Green Lynx Spider

The female Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans) of the Oxyopidae family is a pale green spider with yellow markings and black spotted, spiny legs. Both male and female are similar in color and pattern. Females, however, are larger than the males; the body of a female Green lynx spider (not including the legs) is up to 22 millimeters in length (0.87 in), males are almost half the size with a body length of 12 millimeters (0.47 in). This is a “Beneficial” spider, used to control agricultural pests.
Green Lynx Female Spider on Egg Sac

Female Green lynx spider (Peucetia viridans) with her egg sac.

Mating and Protecting Spiderlings

Mating occurs while both male and female hang from a strand of silk. The female Green lynx spider protects her egg sac and young spiderlings until they are old enough to fend for themselves, usually around mid-summer. Typically, the female Green lynx spider hangs upside down from her egg sac and attacks anything that comes near. A single egg sac can hold up to 600, tiny bright orange eggs.
Green Lynx spider hanging from her egg sac

Green Lynx Spider Hanging from Egg Sac on Western Sycamore

Green Lynx Range and Habitat

There a several types of Lynx spiders but the Green lynx species occur in the southern United States, Mexico, Central America and the West Indies. In southern California, the Green lynx is most common towards the coastal side of the mountains. Peucetia prefer to attach their egg sac in meadows of tall grasses and wildflowers but can also be found on trees, flowers, and shrubs in residential gardens and landscape.
Green Lynx spiders can be found in meadows

Green lynx spiders are found in tall meadows of
wildflowers and shrubby vegetation in gardens.
(Photo of California native plants, Lake Hodges, CA)

Beneficial Spider For Agricultural Pest Management

Green lynx spiders are beneficial spiders, used as a natural form of pest management in agriculture. In cotton fields, Lynx spiders hunt several moth species and their larvae including the Bollworm moth, the cotton Leafworm moth and the cabbage Looper moth. In gardens and shrubs, Lynx spiders hide among foliage and ambush passing insects. Unfortunately, they also prey upon other beneficial insects such as the honeybee.
Green Lynx Spider on Rose

Green Lynx on Rose – A beneficial garden spider.

Spitting Spider

Green lynx spiders are non-poisonous and rarely bite humans but the bite can be painful. Females, when threatened, are known to spit venom from their fangs (up to 8 inches). If the venom enters the eye, it may or may not cause irritation.
Green lynx spider face

Face of a Green lynx spider. Lynx spiders
are non-poisonous.

You may decide you like having this “Green” (literally!) beneficial spider in your landscape but if you don’t want to take the chance of being spit on (when it feels threatened) or bitten, then Hearts Pest Management will eliminate these and other spiders around your property. Not sure what type of spider you’ve found and if it’s poisonous? Call us at 1-800-986-1006 and we can ID the spider for you from your photo. Or, for help with a spider infestation. You’re also welcome to complete the form below and a caring Hearts Pest Management representative will contact you shortly.
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References Cranshaw, Whitney, Garden Insects of North America, Princeton University Press, Princeton, New Jersey, 2004. Mallis, Handbook of Pest Control, Tenth Edition, Saunders College Publishing, 2011. Berrian, Jim, Green Lynx Spider, San Diego History Museum – Online Field Guide.

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