FAMILY THOMISIDAE - Flower Spiders, Crab Spiders

This page contains pictures and information about Flower Spiders and Crab Spiders in family THOMISIDAE that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Flower Spiders are also called Crab Spider. They are small to medium size with colours of green, yellow, white, brown and grey. Most of them are not hairy except a few species. Their legs held in crab-like position and can move forward, backward or sideways. 
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Eight eyes in two rows of four                               Prey on flower visitor                                            Egg-sac on curved leaf 
All of them have eight eyes, in two rows of four, near the front edge of their head. Their eyes are usually encircled by a ring of white pigment. They can move their median eyes independently. To the observer, their eyes appears to change colour. 
Their two front pairs of legs are spiny and pointed to the front at rest, preparing to attack their prey. They are not active hunters, just sit and wait for prey and make most use of the camouflage techniques than other hunting spiders. The colour of the spider is adapted to the hunting terrain they use. They remain un-move until the prey arrive. They are usually found on flowers or leaves and and will stay there for days.
Males are usually smaller than females. Females make egg-sac on curved leaf. Females will guard their eggs and juveniles. 

Pink Flower Spider
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Diaea evanida, leg to leg 20mm
The Flower Spider hides on flower or branch, front four legs ready to seize a visiting insect. Their abdomen is pink on white and yellow in colours, well camouflaged when it sits on flower. Click here for more pictures and information.
White Flower Spider
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Diaea variabilis, leg to leg 20mm
This flower spider is white and pale green in colours. On their abdomen, there are many small dots on dirty white. Those markings are variable between individuals. Click here for more pictures and information. 
Grey Flower Spider
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Diaea prasina, leg to leg 20mm
We found this flower spider hunting on She-oak tree in Karawatha Forest on Dec 2009. Click here for more pictures and information. 
Orange Crab Spider
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? Zygometis or Diaea sp. leg to leg 15mm
We found this spider once in Karawatha forest once on Jam 2008. Please also check this page here. 
White Crab Spider, White Flower Spider
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Thomisus spectabilis, leg to leg 30mm 
This species of Flower Spiders are a little larger than the above species. The spiders also hide in the flower plants and their abdomen just look like the flower buds. At day time they rest in their retreats made by the leafs and their silk. At night they sit beside the flower and wait for the visitors, such as the small moths. Please visit this page for more information and pictures.
Yellow Crab Spider
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Thomisus sp., body length male 4mm, female 7mm
This spider has the reddish eye patch and the horn-like projection on each side of its head. This is a small Crab Spider. We found its once in Alexandra Hill on July 2007. We have the detailed page here.
Brown Crab Spider
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Sidymella bicuspidata, leg to leg 25mm 
Pictures taken in Karawatha Forest during late summer. It body shape is similar to the White Crab Spider but has all the body and legs in brown. We saw this spider only once. 
Hairy Crab Spider
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Sidymella hirsuta, leg to leg 20mm
This is a small and hairy Crab Spider. It is just hardly be noticed when resting on a hairy plant. We found this spider once in Yimbun Park near Bulimba Creek on Oct 2007. Click on here for more details.
Trapezia Crab Spider
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Sidymella trapezia, leg to leg 20mm
This small spider rests on twig with legs pointing forward as a long stick. The spider is pale brown in colour with trapezia shape abdomen. We have more pictures and information in this page.
Tmarus Crab Spider
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Tmarus cinerascens (Tmarus cineraceus), body length 10mm
This is a small Crab Spider. We found its once in Karawatha Forest. Please also check this page.
Octopus Crab Spider
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Tmarus marmoreus, leg to leg 30mm
Please also check this page
Peak Crab Spider
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Tmarus or Sidymella sp., leg to leg 10mm
This is a small Crab Spider. It could be a young or a tiny male spider. We found it in Ford Road Conservation Area on Mar 2011. We called it Peak Crab Spider because its abdomen rises to a dorsal peak. Its two front pairs of legs are much longer than the hind two pairs.
1. A Guide to Australian Spiders - Densey Clyne, Melbourne, Nelson 1969, p112.
3. Australian Spiders in colour - Ramon Mascord, Reed Books Pty Ltd, 1970, p62. 
Knobbly Crab Spider
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Stephanopis altifrons, leg to leg 30mm
This spider is not easily be noticed if it were resting on bark. We found it when it was guarding its egg-sac on leaf. This spider is slow moving. Please also visit this Knobbly Crab Spider page.
Black Crab Spider
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Cymbacha saucia, body length 7mm 
Nov 2009 in Anstead Forest, when we were inspecting the tangled web of a house spider, we found this Black Crab Spider hiding near the edge of the tangled web. The Black Crab Spider might want to steal prey from the web or attack the house spider. Please check this page for more infromation. 
Long Crab Spider
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Runcinia acuminata or Runcinia elongata, body length 10mm 
We found two Long Crab Spiders in Boondall Wetlands on Nov 2009. One was waiting prey on grass flower heads. Another was guarding egg-sac which built by dry grass seed-head. Please check this page for more details.
Bird-dung Crab Spider
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Phrynarachne sp., body length 10mm 
The Bird-dung Crab Spiders build remarkable retreat by bending blade of long-tall grass to make a 360 degrees turn to create a room in which attached by sheet of white silk, leave a small opening as entrance. This crab spider is black and white colours that mimics bird-dung. Please check this page for more information. 

1. A Guide to Australian Spiders - Densey Clyne, Melbourne, Nelson 1969, p56.
2. Australian Spiders in colour - Ramon Mascord, Reed Books Pty Ltd, 1970, p44. 
3. Thomisidae - The Find-a-spider Guide for the Spiders of Southern Queensland, Dr Ron Atkinson, 2009.
4. THOMISIDAE Crab Spiders - Save Our Waterways Now. 
5. Crab spiders Family Thomisidae - Spiders of Australia, Ed Nieuwenhuys, 2009. 
6. Family THOMISIDAE Sundevall, 1833 - Australian Faunal Directory, Australian Biological Resources Study. 

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Last updated: March 14, 2011.