The Eurasian Running Crab Spider (Philodromus dispar) is a small arachnid in the Araneidae family of orb weaver araneomorphic spiders. It is also known as the Philodromid Crab Spider.
The male Eurasian Running Crab Spider is very different and more distinctive than the female. The male has a shiny, iridescent, black body with white edges and pale legs. The male has large palps – mouthparts. The female is pale greyish-white with pale mottled legs and a leaf-like mark on her abdomen. It is not a very hairy spider. It only has a few bristles, called setae. Of its eight legs, its second pair of legs is longer than its other legs.
It measures up to 1 centimetre (a third of an inch) in length.
It is found across Europe and Asia. It lives in various habitats, usually on trees and in low bushes in gardens close to houses. It is commonly seen from April to October. During winter, it lies still in the bark of dead trees.
The Eurasian Running Crab Spider does not make a web. Instead, it makes a silk drag-line which it suspends itself on.
It preys on small flies and other insects.
The female lays eggs in an egg-sac, which she attaches to leaves. She guards the eggs until they hatch into spiderlings.
Location of photograph: Paris, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM