Northern Crab Spider

Photo of a northern crab spider
Scientific Name
Mecaphesa asperata
Thomisidae (crab spiders) in the order Araneae (spiders)

The northern crab spider has many spiny hairs covering the top surfaces of the carapace, abdomen, and legs, and it has usually has greenish-yellow or yellow-brown markings (similar to those on the ridge-faced crab spider). There are a wide variety of possible color combinations, however. They can be very hard even for specialists to identify with certainty.

Like other crab spiders, they generally resemble crabs: Their legs extend outward from the sides, and they can walk in any direction. Learn more about the northern crab spider and other foliage flower spiders in their group page.


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About Land Invertebrates in Missouri
Invertebrates are animals without backbones, including earthworms, slugs, snails, and arthropods. Arthropods—invertebrates with “jointed legs” — are a group of invertebrates that includes crayfish, shrimp, millipedes, centipedes, mites, spiders, and insects. There may be as many as 10 million species of insects alive on earth today, and they probably constitute more than 90 percent all animal species.