Christmas Card Spider

2016 June 15

On December 12, 2015, we received a Christmas card with this charming little passenger riding on it:


Granted, December of 2015 was unusually warm, but still. It had been below freezing most of the time for a couple of weeks at that point. This is one cold-hardy spider, and they must be loaded with antifreeze to keep active at low temperatures like this.


We see little spiders similar to this one pretty frequently through the winter. They tend to hang out on walls near the snow line, or in crevices on the wall, and only rarely come into the house. Or, like this one, into our mailbox.


I don’t think this is the same species that I posted before, that one had a dark face, more prominent chelicerae, and different markings on the abdomen. Although it is possible that this one is simply less mature. It was certainly pretty small (body only a few millimeters long), which is why the face shot doesn’t show the eyes very well.

Edit as of Feb 22, 2021: At first I thought it was either one of the Longlegged Sac Spiders, genus Cheiracanthium, or Ghost Spiders, family Anyphaenidae. Both of these kinds of spiders are pretty frequently reported running around in December, even in Michigan. However, looking at it again, I see that the shape of the cephalothorax is all wrong for both of those. A closer match would be one of the Running Crab Spiders in the genus Philodromus, which have the right body shape, and occasionally also have the right color.

One Response
  1. June 15, 2016

    I think I can hear it singing, “Web 3 Kings of Orient Are …”

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