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Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) Care for offspring?

Do Green Lynx Spiders offer any care for their offspring after tearing them out of the nest? I've been watching 18+ nests and sometimes I can find mom hovering over or near the spiderlings. Other times mom is nowhere to be found. Each Mother spider's physical condition varies widely; some look about ready to drop dead at any moment and some look ready to lay another clutch of eggs. I have not seen the offspring eating.

On a side note: What is maximum population density for green lynx spiders? The nests I'm observing are all in an area of about 2000 sq. ft.

Thanks for comments.

Yes maternal,
Check out this article.

Reference question
This was a reference I was trying to find, but "Psyche" is a journal about human consciousness not spiders. Is it an abbreviation for something else? Does anyone know how to find this online?

Randall, J.B. 1978. New observation of maternal
care exhibited by the green lynx spider, Peucetia
viridans (Araneida: Oxyopidae) Psyche, 84:286–

I'm not familiar with that journal, but it kind of makes sense to learn about human behavior by looking for similar behaviors in unrelated animal species.

That journal was, as near as I can tell, not in existence in 1978??

OK, How About This One:

Much better...
Now all I have to do is wait for Volume 84 to be PDF'ed. :-(
But now I know what I am really looking for. Thanks

I've sent the Email off; now the hardest part....

The good news is...
That journal is in the next batch to be scanned. Estimated time to be up – 2 weeks - per Jonathan Rees. :-)

It's been a long two weeks
It's been a long two weeks. :-) Have you heard anything more?

I'm anxiously waiting for volume 93.

frustrating isn't it
The list of Journal issues is increasing slowly, but missing the one I'm interested in seeing. I’ll have to go fishing for a paper copy I suspect.

Frustration over...
If you haven't seen it already, Volume 84 is online.
The whole ten year block from v84 to v93 is all there now.


Thanks for the heads up.
I haven't checked that site in a while. Time to peruse...

thanks. I am going to print that paper. Also, if you do not already know, I wanted to let you know about lynx coloration. I thought you once mentioned that the purple coloration on them was a result of age.
It is actually an attempt to blend in with it's background. The bright green specimens are usually on live green plants, and the purple lynx's are usually on dead or dark colored leaves. I plan on posting a staged image of a purple shaded specimen and a typical green specimen facing each other, and explaining the coloration.
That is when I fix my good hard drive. It was a victim of hurricane Wilma.

Has anyone
noticed color differences in the egg sac's? I have seen the brown quite often, and in the same area I found one with a pale green egg case, it was the only time I have noticed this, is this pretty common? or maybe the color when they are first spun?

eggsac color
They are pale green when created and weather to straw colored very quickly.

3rd paragraph down.

Thank you
for your response, it's nice to know I wasn't just seeing things.

Color variation in green lynx spiders
In the four nests within a few yards of each other, I observed four different color patterns. They were not so much associated with dead leaves, but were related to the color of the plant overall.

On Lindheimer muhly (a tall bunchgrass with fine thin leaves, where the joints show a burgundy stain) the spider had burgundy spots on the cephalothorax and burgundy marks on the chevrons of the abdomen. The joints of the legs had burgundy marks. This grass stands drought well, and was mostly green at the time.

On evergreen sumac (where the spider had tied the end of a compound leaf into a curl, with the nest underneath) the spider was entirely green, the abdomenal chevrons marked with slightly lighter green.

On kidneywood, which has an "open" look (small leaflets on compound leaves, leaves well separated along the twigs) and which had some brown leaves (from drought), the spider showed considerable burgundy "veining" on the cephalothorax, and the abdomen was orange and cream, with burgundy "sprinkled" over it, and a dark olive tip. The leg joints had orange, red, and yellow coloration.

On goldenrod, the spider's cephalothorax was unmarked green, but the abdomen had a lot of yellow with the green.

For two of the adult spiders observed through hatching and after, the most noticeable change was shrinking of the abdomen to a plain leaf-brown "rod" shape, much narrower and shorter than it had been.


You are absolutely right.
It is the overall color of the plant that influences the lynxs coloration. Great comments. The bottom line is, on average, the darker the plant, the more red/purple the lynx, and vica versa.

Just based on my photographs, I have greener Lynx spiders earlier in the year and the more purplish ones later in the year. This may be because the plants I've found them on are greener in the spring, turning colors later in the summer. I really did think it had something to do with them becoming older and larger, since I've never seen a little skinny one with other than green and white...unless it has already produced and egg sac. Here are my photos showing all the skinny green ones and the one plump purplish one... Lynette's Lynx Photos. Of course, I have a ton more that I haven't posted. These also follow this pattern.

More on coloring
I didn't notice these spiders until October (next year I'll start looking earlier) and saw the first three within 24 hours of each other (the color being already distinctively different) and the fourth a week or two later. So, at least in this location, the all-green and multi-colored ones occur simultaneously...and are probably related to the plants they're on. That's something else I check next year, to see if the same color patterns are associated with the same "host" plants next year (if next year's spiders even use the same plants.)

I have pictures of three (the one in tall grass, the one on kidneywood, the one on goldenrod) on my website's new photos page; these pictures will change out on Sunday, Nov 6. The green lynx spiders are at the bottom of the page, after other spiders. At the time we put these pictures up, I didn't know if they were all the same species or not. I don't know how to create the nifty links Lynette and others have used, so I'm giving the whole URL if anyone wants to look.


you can read how to creat links here. It took me a while to figure it out as well!

Oh Boy!
Yes, the color variations do change to match the plants that the spiders are on.
My personal favorite
Some I took:
These two are on Queen Ann's Lace, which given the coloration of the nest I thought was a big mistake by the spiders, but the spiderlings matched the color and general shape of the seed pods of the plant. This is in contrast to these ; while these did not match the very green leaf (Raspberry) they were on did congregate around the edges of the leaf to become an edge, but only during the day, at night they would clump together just like their darker cousins on the Queen Ann's Lace. This to me suggests that the spiders are not only able to change color, but are also very aware of colors that they can not match.

Now compare:
Same type of plant (I don't know the name) at different stages of flowering.

Green Lynx Coloration
Finding the spider in the image above inspired me to go back through my images and check: they do indeed match their background when they can. I even posted a montage of four spiders shot within ten feet of each other on the same afternoon: one turned out to be a ringer (Oxyopus sp), another was normal green on African Blue Basil, another was brown on dead Gray Dentate Lavender heads, while the fourth was light green with yellowish legs on yellow Fennel blossoms (the montage has since gone to Frass heaven). This leads me to believe they only have brown/red and perhaps yellow pigments to work with.

The wild buckwheat (Eriogonum fasciculatum) plant has green leaves, but the pinkish-white flowers changing in mid-summer to rusty reddish-brown seed heads dominate the color scheme most of the year. I've seen two/maybe three egg-masses on the plant the past few months- and all were guarded by rusty-red mother spiders. Of all the Green Lynx Spiders I've seen and photographed on my property over the years, these are the only ones with that color variation I've seen.

At the time I looked around the web and found a couple of references in articles written by entomologists to Peucetia viridans having color-changing capabilities like those of Crab Spiders (Thomasidae)

By the way, the plant in your two pictures is definitely in the Papilionoideae subfamily of the Pea family (Leguminosae/Fabaceae). I don't have a flora for your area handy, but there are relatively few genera with three leaflets, so someone could probably narrow it down further. A wild guess is that it might be the genus Lotus.

Supplemental note: I found my flora and looked up a few things on the web. There's no way it could be Lotus. My current best guess: Lespedeza cuneata AKA Lespedeza sericea.

That it...
Based on these sites

Apparently nobody like likes it; I thought it was neat. It is common enough around here I thought it was native, I guess that's what a hundred years will do.

Thanks for the ID.

Thank you
Well worth reading.

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