Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans)
The green lynx spider (Peucetia viridans) is a conspicuous, large, bright green spider found on shrubs. It is the largest North American lynx spider. The female reaches a body length of 22mm, the more slender male averages 12mm. There usually is a red patch between the eyes, with red spots over the body. The eye region is clothed with white appressed hairs. The legs are green to yellow, with very long black spines and covered with black spots. It is rather similar to P. longipalpis, the other Peucetia species to occur in the US.
It very seldom bites humans, and its bite is harmless. This species occurs in the southern United States, Central America, the West Indies and Venezuela.
For a large and brightly colored spider, the Green Lynx is rarely noticed. Unlike some other members of the Family Oxyopidae, this spider does not actively hunt, but instead lies in wait for unwary bees, flies, and other insects. The spiders almost always choose light green foliage on which to position themselves. They prefer to be near flowers, but still tend to be perfectly camouflaged.
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As is my habit, I was hiking with my camera in hand when I found this Green Lynx Spider on a flower. Closer inspection revealed that he was snacking on a small bee.
I slowly moved closer to the spider and used my Canon 40D with a Sigma 105 mm Macro lens to shoot about 20 pictures. To get enough light and a decent DOF, I set the ISO to 200. As I shoot mostly from the hand (no tripod), to avoid camera shake I laid flat with my elbows on the ground, and also picked a shuter speed of 1/320 s. With a F/10 aperture I managed to get most of the busy end of the spider in focus.