Xysticus cristatus Clerck, 1757 ♀
Common names: Common Crab Spider [En], Xystique crêté [Fr]
Dinant, NAMUR ● Belgium
The body length of the male is 3.5-6.1 mm, the body length of the female 4.7-8 mm.
The prosoma is contrastingly white and dark brown, laterally with broad black stripes; the median triangle is large, with distinct black spot posteriorly, margined arc-like on each side by bright stripes. The sternum is medially white, with small brown spots or marbled brown on beige background (very variable), the margin of sternum is yellow to beige-brown. The legs are brown, longitudinally striped, mostly darker dorsally, retrolaterally with longish hairless areas. The chelicerae are brown, to beige, frontally with several short and one longer spine. The opisthosoma is very variable in colour (female slightly brighter overall), distinctly patterned with characteristic light brown-ochre triangles on dark background. The spinnerets are brown, with white border.
Biology: In grasslands, this spider exploits a flexible hunting position either at the tips of vegetation or on the ground surface. As a consequence, the diet is extremely varied and comprises flying insects, including bees and butterflies, when positioned in flower-heads, or ants, spiders and other soft bodied prey when ambushing prey on the ground (Nyffeler & Breene 1990). Adults have been recorded from February to December, with a male activity peak in May and June (Merrett 1967; Bell 1999).
Habitat: Almost every habitat type, but is shade intolerant and rare in woodlands and closed canopy habitats. Large numbers can be found in grasslands and habitats which have undergone some degree of disturbance such as quarries and agricultural fields. 0m to 900m
Spider and Harvestman Recording Scheme
Araneae, Spiders of Europe