Crab spider
Misumena vatia


Crab spiders are most common in the south of England. Whilst their season is May to August, you may have a better chance of seeing them early in the summer (May/June).

Unlike many spiders, they don’t use webs to catch their prey. Typically white in colour; however, the female crab spider can also change colour.

She will choose her place to wait and over time her orb-shaped body will camouflage with the flower. Unsuspecting prey literally can’t see her coming.

The male spider on the other hand, cannot change colour and is much smaller than the female. He spends his time searching for mates travelling up and down flower stems to find one!

Crab spider facts and statistics

• Female up to 11mm
• Male up to 4mm
• Eat: bees, flies and small invertebrates

How to identify

Crab spiders are white with an orb-shaped abdomen. Upon closer inspection, you may see two thin red lines running along the sides of the abdomen.

Their front two legs are much longer than the rest, leading to their name. They walk like a crab and can move forwards and sideways.

Conservation status



• Wetlands
• Gardens
• Open grassland

Crab spider sightings at Grimsargh Wetlands

Crab spider Gallery

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