Saturday, September 28, 2013

Green lynx spider

A Simply Extra
On recent rows in the lake, I've seen quite a few green lynx spiders (Peucetia viridans) with captured prey.

This green lynx spider captured a beautiful golden-winged dragonfly.  I love the way the bright green color of the spider contrasts with the dragonfly's bright yellow wings.

Unlike web-spinning spiders that build sticky traps for unsuspecting insects to fly into, the green lynx stalks and pounces on prey much like a wildcat does.

A fierce predator, the green lynx will eat just about anything.  Bees, wasps, beetles, flies, grasshoppers and even other spiders become victim to the green lynx's aggressive hunting.

This large black and yellow argiope, a web-spinning spider, must have wandered into the wrong place and fell victim to the aggressive green lynx

While the green lynx is dangerous to other spiders and insects, it seldom bites people.  When it does (which usually happens only if a person disturbs a female spider guarding her egg sac), the bite is not harmful.

Insects, on the other hand have reason to avoid this nimble hunter. The green lynx spider has excellent eyesight, moves quickly and has the ability to spit venom at it's targeted prey.  Because it kills so many bugs that are agricultural pests, the green lynx is considered a beneficial spider.  However, there's some debate about that label since it is not particularly discriminating and will kill beneficial bugs as well.

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