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Yellow spider - Tibellus

Yellow spider - Tibellus
Saratoga Springs, Utah, USA
June 29, 2004
Small yellow spider that's been living in our house. I see it twice a week or so, usually facing down on a narrow ridge. Yesterday it was on the casing of the sliding glass door, today it was on the molding of the bathroom door. Overnight traversal range was 30 feet (as the bug skitters--it had to go up or down to the ceiling or floor, then over). Body is 3mm at widest and 9mm long (eyes to spinnerets), legspan in this pic is 11mm wide 25mm tall. Likes to perch about 5' off the ground, and this is a rather wide perch for it. Typically it hangs out on the sliding door where it perches on the edge of the sheet metal, maybe 2mm thick. When it's on the narrower bit it pairs up front & back legs to conserve space.

Palps seemed to me to be small, but I'm not an expert. No visible web. That plus traversal range == hunting spider? Especially if it's female?

We have a common greenish-yellow nocturnal spider that spends its days tucked into ceiling corners in a cocoon; this one strikes me as odd because it passes the day standing proud of an edge.

I'm wondering..
If this is a crab spider.. I'm not that good with insects, but could someone tell me how I'd rule this out against a Pisaurina. I thought crab spiders tend to hold their legs out more, and with the darker stripe down the middle it reminds me a lot of..

Any information would be much appricated,
-Gehan Gehale

Philodromid crab spider
Nice photo of a species in the genus Tibellus, family Philodromidae. Generally found on grasses, where the striped pattern renders them more invisible:-)

Perhaps not crab?
Quick Google on "philodromid" shows this interesting factoid:


"The Philodromid crab spiders are the family Philodromidae, once considered to belong to a subfamily within the crab spiders, family Thomisidae.

However, studies have shown that these two spider groups, though similar, are not as closely related as previously thought. Unlike thomisids, philodromids tend to have few true setae (hairs or spines) on their bodies. They also lack the congruent eye tubercles of some thomisids. The second legs are usually the longer of the four pairs of walking legs and in the genus Ebo this is quite extreme, with the second pair of legs in some species twice as long as the first pair."

Hence the vertical orientation...
Cool, that would explain why it perches on the edges of things... it's looking for a blade of grass to hang from. I may have to go out into the lawn & see what kind of edibles walk by down there. :-)

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