California Crab Spider

There are several varieties of crab spiders. One of these is called the California crab spider.

The crab spider's name comes from its crablike appearance-it has a flattened body, longer front legs, and often moves sideways like crabs do. Crab spiders are considered passive hunters, which means that they wait for prey and ambush it when it approaches, rather than hunting for it or spinning webs to ensnare it. They use their long front legs to grasp the prey.

The California crab feeds on bees, butterflies, and insects. Like many spiders, it injects its venom into its prey in order to paralyze it. It also injects its meal-to-be with digestive enzymes, which help break down and liquefy the insect.

There are at least five types of crab spiders found in California. The most common species (Xysticus Misumena vati) is able to change colors to blend in with its surroundings. It is often found on flowers where it can wait to attack visiting bees and insects without being noticed. These spiders can change from white to yellow and are sometimes called flower spiders.

The bite of the crab spider is not dangerous to humans, and only rarely has an effect if a particular individual has a reaction to the venom.