The Green Crab Spider is a wandering hunter, climbing up plants, searching for insect prey on flowers, in fields, on grass, and in shrubs. It does not spin webs, though a male may use his silk to cover a potential female mate, which is almost twice his size.
The Green Crab Spider is a member of the Crab Spider family. It’s able to walk forward, sideways and backwards, like its namesake. The extremely long front legs of the Green Crab Spider help it grab prey insects like bees, butterflies, and beetles while they are collecting pollen or drinking nectar on the same flower.
Its second pair of legs is usually larger, longer, and stronger than any other pair. A bright, almost neon green, the Green Crab Spider is tiny, easily hiding among petals. Sometimes it is in plain view and disregarded as part of the plant. Its slender abdomen may have a diamond, or kite-like shape. Red bands along the side of the abdomen may or may not be present.
The flowering plant in the image is the Firewheel or indian blanket and is a popular annual growing 1-2(-3) ft. tall. The hairy stem is usually much-branched and becomes woody at the base late in the season. Branched stems, mostly leafy near the base, have showy flower heads with rays red at base, tipped with yellow, each with 3 teeth at broad end. The well-known flower heads are 1-2 in. across with a red center and a yellow outer band. Occasionally the three-cleft rays are solid orange or yellow. The disk flowers in the center are brownish red.
Frequent along roadsides in the Southwest, these wildflowers stand like hundreds of showy Fourth of July pinwheels at the top of slender stalks. Varieties are popular in cultivation, for they tolerate heat and dryness. Among several species in the Southwest, some flowers are entirely yellow.
Spider Information Source: Insect Identification