Elegant Crab Spider

by Jacki
(Grand Forks, B.C. Canada)

Elegant Crab Spider released from captivity

Elegant Crab Spider released from captivity

I rescued this lovely spider from the screen in the bathroom window - she must have thought that a winter indoors would suit her, but I had other ideas.

Elegant Crab Spiders, Xysticus elegans are not known to like overwintering inside houses, so it's a surprise when you find them indoors. Their preferred habitat is on low vegetation in woods, and bark or other debris on the ground.

Their prey is small insects. They don't use a web to catch their prey, although the male may lightly wrap the female during courtship. The female will guard the eggs in a silken sac, but generally dies before the spiderlings hatch.

Getting a close up look at these spiders, you can see why they are named after crabs, with their long forelegs and widespread stance. Their markings and coloration are perfect camouflage in their natural habitat.

See also the Goldenrod Spider for another Crab Spider with a much different appearance.

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