slender crab spiders

(Tibellus spp.)

Overview

Tibellus is a genus of narrow-bodied spiders known as slender crab spiders. There are 49 Tibellus species worldwide, 7 species in North America north of Mexico, and at least 3 species in Minnesota. They occur in Europe, Asia, southern Africa, Australia, and the Americas.

Tibellus spiders are common to abundant. They are found in a wide variety of habitats, including meadows, fields, and marshes. They are seen usually on low vegetation, tall grasses, and bushes, occasionally on the ground. Young spiders overwinter. They mature in the spring and adults can be seen until late fall.

 
slender crab spider (Tibellus sp.)
Photo by Babette Kis
 
Tibellus spiders are agile, fast-moving spiders. They do not produce a web to catch prey. They hunt actively, running after prey, and passively, lying in wait and ambushing prey. When at rest they cling to a grass blade with the front two pairs of legs stretched straight out in front, the third pair clinging to the grass blade, and the rear pair stretched straight out behind. In this position their vertically striped body is thought to give them the appearance of water.
Description

Tibellus spiders are to (4 to 15 mm) in length and have a long, slender body. This is the feature that gives the genus its common name. The body is light brown or pale yellow. There is a broad, brown, vertical stripe in the middle that extends from the eye region to the tip of the abdomen.

The front part of the body (cephalothorax) is longer than wide. There are eight eyes in two rows of four each. The front row is curved forward and the rear row is strongly curved backward. The two rows together almost form a semicircle.

The abdomen is very long and nearly parallel sided, tapered just in the rear.

The legs are long and spiny. The second pair of legs is the longest, the third pair is the shortest.

Distribution

Distribution Map

 

Sources

24, 29, 30, 82, 83.

4/7/2024    
Taxonomy

Class

Arachnida (arachnids)

Order

Araneae (spiders)

Suborder

Araneomorphae (typical spiders)

Infraorder

Entelegynae (entelegyne spiders)

Superfamily

Thomisoidea (crab and running crab spiders)

Family

Philodromidae (running crab spiders)

   

Subordinate Taxa

Chamberlin’s running crab spider (Tibellus chamberlini)

common grass running spider (Tibellus minor)

Dutton's running crab spider (Tibellus duttoni)

maritime running crab spider (Tibellus maritimus)

oblong running spider (Tibellus oblongus)

stretched philodromid (Tibellus tenellus)

stripe-legged running crab spider (Tibellus asiaticus)

   

Synonyms

Tibellinus

Tibelloide

   

Common Names

slender crab spiders

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glossary

Cephalothorax

The front part of the body of various arthropods, composed of the head region and the thoracic area fused together. Eyes, legs, and antennae are attached to this part.

 

 

 

 

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Mike Poeppe

slender crab spider (Tibellus sp.)  

 

Dan W. Andree

slender crab spider (Tibellus sp.) and intermediate bellflower  

slender crab spider (Tibellus sp.) and intermediate bellflower

On one outing I came across Slender...

It was just hanging out on a prairie flower at Frenchman’s Bluff SNA June 2024. I had no idea there was a Slender Crab Spider too. Compared to the other types it is a slender one.

B. Brock

slender crab spider (Tibellus sp.)  

 

Krystal Alonso

slender crab spider (Tibellus sp.)    

Babette Kis

Tibellus sp. slender crab spider

Tibellus sp., slender crab spider, with Toxomerus, hoverfly, prey on oxeye daisy. June 22, 2022. Barnes Prairie, Racine Co. WI.

  slender crab spider (Tibellus sp.)
     
slender crab spider (Tibellus sp.)   slender crab spider (Tibellus sp.)
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Camera

Slideshows

Tibellus
Lloyd Davies

Tibellus
About

Tibellus sp

Tibellus
Sean McCann

Tibellus

 

slideshow

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Other Videos

LEARNING about the slender crab spider (tibellus)
Live Free

About

Aug 3, 2019

Tibellus - Crab Spider
Les Leighton

About

Jan 31, 2011

A Tibellus spp. spider observed with prey in a flower near Slocan, BC

The prey appears to be a Syrphid hoverfly. Tibellus spp. possibly a Tibellus oblongus ? Slender Crab Spider

Slender Crab Spider (Philodromidae: Tibellus) on Grass Stem
Carl Barrentine

About

Jun 3, 2010

Photographed at Grand Forks, North Dakota (02 June 2010).

Slender Crab Spider of Colorado - Tibellus sp.
TeuthisBioarcHive

About

Oct 21, 2011

ibellus sp, Philodromidae, Centennial, Colorado

 

Camcorder

Visitor Sightings
 

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This button not working for you?
Simply email us at info@MinnesotaSeasons.com.
Be sure to include a location.

Mike Poeppe
7/11/2024

Location: Houston County, MN

slender crab spider (Tibellus sp.)

Dan W. Andree
June 2024

Location: Frenchman’s Bluff SNA

On one outing I came across Slender...
It was just hanging out on a prairie flower at Frenchman’s Bluff SNA June 2024. I had no idea there was a Slender Crab Spider too. Compared to the other types it is a slender one.

intermediate bellflower

B. Brock
4/7/2024

Location: Rancho Cucamonga, CA

slender crab spider (Tibellus sp.)
Krystal Alonso
12/13/2023

Location: San Bernardino, Ca

slender crab spider (Tibellus sp.)
Babette Kis
6/22/2022

Location: Barnes Prairie, Racine Co., WI

Tibellus sp., slender crab spider, with Toxomerus, hoverfly, prey on oxeye daisy. June 22, 2022. Barnes Prairie, Racine Co. WI.

slender crab spider (Tibellus sp.)
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Created: 5/27/2023

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