Xysticus species, Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve

Xysticus species, Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve

Observation - Xysticus species, Rainton Meadows Nature Reserve - UK and Ireland. Description: Crab spider observed on Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) flower head in characteristic pose – “a sit-and-wait strategy with front legs open to hunt insects. Flowers were partially shaded by trees and hard to see the spider until you get very close up (Photo 2).

Crab spider observed on Ragwort (Senecio jacobaea) flower head in characteristic pose – “a sit-and-wait strategy with front legs open to hunt insects. Flowers were partially shaded by trees and hard to see the spider until you get very close up (Photo 2). This individual became tired of photos and eventually retreated down the flower-stem (Photo 3). Thomisidae family and the markings on cephalothorax and abdomen look most like Xysticus. Xysticus cristatus seems the most likely candidate but given variability of markings and number of species (see ID notes & Comments) am left wondering whether it is possible to ID to species level from a photo? We always welcome advice on our observations.