Green Lynx Spider (Peucetia viridans), protecting her eggs.
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.
Gravid females are able to change their color to fit their background. The female constructs one to four 2cm egg sacs in September and October of 25 to 600 bright orange eggs each, which is guarded. She usually hangs upside down from the sac and attacks everything that comes near. The eggs hatch after about two weeks. Then it takes another two weeks until fully functional spiderlings emerge. They need eight instars to reach maturity
The red and light markings on each spider can vary, but the legs usually remain a light cream or yellowish color. However, this too can change. There is a variable amount of red that can appear on the legs, probably in much the same way that crab spiders gradually change their color, and it seems to be determined solely by the colors surrounding the spider.
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