grass.

Grass crab spiders have the ability to resemble grass. This species of crab spiders aren’t bright green as one might assume since they have the unique ability to blend in with grass. The grass crab spider is actually a cream to light brown color, and sometimes a semi-transparent green shade. The grass crab spider is also slimmer and longer than most other varieties. These features help them blend into their surroundings, and the longer shape can help them camouflage themselves as blades of grass.

Flower Crab Spider

spider crab spider

This flower crab spider camouflages itself so well. Looks like an early meal for the flower crab spider.

The flower crab spider is quite the opposite as the grass crab spider. The flower species are bright in color to help them blend in with flowers. Unlike the grass crab spider the flower crab spiders can be the exact same color as the flower. The most common color of flower crab spiders is bright yellow, so they can blend in with the flower petals and or pollen center. They can also have a shinier and smoother body than the other species of crab spiders. The flower crab spider is frequently found in California.

Giant Crab Spider

spider crab spider

Yikes! Looks like this giant crab spider found a way into someone's house.

Then there’s the terrifying giant crab spider. Other crab spider species look like the giant crab spider, except for the size of course. The giant crab spider is twice the size as the other crab spider species with its body about an inch or more wide. The coloring of this species is light brown to gray with the distinct dark markings on the top of the abdomen in the shape of a “Y” and dark fangs. Even though the giant crab spider is larger in size it still moves and acts the same as all of the other crab spider species. It also hunts like the other species and is actually known to be a much better hunter getting the nickname the “Huntsman” spider. One thing that enables the giant crab spider to be such a good hunter is that it’s a fast runner, which helps to conquer its prey. The giant crab spider has become native to Arizona.

Ground Dwelling Crab Spiders

spider crab spider

This ground dwelling crab spider is doing a very good job at blending into it's natural surroundings.

Ground dwelling crab spiders are able to blend in with natural surroundings. They can often be found on sandy ground, cement, gravel or areas that are black or gray. A ground dweller’s coloring is shades of browns and tones of blacks, so it can imitate the soil it’s traveling on. Michigan is an area where ground dwellers are very popular.

Bark Crab Spiders

spider crab spider

Bark crab spiders seem to be the creepiest looking of all of the species.

Since crab spiders can be known for walking up trees there is of course a bark crab spider. Blending into the natural appearance of the tree bark the bark crab spider varies from tones of browns and black, sometime having a combination of both colorings to better enable it’s blending into the bark. Some bark crab spiders can have a thorny façade. This variety of crab spider is also popular in Michigan.

Images courtesy of www.creativecommons.org and Xoque and Robert Whyte on Flickr

2 Responses to “Spiders: Popular Species of Crab Spiders”

  1. Lori Brett says:

    Hello I have a spider camped out on a web outside my door that I am trying to identify. It’s body is about an inch or so wide including legs. It has a rather large rear end. All of the legs seem to be in front. It is white to cream in color with brown and black spots on it. It seems to be kind of spiky and it ate a grasshopper that was in it’s web in a matter of less than 12 hours. A grasshopper that was the same size as it. I would love to remove it but I want to know what it is first and whether or not it is poisonous. Any help you could lend would be gratly appreciated.

  2. Katie says:

    Hi Lori- Thanks for your comment! From what you’re describing it sounds like you may have some type of crab spider at your house, maybe a grass variety or a brown variety. We featured a few of the more popular varieties of crab spiders on our post, but there are actually a lot more out there. The spider at your house has a large rear end and most of the legs are in the front of the body, which makes it sound like the crab variety to me, the only thing that doesn’t sound like a crab spider is that the grasshopper was in the web and crab spiders like to hunt for their food. It also could be a yellow sac spider, but that spider also likes to hunt for its food. If it is either of these types of spiders they can bite, but are not poisonous unless you are allergic to their venom. In any case it’s best to stay away because if you attempt at killing one and don’t succeed- and just make it mad it then could go into an attack mode and bite you. We suggest finding a local pest control company and having them out to your house. It’s always best to have a professional handle the situation, plus you want to ensure there are no eggs or babies left behind because they can infest your home. Good luck, let us know if you find out what kind of spider it is and be safe!

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