Running crab spiders (Family Philodromidae)
There are 20 species of running crab spiders known from Ohio. This represents about 3% of our spider species.
Characteristics of Philodromidae:
- leg tips with tufts and scopulae (special hairs that permit agile climbing of smooth surfaces)
- legs often longer and more slender than in crab spiders, share laterigrade position
- eyes often small
- shades of gray or light brown
- rapid moving spiders when disturbed
- often found on vertical surfaces
- small to medium sized with long legs
The running crab spiders are wandering hunters that live on the branches and trunks of trees, or among vegetation. A few species are occasionally found on the ground. They can move very quickly when disturbed and are difficult to capture. If pursued they may drop from their perch and hang in the air by a silk line. Their coloration often matches the background where they live, many go undetected.