Crab spiders (Family Thomisidae)
There are 31 species of crab spiders known from Ohio. This represents about 5% of our spider species.
Characteristics of Thomisidae:
- legs held out to the side or laterigrade; in a curved position so that the spider looks like a little crab
- femurs of front legs often robust
- anterior legs often with strong raptorial spines
- compact crab-like body
- eyes small, often on tubercles
- sometimes colorful
- medium to large spiders
These spiders are ambush predators. They often wait in flowers or on vegetation and capture passing insects. In most species the legs are turned so that they form a curved “basket” facing forward with large raptorial spines on the front legs for grasping prey. Crab spiders regularly catch and eat prey that are much larger than themselves. When moving they shuttle side-ways, increasing their superficial resemblance to true crabs.