This week, our staffers found a Green Lynx Spider (peucetia viridans) perched on a lily near our office in Headwaters Corner. She appears to have made her home here, as one of her younglings emerged a few moments after we spotted her.
Typically, these spiders guard their young for 6 to 8 weeks after they hatch, until they are they are big enough to defend themselves from possible predators. This is unusual behavior — most spiders are known to eat their mothers as their first meal, before moving on to their weaker siblings and then other prey. Lynx are active hunters, that stalk their prey and spit venom. They don’t actually spin webs, like most species of spiders do!
These spiders are aptly named for the bright coloring of their body. They move quickly and pounce like cats, making the ‘lynx’ part of its name very accurate. Like cats, they’ll also often sit still for very long periods of time waiting for prey to wander by. They can be found on shrubs , wildflowers, and in tall grasses all throughout the Southern United States, Venezuela, Mexico, and all over Central and South America.
They’re great for controlling pest problems in cotton fields, and soybean or peanut crops. The only downside? They also like to snack on bees and butterflies as well.
Check out the resources below to find out more information about this unique guest here at Headwaters Corner.
- Hawkinson, Candace. “Green Lynx Spider.” Beneficial Spiders in the Landscape: #48 Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia Viridans), Galveston County Master Gardener Association, 2006, aggie-horticulture.tamu.edu/galveston/beneficials/beneficial-48_green_lynx_spider.htm.
- Regents of the University of California . “Pests in Gardens and Landscapes: Quick Tips.” UC IPM Online, University of California Agriculture and Natural Resources, 11 May 2017, ipm.ucanr.edu/QT/commongardenspiderscard.html.
- Raines, Ben. “Venom-Spitting Spiders Hatching out All over Alabama Make Great Mothers.” AL.com, 2 Nov. 2015, www.al.com/news/index.ssf/2015/11/venom-spitting_green_lynx_spid.html.
- Weems, H.V. (Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, Division of Plant Industry), and W.H. Whitcomb (University of Florida). “Featured Creatures .” Green Lynx Spider – Peucetia Viridans (Hentz), University of Florida, Publication Date: November 2001. Latest revision: July 2014.