I went out for a walk one sunny day last week to see if there were still any insects to photograph about. I found this guy hanging out at the top of a dry grass stalk. It is quite a challenge to identify a small beige spider from the bug guide as not too many amateurs bother to submit photographs of modest little critters like this. This guy however has a bit of yellow on the abdomen and some markings that are quite distinct so I hoped I could make an ID.
The way she held her long fore legs together reminded me of a crab spider so I just browsed through the page after page of crab spiders in the bugguide website hoping to get lucky. I was lucky, someone has already submitted photographs of a spider that has almost identical markings to this guy. It was identified as a Xysticus luctans ground crab spider but as a recent ESC blog entry reminds me, it often takes a specialist and close inspection of the genitalia to properly identify down to the species level. The big problem I have with this ID though is that I found her at the top of the grass spinning some thread. That's not what I expect from a spider called a ground crab spider!