San Diego Natural History Museum--Your Nature ConnectionSDNHM Field Guide
Adult female Xysticus, copyright Jim Berrian
Adult female

Xysticus sp.
Crab Spiders



Females in this group of spiders measure 4-10mm in total length. The carapace is usually gray with brown or black lateral stripes. The abdomen is tan to brown, or rusty red with various paired markings. Males are slightly smaller, measuring 3-7mm in total length. The males of a particular species can have very different color patterns from the females of that same species. However, generally males are darker brown than the females and much smaller.

Range and Habitat

Members of this group of spiders range across the United States. In San Diego County they occur in all habitats from the desert to the coast. These spiders are found on plants and on the ground on wood and stones.

Related and Similar Species

Misumeniodes are larger and hairless. Misumenops are lighter in color, usually yellowish with red or brown markings.


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

Kaston, B.J. 1978. How to know the spiders, 3rd Ed., 272pp.

Text by Jim Berrian. Photos © Jim Berrian.

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