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Grass crab spiders
Oxytate argenteooculata, Manie van der Schijff BT, a.jpg
A female green grass crab spider, O. argenteooculata, on a Cussonia leaf
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
Family: Thomisidae
Genus: Oxytate
L.Koch, 1878
Type species
Oxytate striatipes
L.Koch, 1878
26 species
  • Dieta
Female O. hoshizuna in Okinawa, Japan
Wakabagumo 06d9881
Female of the type species O. striatipes, on Hydrangea leaf, Japan

The genus Oxytate, commonly known as grass crab spiders, comprises a homogenous group of nocturnal crab spiders. The complete mitochondrial genome of the type species O. striatipes was determined in 2014.


Like other crab spiders, they are masters of ambush and disguise. They stalk their prey at night, from an ambush position on a grass stem or from the underside of a leaf. They can sense the vibrations caused by invertebrates moving on the leaf's upper side, and quickly pounce on the victim. While in ambush on twigs or grass, the short hind legs hold onto the stem, while the long anterior legs are stretched forward. Their bite is not harmful to humans, unless it would cause an allergic reaction.


See also: Spider anatomy

Though they don't construct webs, both sexes possess a silk apparatus. A study of the type species, O. striatipes, revealed that they possess a simpler and more primitive spigot system than other wandering spiders, as even the females possess neither tubuliform glands for cocoon production, nor triad spigots for web-building. Males and females do however have three types of silk gland, which are classified as ampullate, pyriform and aciniform.

Four ampullate glands are connected to the anterior spinnerets, while eight minor ampullate glands are connected to the median spinnerets. The pyriform glands are connected to the anterior spinnerets (90 in females and 80 in males). The aciniform glands are connected to the median (18–24 in females and 14–20 in males) and posterior spinnerets (60 in either sex).


They are native to Asia, West Australia, East, Central and southern Africa.


  • Oxytate argenteooculata (Simon, 1886) — Central, East, Southern Africa
  • Oxytate attenuata (Thorell, 1895) — Myanmar
  • Oxytate bhutanica Ono, 2001 — Bhutan, China
  • Oxytate capitulata Tang & Li, 2009 — China
  • Oxytate chlorion (Simon, 1906) — India
  • Oxytate clavulata Tang, Yin & Peng, 2008 — China
  • Oxytate concolor (Caporiacco, 1947) — Ethiopia
  • Oxytate elongata (Tikader, 1980) — India
  • Oxytate forcipata Zhang & Yin, 1998 — China
  • Oxytate greenae (Tikader, 1980) — Andaman Islands
  • Oxytate guangxiensis He & Hu, 1999 — China
  • Oxytate hoshizuna Ono, 1978 — China, Japan
  • Oxytate isolata (Hogg, 1914) — Western Australia
  • Oxytate jannonei (Caporiacco, 1940) — Ethiopia
  • Oxytate kanishkai (Gajbe, 2008) — India
  • Oxytate leruthi (Lessert, 1943) — West, Central Africa
  • Oxytate multa Tang & Li, 2010 — China
  • Oxytate parallela (Simon, 1880) — China, Korea
  • Oxytate phaenopomatiformis (Strand, 1907) — Zanzibar
  • Oxytate placentiformis Wang, Chen & Zhang, 2012 — China
  • Oxytate ribes (Jezequel, 1964) — Ivory Coast
  • Oxytate sangangensis Tang et al., 1999 — China
  • Oxytate striatipes L. Koch, 1878 — Russia, China, Korea, Taiwan, Japan
  • Oxytate subvirens (Strand, 1907) — Sri Lanka
  • Oxytate taprobane Benjamin, 2001 — Sri Lanka
  • Oxytate virens (Thorell, 1891) — Vietnam, Singapore
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