Crab spider

family of arachnids

Crab spiders are the Thomisidae family of spiders. The group has 170 genera with over 2000 species.

Crab spiders
Camouflaged crab spider on a violet flower
Scientific classification

They have two front pairs of legs angled outward and bodies that are flattened and often angular. Also, like crabs, Thomisidae spiders can move sideways or backwards.

Crab spiders are hunters and ambushers. Some species sit on or among flowers, bark, fruit or leaves where they grab visiting insects. Crab spiders use their powerful front legs to grab and hold onto prey while paralyzing it with a venomous bite.

They are camouflaged: several different types are known.[1] Even at a close range, it is difficult to see the spider. Some species are disguised as birds' droppings resting on a leaf. Crab spiders live in rainforests all over the world. They get their name from the way they scuttle around like small crabs.[2]




  1. Platnick, Norman I. 2010. The world spider catalog, version 10.5. American Museum of Natural History.
  2. Ganeri, Anita (2000). Jungle Animals: over 100 questions and answers to things you want to know. Dubai, U.A.E. ISBN 0-75254-909-X.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: location missing publisher (link)