Knobbly Crab Spider - Stephanopis altifrons


This page contains pictures and information about Knobbly Crab Spiders that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Leg to leg 30mm 
If you think you are looking at the bark of a gum tree trunk and do not see anything else, please check carefully again. You should see a spider which occupy about half of the above picture. This spider is not easily be noticed if it were resting on bark. 
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We found it when it was guarding its egg-sac on leaf.  This spider is slow moving.  The first time we found this spider was in Karawatha Forest. The spider builds small retreat by folding the tip of leaf binding with silk.  
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We found this spider again in Sunnybank near Bulimba Creek. 
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Both two times we found the spiders when they were resting on its nest/egg sac built by curled fresh leaf and silks. Both spiders did not move even a small bit even with our interrupts.
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Finally, the third time we found the spider on tree trunk. It was very well camouflaged and almost invisible. So that we can make a conclusion that the spider's camouflage is mainly for hunting as predator, to avoid being seen by preys. The camouflage is not importance for the spider as prey. There are not many predators which detect this spider visually.  

1. A Guide to Australian Spiders - Densey Clyne, Melbourne, Nelson 1969, p59.
2. Crab Spider - The Find-a-spider Guide for Australian Spiders, University of Southern Queensland, 2007.
3. Spiders of Australia: An Introduction to Their Classification, Biology & Distribution - Hawkeswood T, Pensoft Pub, 2003, p106. 
4. Stephanopis altifrons O.P. Cambridge Knobbly Crab Spider  - Save Our Waterways Now.   

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Last updated: October 06, 2009.