T.E.R:R.A.I.N - Taranaki Educational Resource: Research, Analysis and Information Network


Crab spider (Diaea) Unidentified species 2

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneida
Family: Thomisidae  One of the most colourful and attractive spider families.
Genus: Diaea
Species: Diaea
Common name: Flower spiders, Crab Spiders

Crab spiders are not 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 colour of the spider is adapted to the hunting terrain they use and can be extravagant. They remain unmoved until the prey arrives and catches it. 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 in easily spotted places they are an easy catch for predators. When they spot a possible enemy they move quickly at the other side of the flower or the leaf. Their eyesight is excellent. They have normally two big front eyes. Crab spiders are easily recognizable if you tease them. They widen their legs and move sideways like a crab. The females usually stand guard with their egg sacs. The egg sacs are fastened to the vegetation and are usually flat.



 

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