Green Lynx Spider

The green lynx (Peucetia viridans) is a gorgeous, brilliant green spider commonly found on shrub-like plants all over the southern U.S. It is the largest North American lynx spider.

Spiders in the family Oxiopidae are fast-moving diurnal predators which do not construct webs; they use webbing mostly as as safety draglines when they move. They are most easily identified by the spiky black hairs/spines on their legs, and by their acrobatic movements — they are not true jumping spiders, but they commonly run and leap after prey, pouncing on them like a cat, hence the name “lynx spider”.

The green lynx spider is a voracious consumer of pestiferous insects — but also of beneficial ones, limiting its use as natural pest control. They are known to eat honeybees (Apis mellifera) — and I actually found this one while I was taking photos of a brown-winged striped sweat bee (Agapostemon splendens) which was torpidly snoozing on a flower, waiting for the sun to come up fully. I was initially attracted by the metallic green bee and only later noticed this female lynx spider sneaking up on it:

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