Today, while collecting tiny insects and spiders in Briones Regional Park using grass sweeping nets, a beating sheet, and an aspirator, Kieran and I happened to sweep up a large, beautiful spider. She’s a type of Green Lynx, recognizable as Peucetia longipalpis by the white pattern on her cephalothorax. The related, and more common, Peucetia viridans has a pattern of white or reddish chevrons down the back. Lynx spiders creep around on vegetation (she’s the same exact color as the plants she clings to, and her legs are translucent green) and capture their prey by ambush or by stalking up on it. The many setae, or sensory hairs, on the legs help them sense and grab their prey. Lynxes have a catholic diet that includes bees, wasps, grasshoppers and katydids, butterflies and even other spiders, including other Lynx spiders. Their hexagonal eye arrangement, perfect for hunting, is unique among spiders.

Kieran aspirator Briones

We collected tiny insects and spiders, too small to pick up with our fingers or forceps, using an aspirator.

Lynx face

Peucetia longipalpis hunts by ambush or stalking.

Lynx eye pattern

The spider’s legs and even its cephalothorax are translucent.

Lynx eye pattern 2Lynx leg setae

Lynx abdomen

Peucetia longipalpis is the same color as the plants it prefers to hide on.

Lynx cephalothorax ventral

The opening of one of the spider’s book lungs is visible just behind the fourth leg, a pale opening into the abdomen.

Lynx ventral view

A view from beneath the spider, showing the coxae, or attachments of the legs to the cephalothorax.

Lynx dorsal white chevron

The white markings on the spider’s abdomen identify her as P. longipalpis, rather than the more common P. viridans.

Lynx leg shadow

A shadow across the spider’s abdomen shows the long setae, or sensory hairs.

Lynx legs and eyes

Lynx legs and eyes 2

The hexagonal eye arrangement of P. longipalpis and other Lynx spiders is unique.

Lynx legs and palps

One Comment on “Green Lynx

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