Grass Crab Spider

One of the various species of crab spider is the grass crab spider. As its name suggests, this spider looks like grass and is sometimes called a grass dweller.

Crab spiders are named for their crablike appearance. They have longer front legs, a flattened body, and often scuttle side to side like crabs do. Their long front legs are used to grasp prey.

Crab spiders do not hunt for prey or spin webs to catch it. Rather, they wait for prey, then ambush it when it approaches. Like many spiders, the crab spider paralyzes its prey by injecting venom and also liquefies it by injecting digestive enzymes.

There is more than one variety of grass spider. One type is known as the Runcinia. This spider has an elongated body and long, thin legs, including the characteristic four longer front legs. It looks more like grass seed, though it often dwells on the blade. It is typically brownish or gray in color and bears striations that resemble the veins of a blade of grass.

Another type is the Oxytate, also called the grass crab spider or green crab spider. These are long and slender, also with the characteristic longer front legs. They vary in color from beige to bright, semi-transparent green. They are able to blend in well with their surroundings, such as stems or grass, and will wait for prey with their longer front legs outstretched.

A crab spider's bite is not harmful to humans unless a person has an allergic reaction to the venom, which is rare.