A new – to me – species of spider for the life list. Can only take it to genus level as species identification is difficult and requires (quote) ” … examination at high magnification in good lighting, typically examination of the genitalia.”

This specimen was observed within a large peony flower several days after picking and displaying in a vase 😉

Typically these are species that occur in the litter zone in a variety of habitats including woodland, grassland, parks and gardens. In highly structured habitats the spider is able to climb to the lower branches of trees and may also be found under bark. The spiders of the genus Xysticus do not build webs; they are ambush hunters and prefer to hunt near the ground (hence the common name “ground crab spiders”). They move slowly, and commonly hunt by stationing themselves in a high-traffic area and grabbing whatever passes close enough.  They seize prey with their enlarged anterior two pairs of legs and kill it by a venomous bite.