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Crab spiders
Ozyptila praticola
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Superfamily: Thomisoidea
Family: Thomisidae
Sundevall, 1833
Genera

Amyciaea
Aphantochilus
Coriarachne
Diaea
Heriaeus
Misumena
Misumenoides
Misumenops
Ozyptila
Pistius
Rejanellus
Runcinia
Synema
Thomisus
Tmarus
Xysticus
many others

Diversity
170 genera, > 2,000 species

Crab spiders or Thomisidae family of the Araneae order. They are called crab spiders because they resemble crabs, with two front pairs of legs angled outward and bodies that are flattened and often angular. Also, like crabs, Thomisidae can move sideways or backward.

Crab spiders do not build webs to trap prey, but are hunters and ambushers. Some species sit on or among flowers, bark, fruit or leaves where they grab visiting insects. Individuals of some species, such as Misumena vatia, are able to change color between white and yellow to match the flower on which they're sitting. Other species, with their flattened bodies, hunt in the crevices of tree trunks or under loose bark. Members of the genus Xysticus hunt in the leaf litter on the ground. In each case, crab spiders use their powerful front legs to grab and hold onto prey while paralyzing it with a venomous bite.

The spider family Aphantochilidae was incorporated into the Thomisidae in the late 1980s. Aphantochilus species mimic Cephalotes ants, on which they prey.

The spiders of Thomisidae are not known to be harmful to humans. However, spiders of an unrelated genus, Sicarius, which are sometimes referred to as "crab spiders", are close cousins to the recluse spiders, and are highly venomous.

The unrelated species Gasteracantha cancriformis is commonly called the "crab spider."

Contents

Systematics

The following subfamilies are recognized:

  • Aphantochilinae (3 genera)
  • Bominae Ono, 1984 (9 genera)
  • Dietinae (32 genera)
  • Stephanopinae (35 genera)
  • Stiphropodinae (3 genera)
  • Strophiinae (8 genera)
  • Thomisinae (67 genera)
  • incertae sedis
  • Ansiea Lehtinen, 2005
  • Carcinarachne Schmidt, 1956
  • Cozyptila Lehtinen & Marusik, 2005
  • Ebelingia Lehtinen, 2005
  • Facundia Petrunkevitch, 1942 † (fossil)
  • Fiducia Petrunkevitch, 1942 † (fossil)
  • Henriksenia Lehtinen, 2005
  • Hexommulocymus Caporiacco, 1955
  • Ledouxia Lehtinen, 2005
  • Mastira Thorell, 1891
  • Megapyge Caporiacco, 1947
  • Modysticus Gertsch, 1953
  • Rejanellus Lise, 2005
  • Syphax Koch & Berendt, 1854 † (fossil)
  • Tarrocanus Simon, 1895
  • Taypaliito Barrion & Litsinger, 1995

There are 9 genera, containing 130 species of crab spiders in North America.

Gallery

See also

References

  • Biolib family Thomisidae
  • Lise, A.A. (2005). Rejanellus, a new genus of Thomisidae (Araneae, Stephanopinae). Iheringia, Sér. Zool. 95(2):151-164. PDF

External links


Simple English

File:Crab Spider on a pink flower - Volta Region,
Camouflaged crab spider on a violet flower
File:The butterfly which was caught by a Crab
Crab spider's yellow legs can just be seen: it's grabbed the butterfly.
File:Twin lantana camara
A crab spider hiding in the Twin Lantana

Crab spiders are the Thomisidae family of spiders. They have two front pairs of legs angled outward and bodies that are flattened and often angular. Also, like crabs, Thomisidae can move sideways or backward.

Crab spiders use their powerful front legs to grab and hold onto prey while paralyzing it with a venomous bite.

Crab spiders are hunters and ambushers. Some species sit on or among flowers, bark, fruit or leaves where they grab visiting insects. Their species use camouflage: several different types are known.[1]

Some species are disguised as a bird droppings resting on a leaf. Even at a close range, it is difficult to tell the difference. Crab spiders live in rainforests all over the world. They get their name from the way they scuttle around, like small crabs.[2]

References

  1. Platnick, Norman I. 2010. The world spider catalog, version 10.5. American Museum of Natural History.
  2. Ganeri, Anita (2000). Jungle Animals: over 100 questions and answers to things you want to know. Dubai, U.A.E. ISBN 0-75254-909-X. 







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