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Philodromus aureolus
Philodromus aureolus

Philodromus aureolus
Philodromus aureolus belong to the genus Philodromus, in the order spiders (Araneae), the suborder Araneomorphae, and the family philodromid crab spiders or running crab spiders (Philodromidae). This species is widespread in Europe, Africa, North America and Asia. It is common in Germany and Central Europe and is found almost everywhere.
Philodromus aureolus have a flat body. The females have a yellow-brown, golden brown or dark brown base colour. The males are dark brown with a faint light pattern although their colouration is mostly obscured by dense hair. The females are 4-7 mm in length, the males 3. 5 - 5 mm. The hair of the males is dazzlingly bright (iridescent), with a green metallic sheen which varies in intensity. The females have a strip of light-coloured hair running lengthwise along their backs.
The front section of the body (prosoma) is almost round and is reddish brown or dark brown in colour in the females. The upper surface has a wide, bright stripe in the middle. The prosoma of the males is dark and has a metallic sheen and the stripe often appears indistinct. In all Philodromus aureolus, the posterior eyes are further apart than the lateral posterior eyes.
The rear section of the body (opisthosoma) is slightly longer than it is wide and reaches its maximum width just after the midpoint. The markings vary; they can be more or less pronounced, and are usually brown or light brown in the females, with a yellow stripe on the upper surface, within which a marking appears over time which resembles a heart or a spear. Towards the back of the abdomen, indentations are visible. The opisthosoma of the males is similar but darker and shinier.
The legs of Philodromus aureolus are brown to yellow in colour, can be spread out horizontally and allow the spider to move at speed. The tibia of the first leg pair to the bottom is with two pairs of long, and just outside one pair of short sting-like bristles. In particular, the males are very fast runners.
Due to their appearance, Philodromus aureolus can very easily be confused with Philodromus cespitum and Philodromus buxi. A definite identification is possibleonly by checking the shape of the genitals.
Adult Philodromus aureolus are diurnal and appear from May to August in diverse habitats such as deciduous forests, coniferous forests, mixed forests, forest edges, meadows, orchards, moors, copses, heaths, on the banks of bodies of water, in dunes and gardens. They are found on the leaves, branches and stems of herbaceous plants, trees and shrubs where they prey on insects. Once they have chosen their prey, they overwhelm it quickly and administer a paralyzing and fatal bite.
Mating season is in May. Most males die after mating - those that survive can be encountered until July. The females spin a flat cocoon covered with light coloured spider silk in the creases in leaves, rolled up leaves or under rocks for their eggs. Having finshed the cocoon, they spin themself a roof shaped shelter in which to reside, while guarding their brood. The spiders hatch and reach their final stages of development in autumn. The young spiders overwinter under loose bark. On warmer winter days they leave their shelter for a few hours to walk around.

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Philodromus aureolus
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