Peucetia viridans
(Green Lynx Spider)

Taxonomic Hierarchy

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Suborder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Oxyopidae
  • Genus: Peucetia
  • Species: Peucetia viridans

Common Name (AASMore information icon)

Green Lynx Spider

Other Common Names

Lynx Spider

Author

Nicholas Marcellus Hentz, 1832

Pronunciation

pyoo-SEESH-uh VIH-rih-danz (pyoo-SET-ee-uh is also acceptable)

Identification Traits

Disclaimer: The following table provides a quick overview of the spider's basic attributes. The physical traits are greatly generalized in order to aid in the identification and sorting of spider species using our search feature. This information is not exhaustive, and keep in mind that traits such as color, markings, and overall size and shape can vary widely within a species due to variables such as the spider's age, gender, diet, hydration level, climate, and habitat. Though experienced arachnologists and hobbyists can often classify spiders rather accurately based on their unique markings and general appearance, it's important to know that scientifically accurate spider identification relies on detailed taxonomic keys and microscopic examinations of a spider's reproductive organs.

Female iconFemale Male iconMale
Body size More information icon 11mm - 22mm 8mm - 15mm
Eye count 8
Primary Colors
Identifying Traits Smooth or shiny appearance, Cylindrical or elongated body, Visible spines on legs, Especially long legs


Additional Remarks

  • Coloration and pattern can vary on the abdomen, often due to habitat or the age (instar) of the spider, but is typically a bright green color (can be reddish-pink or purple in some individuals). Most specimens also have pairs of white and/or burgundy diagonal lines down the center of the abdomen, which point forward towards the “head” of the spider.
  • May actively stalk its prey, running and jumping from branch to branch with ease, which is how it earned the nickname “lynx spider.”
  • In one study conducted in California among dry coastal sage-scrub, it was found that various hymenopterans constituted 41% of the Green Lynx Spider’s diet, with the main species being Apis mellifera, commonly known as the “honey bee” (Turner 1979).
  • Green Lynx Spiders actually mate in mid-air while suspended on a silken tether line. Their courtship and copulation is described in great detail in Whitcomb & Eason 1965.
  • Most females only create one egg sac but, in warmer (more southerly) conditions, they may create 2-3 egg sacs total.
  • Egg sac is light yellow or greenish color when fresh, and darkens to gray or brown over time; usually has some small spiky projections and is fairly large (~2cm in diameter) and firmly anchored to twigs and leaves where the mother vigorously guards it.
  • Brood size averages about 200 eggs, but can range anywhere from 25-600.
  • The mother spider uses her jaws to tear open the egg sac to help her young emerge, however, unlike “wolf spiders,” the babies do actually have the ability to free themselves by tearing their own tiny holes in the sac to escape.
  • Species is known for the ability to “spit” its venom up to 8 inches when feeling threatened (Fink 1984, Tinkham 1946).
  • Spiders are apparently capable of changing their body color to adapt to their environment (ranges from various shades of green, brown, and reddish-purple or pink).
  • Can be mistaken for the nearly identical species, Peucetia longipalpis, whose distribution overlaps in the southwestern USA.
  • The “Magnolia Green Jumper” (Lyssomanes viridis) has similar green coloration and may be mistaken for this spider, but it’s a member of a completely different family called Salticidae and has a very different eye arrangement.
  • There have been some verified bites by this spider (Bush et al. 2000), probably because the females can be so protective of their egg sacs. However, in all the reported cases, the symptoms were benign.

Featured Pictures

Picture of Peucetia viridans (Green Lynx Spider) - Female - Egg Sacs,Lateral Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Peucetia viridans (Green Lynx Spider) - Female - Egg Sacs,Lateral Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Peucetia viridans (Green Lynx Spider) - Female - Dorsal,Egg Sacs,Spiderlings Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Peucetia viridans (Green Lynx Spider) - Female - Ventral,Prey Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Peucetia viridans (Green Lynx Spider) - Female - Dorsal,Gravid Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Peucetia viridans (Green Lynx Spider) - Female - Dorsal Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Peucetia viridans (Green Lynx Spider) - Female - Eyes Enlarge picture icon
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Picture of Peucetia viridans (Green Lynx Spider) - Male - Dorsal Enlarge picture icon
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