Runner on the Sand

When walking along the sandy tracks in the Opal Natural Area, my eyes are usually scanning the ground on the lookout for the many bugs that favor this habitat. Tiger beetles, spider hunting wasps, and a variety of other beetles, wasps and bees seem to favour this habitat. From an altitude of 6′, I almost overlooked this spider, with only a vague outline of the legs visible on the sand. It took a ground level shot to distinguish it clearly from the background…

"Thanatus sp., Opal Natural Area, Alberta."

Lurking on the sand

Captured and given the white bowl treatment, this running crab spider (Philodromidae), now isolated from its environment, looks somewhat more formidable.

"Running Crab Spiders (Philodromidae) - Thanatus sp."

Running Crab Spiders (Philodromidae) - Thanatus sp., possibly T. formicinus

It takes a closer view (cropped image) to distinguish the eyes on this spider…

"Thanatus sp. , detail of head."

Little beady eyes...

Tentative I.D thanks to BugGuide and emails from both John Sloan and John Hancock.

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This entry was posted in Alberta, Arachnid, Araneae, Canada, Habitat, Natural Area, Philodromidae, Spring, White Studio and tagged , , , , , , , .


  1. Chris Buddle 11 May, 2012 at 7:05 AM #

    Great photos – I think she will have babies soon….

    • Adrian 13 May, 2012 at 6:00 AM #

      She was not moving at all when I saw her, and she remained so still while I was photographing her that I thought she had been stung by a spider wasp. It was only when I captured her that she lived up to her name!

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