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Arizona has many different crab spiders.

We have colorful ones that hide in flowers.

We have gentle giants (Olios sp.).

This week we have a new (to us) crab spider.

It was small spot, a body and legs sunning on a car cover. At first glance, I thought it might be a tick.

A closer look shows it is a spider because it has two distinct body regions. Ticks are basically one oval body.

The forward-directed front legs indicate it is a crab spider.

In fact, it appears to be a ground crab spider, Xysticus sp. (Experts, please correct me).

It's always fun to find something new.

Want to learn a few basics about how to identify spiders? See our previous post.

Or pick up a book from our growing list of children's books about spiders at Science Books for Kids.

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During a recent trip, my nephew pointed out a classic funnel web a spider had built in a bush. Funnel webs consist of flat sheets of webbing with a round tunnel that serves as a retreat.

A few hours later, he pointed out the spider.

 

Funnel web spiders look a lot like wolf spiders, but they have a different eye pattern (see BugGuide)

You can see a better photo of the web structure at Wikimedia.

If you are interested in spiders, I've read some great books lately. I found two new fiction children's picture books feature spiders as characters (reviewed at Wrapped in Foil) and also an adult nonfiction book, Amazing Arachnids by Jillian Cowles (reviewed at Wild About Ants.)

Have you seen any cool spiders lately?

Can you tell why I had trouble finding a bug for Bug of the Week by looking at this brittlebush flower?

It is wet from the cold rain we had overnight.

Because of the downpour, I knew I'd have to go farther and look harder to find live critters today. I flipped some rocks.

I did find a spider. It is hiding beneath a sheet of silk.

Wait. What's that bug on the right?

Ever seen one of these before?

Any idea what it might be?