Crab spider Facts

Crab spider Facts
Crab spider is a type of spider that belongs to the family Thomisidae. There are more than 2.000 species of crab spiders that can be found around the world. Crab spiders inhabit gardens, meadows, woodlands, tropical rainforests, grasslands, marshes and scrublands. They can be found in all kind of habitats except in the extremely dry deserts and very cold mountains. All species of crab spiders are numerous in the wild.
Interesting Crab spider Facts:
Crab spider can reach 0.16 to 0.3 inches in length. Females are larger than males.
Females are usually white, pale green or yellow colored and have two pairs of red dots (that can form two lines) on the abdomen. Males are darker colored and have greenish white abdomen covered with brown stripes.
Crab spider is able to change the color of the body to blend with the colors of its environment.
Crab spider has wide, flattened body and 4 pairs of legs. First pair of legs is longer and better developed compared to other legs. Crab spiders have 8 eyes and ability to see in all directions. Males have more slender body and longer legs.
Name "crab spider" refers to crab-like shape of the body and ability of these animals to walk sideways and backwards, just like crabs.
Crab spider is diurnal animal (active during the day).
Crab spider hunts and eats insects that visit flowers to feed on nectar. Honeybees, butterflies and flies are its favorite food.
Crab spider produces silk but it does not use it for the construction of web. Crab spider is an ambush predator that silently waits in the flowers until the prey appears. It grabs the prey with front legs and delivers deadly dose of venom using its slender fangs.
Some insects learned to avoid certain kind of flowers that crab spiders often use as deadly traps.
Crab spiders are not aggressive. They can bite humans in self-defense, but their bite is rarely dangerous.
Main predators of crab spiders are wasps, ants, large spiders, lizards, birds and shrews.
Mating season of crab spiders usually takes place during the summer. Males follow silk threads to find females. They deposit packages of sperm on the ground. Females collect these packages with leg-like structures called "palps" and fertilize the eggs.
Female lays fertilized eggs and covers them with leaves. She produces silk and forms cocoon-like protective casing around eggs and leaves.
Female guards her eggs until they hatch, three weeks later. She does not eat during this period. Shortly after hatching, female dies out of exhaustion. Young crab spiders look like miniature version of adults. They shed their skin couple of times during the periods of growth until they reach adult size.
Crab spider can survive one or more years in the wild, depending on the species and type of habitat (tropical species have longer lifespan).

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