The Bark Crab Spider (Bassanianasp.) is a small arachnid in the Thomisidae family of crab spiders.
The Bark Crab Spider is black. The male is darker than the female. The length of its eight legs are uneven. Its four strong front legs, used for grabbing, are longer than its four back legs. Its front legs have more hair. It moves sideways like a crab. The first two pairs of legs can rotate. It has eight eyes.
It grows to 4-10 millimetres (less than half an inch), excluding its legs. The female is larger than the male.
It is found in Europe, Asia, North America, and Africa. It is found in meadows, gardens, tropical forests, grasslands, and woodlands. It prefers to sit on the bark of trees, or on flowers and leaves.
It does not make a web. It sits and waits for its prey. It grabs its prey with its front legs, bites it with its venomous palps, then sucks out the juices. It is not aggressive towards humans.
It is diurnal, active during the day. At night, it lies still.
The female Bark Crab Spider lays eggs in a secure location, such as in a rolled leaf or in grass. It undergoes partial metamorphosis, because it does not have the pupa stage. The life cycle is egg, larva, adult.
Location of photographs: Nairobi, Kenya
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM