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Green Lynx Spider

Peucetia viridans

Photo © by Yvonne Anderson

Photographed using a Canon PowerShot A610 in the western foothils of Four Peaks, Maricopa Co., Arizona on 27 Sept. 2006 at flowers of Goldeneye (Viguiera deltoidea). The spider has taken a Queen (Danaus gilipus) as prey.

Photo © by Michael Plagens

This adult female Green Lynx was photographed in the Superstition Mountains Oct 2006. She will wither away as she sits upon and defends her egg sac. The emerging young will often feed upon their mother's moribund body after they emerge from the eggs. This photo is hosted at Wikimedia Commons.

The Green Lynx Spider is not a friend of flowers. For there they set up shop as a sit-and-wait predator taking as prey the very pollinators that the flower is designed to attract. Bees are a favorite prey of the Green Lynx: their legs have an array of stiff, outward projecting setae (hairs) that prevent a captive bee from thrusting a lethal sting into the spider. In a flash the spider delivers a lethal bite of its own the instant it latches onto the bee then holds it at bay until the venom takes its effect. In the photo at left the spider has taken a male Queen Butterfly. The queen's caterpillar stage fed on toxic milkweed and the adult butterfly may well contain toxins that could poison the spider ... a day or two of observation might have revealed whether the spider suffered any toxic effects.

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Copyright Michael J. Plagens, 1999-2012