Green Lynx Spider
Peucetia viridans

Lynx spiders get their name from the way they sometimes pounce on their prey in a catlike fashion. These spiders spend their time hunting for insects in bushes and low plants. They are fast runners, but can occasionally be seen lying in wait for prey beside a flower. They build no web, but they do release a silk dragline as they hunt among the leaves. To identify the spider, look for bright green, cream, or tan body. The legs are yellowish with black spines. Overall body length of the spider is usually less than one inch.

The Green Lynx Spider is cultivated in Florida because of its predatory habits and importance in keeping down insect populations. This is the spider most often received for identification by plant industry entomologists. It is a conspicuous, bright green spider found on many kinds of shrub-like plants throughout the southern United States and is the largest North American lynx spider. Although it is common throughout the southern region, it is often overlook because its body color blends with the surrounding vegetation. It seldom bites humans, but its bite is of little concern to humans as it is non-toxic and rarely produces anything more than an ordinary insect bite. It is of particular interest because of its potential use in agricultural pest management.

The lynx spiders are among the major predators of insects occurring in low shrubs and herbaceous vegetation. However, their usefulness in the control of insect pests is counteracted by their willingness to prey upon beneficial insects as well. These spiders seize large numbers of honey bees and wasps, which are highly beneficial to man.

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