Green Lynx Spider
Summary: The Green Lynx spider is an active hunter that hides among flowers or shrubs and uses camouflage to ambush prey such as butterflies, moths, and bees.
Green Lynx spiders are an easily distinguishable species of spider due to their bright green coloration, the black thorns and spots that cover their body, and the arrangement of six of their eyes in a hexagonal pattern on the front of their head. They can be easy to miss with a passing glance because they lay very still on plant stems or flowers and blend into the background. However, they are fascinating to watch in action because they leap from leaf to leaf in pursuit of prey.
Green lynx spiders live in tropical climates and are distributed across the southern United States, as well as Mexico and Central America. They are often found living in prickly pear cacti. They do not build webs, preferring to sit very still waiting to pounce on their prey. They are an important species because they limit pest insect populations that can be damaging to agricultural crops like bollworm moths and Cabbage Looper moths. Unfortunately, their benefit is somewhat canceled out by their fondness for beneficial insects for food as well, including bees and parasitic wasps that also prey on pests. However, in some areas, the green lynx spider remains a valuable ally in maintaining a balance in the ecosystem and providing a natural pest control agent.
The green lynx spider is fairly large for a spider. This means that they are usually under an inch long, but can grow up to two inches long. The females are almost always larger than the males. The males can be identified by the protrusions on the front of its head which might appear to be fangs. These are actually called palps or papal organs and are used in reproduction. The male uses sperm laden silk to put its reproductive material onto the palps which are then inserted into the female. Every male species of spider has different shaped palps, so the papal organs are very useful in the identification of spiders in any species.
Females lay their eggs in a sack of about 200 eggs during the late summer. The female usually hands from the sack to protect it and attacks anything that comes too close. She usually does this until cold weather, starvation, or other factors cause her demise. Young spiderlings take a few weeks to mature inside the egg sack, which is ripped open by the mother when the spiderlings are ready to emerge. The spiders take the next year to grow and develop into adults until the mating season begins in the following summer.
The green lynx spider is an aggressive spider capable of a painful bite. However, they are not inclined to bite humans and, in fact, act somewhat shy in the presence of humans. If you happen to be bitten by a green lynx spider you should clean the wound, apply antiseptic ointment, and apply ice to reduce pain and swelling. The spiders are almost never found indoors, but spend most of their lives on flowers or shrubs. Their prey are usually nectar feeders that come to them. Kind of like having a pizza delivered to your door. Such is the life of the green lynx spider.