Monday, June 13, 2011

Lynx Spiders

Lynx Spiders (Oxyopes) are ambush hunters that are frequently found in grassy areas hidden among the foliage of plants. They are excellent runners and jumpers and will patiently wait for prey to come within reach; then they will jump, run or grab their prey. This ability to pounce onto their prey is what earned them the common name of lynx....just like the cat. Lynx spiders do not build webs, instead they rely totally on stealth and active hunting techniques to find food.

 (lynx spider feeding on candy-striped leafhopper)

These excellent hunters rarely miss their prey and often occur in such large numbers that they can be considered important biological control of many injurious insects that feed on grains, fruits, and other agricultural crops. This is especially true of the striped lynx spider (pictured below).

Striped Lynx Spider----Oxyopes salticus

  Lynx spiders are easy to identify as their eyes are arranged in a distinctive pattern. Six of the eight eyes are arranged in a hexagonal pattern. This pattern is a characteristic of this family of spiders. They also have spine covered legs.

Males will perform an elaborate mating dance to attract a potential female. Once mated the female will spin a silken web-like cocoon that she attaches to a leaf or plant. She will stand guard over her eggs until they hatch. Like most spiderlings they are capable of caring for themselves right after emerging from the egg sac.

These are common, beneficial spiders and should be left alone to carry out their very important service to us in the form of insect control. They are fond of flies, leafhoppers and other potentially harmful insects.


  1. We do have the odd lynx spider here - my opinion is that they are some of the most beautiful and interesting spiders. Excellent blogpost!

  2. I love these spiders for their unique beauty. They truly are wonderful. Thank you for your kind comments :o)