Diaea dorsata is one of the smaller crab spiders. Females can grow up to 6 mm, males up to 4 mm. Prosoma (head and thorax area) and legs are green, and the abdomen is yellowish with a red-brown mark. This spider can change its colour to fit its surroundings; however, the process takes several days.
This species is strongly associated with woodland, perhaps with a preference for evergreens and conifers, and is found on the leaves of bushes and trees such as oak, box, yew and conifers, and is therefore usually collected by beating. It can also be found in leaf litter, and occasionally in the field layer of undisturbed scrubby grassland.
Adults of both sexes are found mainly in May and June, females persisting occasionally into the late autumn.
D. dorsata is locally widespread in the southern half of England, becoming scattered in the west and north as far as Yorkshire.
Infrequent in Leicestershire and Rutland.
913 British records to Jan 2013
Leicestershire & Rutland Map
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Yellow squares = NBN records (all known data)
Coloured circles = NatureSpot records: 2020+ | 2015-2019 | pre-2015