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Spiders: Foliage Hunters

Jumping spiders: Salticidae
Crab spiders: Thomisidae and Philodromidae
Sac spiders: Clubionidae


The body of a spider is divided into two regions, the cephalothorax and abdomen. The cephalothorax bears the eyes (various numbers and arrangements), mouthparts, pedipalps and legs (four pairs), and the unsegmented abdomen bears the genital structures, spiracles, anus and spinnerets (silk-spinning structures).

Jumping spiders (A), active hunters, are stout-bodied and short-legged with prominent front eyes and a rather hairy body that is often brightly colored or iridescent. Size ranges from 2–20 mm. These are often the most common spiders in the tree canopy.

The two families of crab spiders are ambush hunters; sitting in wait for their prey. The first two pairs of legs face forward in a crab-like posture. Philodromid crab spiders (B) have flattened bodies and legs of equal length, whereas Thomisid crab spiders (C) have the first two pairs of legs longer than the others.

Sac spiders (D) are pale and with few markings, and construct tubular retreats in rolled-up leaves.

Note: Broad-spectrum insecticide applications in the summer are harmful to the establishment of spider populations.


Numerous hunting species that may be found in the tree foliage searching for prey.

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The MSU IPM Program maintains this site as an access point to pest management information at MSU. The IPM Program is administered within the Department of Entomology, fueled by research from the AgBioResearch, delivered to citizens through MSU Extension, and proud to be a part of Project GREEEN.