San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature ConnectionSDNHM Field Guide
Misumenops sp. adult male, copyright Jim Berrian
Adult male

Misumenops sp.
Crab Spiders



Females in this group of spiders range in total length from 4mm to 7mm; the males range from 1.5mm to 4 mm. The colors and patterns vary but generally the body color is yellowish to light green with red stripes, bands and other markings. The bodies tend to be hairy, and hair and spine patterns vary by species. Color patterns in each species in this group are similar to females though the markings are darker and usually reddish.

Range and Habitat

Occur across the United States. In San Diego County they occur in all habitats.

Natural History

These spiders are often found on flowers where they wait to ambush insect prey. Insects are embraced slowly by the long front legs. When the embrace is complete the bite is delivered. Crab spiders are fastidious eaters, leaving intact carcasses with pinhole fang marks.

Related and Similar Species

Misumenoides are hairless and larger as adults. Xysticus are darker brown or tan in color.


Schick, R.X. 1965. The crab spiders of California (Araneae, Thomisidae). Bull. Am. Mus. Nat. Hist. 129(1):1-180.

Text by Jim Berrian. Photos © Jim Berrian.

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