Michigan Crab Spider

Michigan is home to a few varieties of crab spiders. The most common of these is the ground-dwelling crab spider. Instead of sitting on plants or flowers to await passing prey, they move about on the ground, and their natural camouflage serves to hide them in the soil. The spiders tend to resemble the ground they live on; for instance, those that are found in sandy areas are tan, while those that dwell in more rocky places tend to be grayish in color. These ground dwellers feed on the crawling insects that happen by.

Another type is a bark-dwelling spider that resembles bark or seeds and is able to await its prey on trees, limbs, or darker parts of plants without being detected.

Plant dwellers are also found in Michigan. These spiders are found among plants and grass. Some of are found on a number of different types of plants, and others seem to depend on one specific kind of plant.

Crab spiders don't build webs to catch prey, but wait in places where they can sit undetected and wait to ambush their next meal. Once they do this, the spiders inject venom to paralyze their prey, along with a digestive enzyme to liquefy the insect and make it easier to consume. The bite of a crab spider is not harmful to people.