Green Lynx

It was a loosely wrapped nest of silk on a plant in the garden above the Butterfly House. What looked at first to be seeds under a loose knit top layer of silk were actually the tiny abdomens of dozens of spiders. The seeds jumped to life when I poked at the nest with my finger. The mother of these juvenile green lynx spiders hung by her eight legs beneath the nest.

Young green lynx spiders.
Mom beneath the nest. Notice molted exoskeletons of young above her (tan colored, translucent objects).

Green lynx spiders don’t build webs to capture prey but instead use their silk to construct egg sacs with a sparse protective covering of silk. The egg sac usually contains about 200 eggs and is guarded with vigilance by the parent.

Instead of using webs to capture their meals, green lynx’s chase and pounce on their prey, catching those insects that would visit flowers for their nectar. The spiders are most often found lying in wait or protecting their eggs or young on herbaceous flowering plants.

A closer look at parent.

I’ve read that green lynx spiders don’t often bite people. Having challenged many lynx spiders, I’ve never been bitten.  Nevertheless, the bite, though not deadly, is reported to be painful and cause considerable swelling. So, if you can’t resist poking a finger at every arthropod you come across, be careful or you may be in for a temporarily painful, uncomfortable, but otherwise normal day.

It may be wiser to simply enjoy the spiders visually. Take some photos.

Warning: green lynx spider can move quickly.

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