There are so many different types of spiders globally, and each one is interesting in its way. So, even the species that are not that known are still fascinating. Though Crab Spiders are not popular pets like tarantulas, we’ll tell you what makes them so great!
A Crab Like Spider has a unique hunting method since it doesn’t create webs or stalk its prey. Instead, these arachnids camouflage with their surroundings and wait for insects to come. Thus, Crab Spiders have many shades, from understated to vibrant patterns and textures.
But that’s not all! In this post, we’ll discuss everything that makes Crab Like Spiders so unique. We’ll also let you know whether these spiders make good pets or not, so keep on reading!
Everything You Need to Know About Crab Like Spiders
Why Are They Called “Crab Like Spiders”?
The name “Crab Like Spiders” or “Crab Spiders” has to do with two aspects of these arachnids.
For starters, because their front legs are larger than the rest, these spiders look like crabs. But the similarities don’t end there. These arachnids are also able to walk sideways and backward like, you guessed it, crabs!
All Crab Spiders are part of the Thomisidae family, and there are over 3000 different types of them.
Natural Habitat of a Crab Like Spider
Since there are so many Crab Spiders species, you can find them, pretty much, everywhere. That said, there’s a bigger chance you’ll spot these arachnids in:
- North America
- Northeastern Europe
- Northern and Eastern Australia
That said, Crab Spiders are not that easy to find. These spiders tend to camouflage as flowers, leaves, and fruit hands, so you may not see them at first glance.
The Appearance of a Crab Like Spider
As we mentioned before, Crab Spiders camouflage to mimic their environment. Thus, Crab Spiders can come in several colors, patterns, and textures. All these variations will depend on habitat and species.
Some Crab Like Spiders come in vibrant shades that resemble fruits or flowers. Other Crab Spiders have textures that mimic trees or leaves and may not be as striking. Depending on where you live, you may even see very different versions of these arachnids.
Crab Like Spiders also come in various sizes, but most of them are around four and 10mm big. This average size doesn’t include the legs’ length, but it’s safe to say that these arthropods tend to be tiny. Also, females tend to be more prominent than males.
But there’s an exception: The Giant Crab Spider. Also known as Golden Hunstman Spiders, these fellas have legs that extend to 25 or 30cm.
But the thing that makes Crab Like Spiders stand out is the shape of their legs. Crab Spiders have forelegs that are longer and thicker than their hind legs.
Depending on the species, the forelegs may have a different color or texture than the rest of the body. You may even notice that their front legs are hairier too!
But why are the forelegs different? Keep on reading to find out!
How Are Crab Like Spiders Different From Other Spider Species?
The behavior of a Crab Spider is also different from other spider species. But how? Well, for starters, they don’t create webs or run after their prey. Instead, Crab Spiders camouflage and wait patiently for insects to come near.
These spiders can wait days or weeks for their “food” (which can vary from bees to moths, flies, and mosquitoes).
Once the prey’s near, the Crab Spider uses its strong forelegs to grab its victim. This use for its front legs is also why they look different, more claw-ish, almost.
To prevent “food” from escaping, the spider also bites and injects a paralyzing venom into its prey.
Another difference between Crab Spiders and other spiders is they rarely enter houses. Crab Like Spiders prefer to be in wild open spaces than in the dark or closed areas. Thus you are more likely to see these tiny arachnids in your garden than inside your bedroom.
The crustacean-like walk of a Crab Spider is one more thing that sets it apart. These spiders can not only move forward but backward and sideways. This way to move can also resemble another arachnid: The Tailless Whip Scorpion.
Is It Possible to Keep a Crab Like Spider as a Pet?
Yes. In reality, you’ll find that keeping a Crab Like Spider is, for the most part, easy. Still, you’ll have to provide certain things for the spider to thrive in captivity. Let’s take a look at what you’ll need to house a Crab Spider.
Enclosure for a Crab Like Spider
Since they are tiny, a small glass or plastic terrarium is enough to house a Crab Like Spider. This terrarium needs small holes for ventilation, as long as the spider can’t fit through them. Otherwise, there’s a risk your pet will escape.
Inside the enclosure, you can place a cork bark, leaves, and small rocks to give it a more natural look. These items will also allow work as hiding spots for the spider.
You’ll also need a substrate that retains moisture. Crab Spiders prefer humid environments, so misting the tank often is also recommended.
Make sure the temperature in the tank is around 77º-87ºF by measuring with a thermometer. If necessary, add a small heating pad on one side of the tank as well.
Feeding a Pet Crab Like Spider
As we said earlier, a Crab Like Spider can spend days or weeks waiting for prey. So, you won’t have to feed one of these multi-legged cuties too often.
You can feed your spider any pest or insect you see around your house, as long as the prey’s not bigger than your pet. A fly or mosquito once a will do wonders for your Crab Spider. But please, remember only to offer live insects to your spider.
A water dish won’t be necessary since the spider will get most of its hydration from prey and the tank’s humidity. Also, regardless of how shallow the water dish is, the spider could still drown.
Handling a Pet Crab Spider
While it is better to avoid handling most spiders, you could pet a Crab Like Spider if you’re careful. Though Crab Spiders are venomous, most of them don’t have fangs big enough to break through your skin.
The only species that could bite you and you’d feel it is the Giant Crab Spider, but it only causes mild pain. There are no side effects of a Crap Spider’s venom on humans.
We do have to warn you: If you’re allergic to bees’ stings, you’ll have to seek medical attention right away. A Crab Like Spider’s bite may cause your skin to be swollen or react. The treatment may include pain medication or antibiotics if there’s an infection.
Another risk of handling a Crab Like Spider is that you may hurt your tiny pet. Thus, it would help if you let the spider walk on your hand on its terms. Be careful not to put your fingers on the arachnid and crush it!
You’ll also need to keep an out for possible escapes. Crab Spiders are small and fast, which means they could run away at the slightest chance. So, it may be better not to handle these spiders very often… or at all!
Related Questions About Crab Like Spiders
Can I Have a Crab Like Spider if I Already Have Other Pets?
As with most cold-blooded pets, it is better not to mix Crab Spiders with cats and dogs. Although your pet may survive the venom with the correct treatment, the spider could end up dead. After all, cats and dogs are way bigger than a Crab Like Spider!
If you still think you could have a Crab Spiders and other pets, try not to take the spider out of its container. And, if you can, avoid leaving the dog or cat alone near the tank. This warning may seem like an exaggeration, but accidents can happen.
For How Long Does a Crab Like Spider Live?
We’re sad to tell you that the lifespan of a Crab Like Spider is short. In the wild, Crab Spiders rarely live for over a year, so they may not be the best option if you’re looking for a long-term pet. But who knows? With the right conditions and feeding, you may be able to enjoy the spider’s company for longer.
And, even if they don’t live for long, you’ll still enjoy learning about Crab Spiders. These tiny friends are fascinating, and you’ll love keeping close observation of them!