Tuesday, May 17, 2011


This tiny crab spider came in my window this afternoon. It was a simple matter to catch her*; crab spiders rely more on immobility and camouflage than on running away. And she "hid" on my green rug.

Taking her photo was another story.

A brief pause

She is as sassy as a jumping spider, always wanting to keep her eye on me, always turning towards the camera. But where a jumper is curious, this one is challenging. However I shepherded her into the light, once I freed her, she turned immediately to attack, lifting her front legs in a threat stance and walking steadily towards me. I'd get her focused in the shallow field that the macro gives me, and have to back up, back up, back up some more, finally to lose her in the shadow under the lens and start again.

"I'm going to eat you!"

Not that there was any danger. She's barely an eighth of an inch long, nose to tail.**

I finally put her on a cloth draped over an ice pack. That slowed her down, although she still kept heading my way. Wanting to measure her (and sure she'd attack my fingers on a ruler), I tore off a piece of graph paper*** and set it beside her. She obligingly moved onto it; after all, the paper was between her and that tempting camera lens.

Well, thank you, little one. So helpful!

* Males have rounded or clubbed pedipalps, the two "feelers" at either side of her face. Females' (and youngsters', as Christopher pointed out in the comments) pedipalps are pointed.

** And crab spiders are harmless to humans, anyhow.

*** The squares are exactly 1/4 inch on a side.

She's in a tiny jar on my printer. Tomorrow, I'll put her outside to find her own breakfast. I don't think it will take her too long.


  1. Females' pedipalps are pointed.

    As are those of juvenile males that haven't yet developed the clubbed pedipalps of a mature male, so it is possible that your spider is a juvenile male. But then, I believe that spiders are like ships or falcons: unless you know otherwise, they're automatically 'she'.

  2. she's a cute little thing! :)

  3. I love this. I recently took a close-up of a Solomon's Seal and found a surprise. Any idea who she is?


  4. Thanks, Christopher. I should have mentioned that. I assumed that she's an adult, without proof.

    Sarah, that's a jumping spider. Very cute!

  5. Your patience always pays off. - Margy

  6. a) so sweet that you praised her for being cooperative, b) so cute that she was! =) Love crab spiders.


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