Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Orig. Comb: Sphasus viridans Hentz, 1832
Explanation of Names
'The lynx-spiders are so called because some species chase their prey with great rapidity over herbage and the foliage of trees and shrubs; they even jump from branch to branch like the attids; but other species lie in wait near flowers and spring upon insects that visit flowers' J.H. Comstock 1912
is from a mythological proper name, Peucetios
, one of the 50 sons of Lycaon (1)
viridans = green.
Large females BL to 26mm, and leg span to 70mm.
Males BL 7 to 18mm and legspan to 65mm.
Bright green body. Cephalothorax is narrow and high in eye region and broadens behind it. Often has red spots in eye region and body. Legs are long, paler than body, green to yellow, with long black spines and many black spots. (2)
The green lynx has the ability to blend in with its background. See Images
and Forum 3
. Here are some good examples:
According to Gertsch (1949), in CA lynx's seem prefer the dull green leaves of the wild buckwheat (Eriogonum
?]), although they inhabit other vegetation as well. The 'egg sacs are frequently found tied to the yellow flowers of this woody shrub' and 'these western lynxes are yellow or even brown in color, and have the whole dorsum blotched with large red markings that often form a complete band.' Some western lynx's are also marked with blue.
Eastern variations have not been linked to a particular plant, and inhabit a wide range of vegetation.
Gertsch also noted that some Old World Peucetia species have been 'reported to live almost exclusively on a single plant.'
Found in open areas in fields, prairies, xeric scrub, yards and gardens on the tops of plants and cacti.
mostly May-Nov, yr round in FL & CA (BG data
Insects and spiders.
'However, their usefulness in the control of insect pests is counteracted by their willingness to prey also upon beneficial insects.' more...
See also Internet References
A male courting a female while she is feeding.
the female will allow the male to copulate. See image for more details.
Females are reported to produce up to six egg sacs in captivity. See Biology
The eggs take approximately 21 days to develop and a few more days for spiderlings to emerge.
1st instar spiderlings
2nd instars (dorsal and ventral views)
was once thought to serve as a link between Oxyopids
has been reported to have the ability to spit venom
(in self defense) up to a distance of 200mm.
Writings from over 160 years ago:
'Observations. This elegant species is by no means common. It is usually found on umbelliferous plants, where, like a Micrommata (Pisaurina) or Thomisus, it watches for the insects attracted by the blossums. A specimen, taken in September, was kept several weeks in a glass vessel, where it soon made a cocoon of a conical form, with small eminences, to which are attached the threads that hold it suspended firmly in the air, as that of Theridium verecundum (L. mactans). After it was finished, the mother watched it constantly, never leaving its unprotected family. Unfortunately, a rat, finding its way into the room, ate the watchful parent, leaving the cocoon, out of which the young were hatched on the 14th of October. These were of a deep orange color, measuring full 0.9 inch. The cocoon was of a pale greenish color. These habits show an affinity to Micrommata.' (Hentz, 1845. Description and Figures of the Araneides of the United States.)
Brady AR. 1964. The Lynx Spiders of North America, North of Mexico (Araneae: Oxyopidae). Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology
American Spiders by Willis J. Gertsch. 1949 D. Van Nostrand Company, Inc.
Spiders of North America: An Identification Manual By D. Ubick, P. Paquin, P.E. Cushing and V. Roth (eds) American Arachnological Society, 2005(1)
The Book of Spiders and Scorpions by Rod Preston-Mafham. Quatro Publishing 1991
The Spider Book by John Henry Comstock Fifth printing 1980
How to Know the Spiders by B. J. Kaston Third Edition 1978 (2)
Common Spiders Of The United States by James H. Emerton 1961
The Spiders Of The United States by Nicholas Marcellus Hentz, MD Occasional Papers Of The Boston Society Of Natural History II 1875