Arizona Naturalist >>> Montane Arthropods >>> Giant Crab Spider

Giant Crab Spider

Olios giganteuus

Photo © by Mike Plagens

Male. On a cabin wall in ponderosa woodlands at Washington Park, Gila Co., Arizona, USA. 7 Aug. 2015

Sparrasidae -- Giant Crab Spider Family

These large intimidating spiders are not aggressive nor dangerously venomous, and besides, the ones that are most frequently encountered roaming indoors are the males as is this one. Males give up feeding and most biting to search for females. These spiders can have a leg spread of 8 cm or more and are active hunters. They do not spin webs. They superficially resemble wolf spiders, but often climb walls, which wolves rarely do. True wolf spiders also have two large and two larger eyes in the front row of eyes. Another distinctive feature are the chelicerae ("fangs"), which are glossy black. Olios are common mostly around structures in Arizona, s. Nevada, and s.e. California. The specimen at left was near an electric light, perhaps more interested in finding the females of his species attracted to a concentration of prey. It has lost two of its eight legs perhaps after encounters with other spiders or spider predators. Another specimen below shows the eye arrangement and the chelicerae.

Olios giganteus photo © by Mike Plagens

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 1 Dec. 2016,
updated 18 May 2021.