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Philodromus dispar - Runnig Crab Spider
Philodromus dispar - Runnig Crab Spider

Philodromus dispar
Philodromus dispar is a species in the order spiders (Araneae), the suborder Araneomorphae, the family running crab spiders or philodromid crab spiders (Philodromidae), and the genus (Philodromus). This species is found throughout the palearctic ecozone and is widespread in Germany and Central Europe but even in appropriate habitats is only moderately common. According to the “Red List” of Germany, Philodromus dispar are non endangered in Germany.
Philodromus dispar belong to the native medium-sized Philodromidae. Both the males and the females reach body lengths of 4-5 mm. Their bodies are flat and there are gender differences in colouration and markings. While the males’ base colour is very dark, sometimes almost black, the females are shades of yellow-brown The males have short shimmering hairs, which make them look shiny.
The anterior section of the body (prosoma) of the females is brown and has thin, white to pale yellow or cream-coloured edges, which appear clearly separated. In some specimens light radial stripes can be seen. The prosoma of the males is dark brown to black, has short hairs and a clear white stripe on both sides. The upper surface of the rear section of the body (opisthosoma) of the females is light brown to brown with dark edges. In the middle, an indistinct leaf shaped pattern (folium) is usually visible. Towards the back of the abdomen is a marking in the shape of an arrow or angle. Brown spots can sometimes be seen on the front of the abdomen. The sides are white to cream-coloured or light yellow, with the edges clearly separated.
In the males the sides are also light coloured and contrast sharply with the dark brown to black upper surface. The short hairs create a shine. The legs of both sexes are yellowish-grey and have fine brownish-black spots. There are 4 - 5 thorn- shaped appendages on the bottom of the tibia of the first pair of legs. . Due to their appearance, Philodromus dispar, especially females, can be confused with Philodromus cespitum.
Philodromus dispar prefer to live in sunny habitats. They can be encountered in spring and summer in deciduous forests, coniferous forests, copses, forest edges and occasionally in the vicinity of human settlements. They live on trees and bushes at different heights, especially on tree trunks or on taller plants in the undergrowth.
Philodromus dispar prey on other insects. They are fast runners and skilled hunters and do not build webs, but capture their prey on the move. It sucks out its prey insect. In the case of danger, they press themselves flat to the ground. If they are attacked, they imitate crab spiders, lifting up the first pairs of their legs and moving towards the attacker.
The females lay their eggs in a cocoon, which is attached to leaves. They keep guard of their brood until autumnwhen the young spiders hatch from the eggs. The main enemy of the young are the larvae of the ichneumon wasps Tromatobia lineatoria. Chickadees (Paridae) are the primary natural enemy of adult Philodromus dispar. The spider overwinter behind the bark of dead trees.

Philodromus dispar
German namesGelbrandiger Flachstrecker, Weißrandiger Flachstrecker
Dutch namesZwartrugrenspin, Zwarte renspin
Swedish namesFracksnabblöpare
French namesPhilodrome disparate
AuthorWalckenaer, 1826

North Europe (British Isles (United Kingdom (Great Britain (England (English Midlands (East Midlands (Leicestershire))))), Ireland), Germany (West Germany (North Rhine-Westphalia)), Scandinavia (Norway, Sweden, Denmark), Baltic region (Baltic States (Latvia))), West Europe (Austria, France, Switzerland, Benelux (Belgium, Netherlands, Luxembourg)), South Europe (Italy (Italy Islands (Sardinia)), Iberian Peninsula (Spain, Portugal, Andorra)), Central Europe (Hungary, Poland, Czech Republic (Moravia, Bohemia), Slovakia), Southeast Europe (Romania, Yugoslavia (Slovenia, Croatia, Serbia and Montenegro (Serbia, Montenegro), Bosnia and Herzegovina, Macedonia), Bulgaria, Greece, Albania, Moldova), East Europe (Ukraine, Belarus)
Central Asia
North America
Canada, USA

CountriesAlbania, Andorra, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Canada, Croatia, Czech Republic, Denmark, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Luxembourg, Macedonia, Moldova, Montenegro, Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, USA, Ukraine, United Kingdom
Links and ReferencesPhilodromus dispar in
Philodromus dispar in
Philodromus dispar in
Philodromus dispar in Wikipedia (English)

Description of images / photos
Photography with Cameras
Nikon D3x, Nikon D300, Canon 50D
Image editing with Photoshop
1. Philodromus dispar - Runnig Crab Spider
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True Spiders
Philodromid crab spiders, Philodromids, Running crab spiders, False crab spiders
Philodromus dispar
AuthorWalckenaer, 1826
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