Entomology (Study of Bugs)/Spider Identification


Hi there;

I was walking along a concrete path in Grande Prairie, Alberta (northern small city in Alberta) and found this crossing my path.  Can you tell me what type of spider it is?

Dear Lynette - This is a crab spider (family Thomisidae), likely in the genus Xysticus - see http://tinyurl.com/n7hw9jl for an example. Crab spiders are ambush predators, usually laying in wait on vegetation (including on tree trunks) for prey to come within grasping distance. They di=o not spin a capture web of any kind, and all are harmless to humans.
Hope this helps,

Entomology (Study of Bugs)

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Ed Saugstad


Will accept most questions in general entomology, including those related to medical entomology, taxonomy, ecology, arthropod surveillance, and pest management. If you are requesting a 'mystery bug' identification, PLEASE either attach an image to your question, or post an image on a web page (such as Flickr) so that I can look at it, as verbal descriptions frequently are insufficient for a definitive identification.


21 years in the U.S. Army as a medical entomologist; duties varied from surveillance of pest populations (including mosquitoes, cockroaches, ticks, and stored products pests) to conducting research on mosquito-virus ecological relationships and mosquito faunal studies. Ten years as a civilian analyst for the Department of Defense, primarily on distribution of vector-borne diseases worldwide. Limited experience on surveillance of agricultural insects in North Dakota and Indiana.

Entomological Society of America, West Virginia Entomological Society, Society for Vector Ecology, National Speleological Society, West Virginia Association for Cave Studies.

American Journal of Public Health, Contributions of the American Entomological Institute, Japanese Journal of Sanitary Zoology, Journal of Economic Entomology, Mosquito News, and Mosquito Systematics.

B.S. in entomology from North Dakota State University in 1963, M.S. in entomology from Purdue University in 1967.

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