Xysticus – Ground Crab Spider

Xysticus - Ground Crab Spider

Spiders of the Xysticus genus, also called ground crab spiders are a rather indistinct species. As all crab spiders, they look similar to crabs. The brownish coloring, along with the splotchy pattern is optimal for blending in with its natural habitat than to stand out. Depending on the species of the ground crab spider, the color may be more beige or darker brown. The “deadly ground crab spider” is an all orange-colored spider.

Xysticus - Ground Crab Spider size compared to a coin
Photography by: K. J. Ester – Madison Heights, Mi.

Xysticus Size

The Xysticus genus contains some one of the smallest Crab Spiders. The Ground Crab Spider pictured above is approximately only 3/16” (5 mm) across, including the legs. Typically, Xysticus spiders don’t grow larger than 0.4 inch (10 mm).


The bite of a Crab Spider will not have any negative, dangerous impacts for humans. Ground crab spiders are non-aggressive and will run away if they face any danger. They will only attack of the feel the need to defend themselves.

Xysticus Scientific Classification

  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Arthropoda
  • Subphylum: Chelicerata
  • Class: Arachnida
  • Order: Araneae
  • Infraorder: Araneomorphae
  • Family: Tomisidae
  • Genus: Xysticus
Xysticus - Ground Crab Spider photo
Photography by: K. J. Ester – Madison Heights, Mi.

Distribution of Xysticus crab spiders in the USA

Xysticus ground crab spider USA

Various species of Xysticus crab spiders can be found throughout the United States – Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Montana, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, South Dakota, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming

Xysticus – Ground Crab Spider

52 thoughts on “Xysticus – Ground Crab Spider

  1. Hi I found this spider in my sink and its about the size of a nickel. Im currently living in northern Texas. I’ve looked through all of Google images and still can’t figure out what species this is🤔

  2. Howdy!

    Just moved to Grand Rapids in Michigan. Got out of the car and saw a pale ash-gray spider about 2 cm long; pretty unremarkable looking, but for what seemed to be a perfectly round abdomen, the size of a pea or slightly larger. Crawling fairly rapidly, near the house, on a warm day. Didn’t have a chance to take a picture. Any identification possible from this? Thanks In advance.

    Mark Joseph

  3. Felt this crawling on my hand in my bed. Thought it may be a brown recluse. Doesn’t exactly match the pictures I’ve seen though. I’m in the Dallas, Texas area.

  4. Inside, sitting on the bathroom door trim, southeastern South Dakota, overall size of about a quarter, slightly larger maybe. Picture is zoomed in slightly. Sort of has the crab shape.

  5. Found inside, in Middle Tennessee. Very small. Size can be seen in relation to the tan carpet below. It seemed to scuttle like a crab or a large tick.

    1. Encontré esto al costado de la cocina y me levantaba las patas delanteras como para pelear la verdad no tengo ni idea de que es y soy fe argentina

  6. I found this spider on my shirt after walking through a web outside. The web was from the stair rail for the deck to the house. I’m near Richmond, VA. Any thoughts on what this could be?

  7. Found this little thing laying flat. Thought it was dead at first but it then moved. Between 1/8th inch and 1/4 inch in size

  8. Found living in a dried up okra pod in College Station Texas. Two front legs are much longer than back legs and it holds them up and out (like a crawfish) in a “fight me” pose. Okra seed is also in picture for size comparison. Underside and back two sets of legs are paler in comparison to rest of body.

  9. Found this spider on my driveway. Haven’t seen one like it before. Please let me know what it is. Thanks!

  10. Found this spider in a potted lilac in dayton, nevada. Not sure if it’s a true spider. Either it has 4 pairs of legs and the first set and last set are Itty bitty, or it only has 6 legs and those first two are part of its mouth. It did threat display when I went to take a picture. I’ve been watching it walk around in the pot and it tends to keep its but pointed upwards.

  11. I live in PA and have been seeing one of these around the house every once and a while and wanted to see if I should be concerned or not. Would love to know what is. Thanks!

    1. Richard, did you find out if it’s a ground crab? I just found two of these (identical to your photo) in my bathroom. Oregon.

      1. Hi Brook and RIchard, both of these spiders are Xysticus sp. ground crab spiders. An identification on species level is not possible without examining under a microscope – but given your locations in the U.S., I would assume that these two spiders are of different species.

  12. Was cleaning under furniture and this fellow hitched a ride out my hand. Some variety of ground crab spider maybe? Striking color combination, never seen it before.

    1. Hi Jean, yes, this is some type of crab spider. Possibly a ground crab spider of the genus Xysticus or a relative Thomisid spider.

  13. These bloody xysticus ground crab spiders are being transported by immigrants who don’t fumigate their belongings before moving into multi-unit dwellings. Along with the Cockroaches they bring in, these immigrants also transport these horrible species in that often take several winters to eradicate (as they are not capable of surviving Canadian winters well). The pest-control expert who just inspected our building three days ago indicated a migrant from Afghanistan region had one of the worst infestation of bugs in their unit he’d ever seen and that it had fouled several of the other units in the building as well . . . he called Health and Human Services and reported this but not before these bugs began to use the buildings plumbing to migrate to other tenants units. To say this is a disruption is an understatement and these immigrants who chose to hide this spider and cockroach infestation until it dramatically affected other tentants are going to be evicted rightfully and immediately.

  14. I located this spider in a rock wall, in my yard in North Salt Lake Utah. Varying shades of gray, with no detectable hair. It seemed to have a pear shaped, or teardrop shaped body. Variegated legs With striping that ran from the body to the end of its legs.

  15. This was found hiking within 20 miles of Laramie Wyoming. Am working on a book of landscapes with flora and insects (arachnids) encountered as well. Would appreciate an ID.



  16. Found crawling in my hair after being outside. Roughly size of a quarter. Located in southern Kentucky. Thank you.

  17. Hi, this little spider is most likely a female because it had babies nearby. Found in a basket of strawberries from a local farmer.
    Linda and Ron from Escondido Ca.

  18. Found this in the bathroom. Google lens thought it resembles a crab spider. Never seen one like this through my scouting years. I’m in kcmo

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