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Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Crabby?

An interesting spider from the dunes.  I don't know what species it is, but to document as many species as possible on Bodega Head, and with the hope that someone may be able to assist with the i.d., here it is.  

Check out the metallic color tones including hints of bronze and copper.


The length and spread posture of the front legs makes me think of a crab spider, but I'm more familiar with crab spiders that sit on flowers waiting for pollinators (see below for a yellow crab spider from the northern end of the Bodega Dunes in 2007).


The brown spider photographed today was ~1 cm across.  It was crawling across the sand, but also hid at the base of vegetation.


It was quick to raise its front legs when threatened.


Although it's always good to have some mysteries to puzzle over, does anybody have thoughts about what species this is? 


ADDENDUM (19 March 2012)

After a little Internet searching, I think this spider might be Xysticus californicus.  It looks very much like the individual in the pictures on this web page about Spiders of Orange County scroll down to Thomisidae (Crab Spiders).  I also found an older research paper that describes their hunting behavior.  Rather than waiting on flowers, they actively pursue their prey in this case, ants.
 

1 comment:

Claudia said...

You might try Rick Vetter at UC Riverside. I met him while at the Granites.

Very cool! Here's a link to spider site at UCR:
http://spiders.ucr.edu/.

His contact info from the UCR website is:
rick.vetter@ucr.edu
Tel: (951) 827-5805