Running Crab Spider  (male - two photos)
Thanatus formicinus

"Crab on a Stick"

crab spider on a stick
I was driving along a dirt road on Antelope Island looking for spiders and insects in the bushes when I decided
I might try looking out into the brush a little further because at this time of year it is easy to spot spiders who
are high in the grasses trying to snag insects from the air - because insects are getting a little more scarce. 

I couldn't believe what I was seeing when I spotted this one about 30 seconds later.  It looked like a spider on a
cross from a distance and I had to go see what it was.  This is what I found.  Weird!  Judging from the dark brown
"stab" mark or "heart" mark on the abdomen that is outlined in a lighter color, I have decided this must be a
Thanatus formicinus running crab spider.   © Carol Davis, 10-10-2010

crab on a stick
I took this photo with a flash, hence the color difference.  As soon as I started shooting, the wind whipped
up which made it very difficult to photograph. The stick and spider are much smaller than they appear in
your side mirror! I didn't dare hold on to the flimsy stick to steady it for fear it would bend so I just took a
few shots until some looked in focus.  It's quite obvious this spider is going "look, Ma, no hands" so I think it
had secured itself with webbing enabling it to nab its prey with all of its legs.  Just a guess.  What a fun little
 guy to find!  And, just so you know, he was alive and ticking.   © Carol Davis, 10-10-2010

Home - Arachnids of Utah

Other Home - Amazing Nature