Xysticus cristatus, the common crab spider,[2] is a European spider from the family Thomisidae.


The adult female reaches a length of 8mm and the smaller male 5mm.[2] The colour varies from light cream, dark brown to greyish[3] with a dark triangle on the carapace which ends in sharp, defined point. The abdomen has a broad middle band fringed by two darker rows of triangular marks[2] which extends back to about two thirds of the carapace length from the posterior row of eyes.[4] This cryptic coloration is used to blend in with its normal environment of dried leaves.[5] The common name crab spider arises because they sometimes move in a crab-like way, from side to side.


Xysticus cristatus is usually found in low vegetation, often on the ground.[2] It is shade intolerant and avoids woodland and closed canopy habitats but it is otherwise found in almost every habitat type.