Pouncing & Spitting: The Green Lynx Spider
Bug: Green Lynx Spider
Scientific name: Peucetia viridans
Photo credits: Autumn Shultz, Bob Peterson, and Keegan Morrison
Lynx spiders are hunters specialized for living on plants. This species does not use a web to capture its prey, but lies in wait for insects in the blooms or top leaves of a plant. It pounces on its prey in a cat-like manner, which is the reason for the name “lynx.” It is active during the day.
Female constructs an egg sac in September/October and stays with it, attacking everything that comes near. She can squirt/spit venom as far as a foot to keep prey away.
Lynx spiders can, but seldom, bite humans. When they do bite, its venom can cause pain and swelling up to 10" in diameter, but isn't deadly.
This spider is very useful in agricultural pest management since they hunt several moth species that are considered crop pests. Unfortunately, they hunt beneficial insects as well.
So are Green Lynx Spiders ok to leave in the garden?
We will monitor this spider population in our community garden. Balance is key. We want to make sure to keep our beneficial insects and also protect our gardeners from a painful bite.
More info and photos: