Ambush or pursuit hunters
Philodromus have long, but robust legs, specially the first two pairs, and like to bask with legs curled up like wolf spiders or nursery spiders. They can be ambush predators, often sitting atop flowers or foliage in trees or bushes, legs outstretched, awaiting prey, although they can also run fast pursuing prey or escaping predators.
The strategy of waiting on flowers pays off for this Philodromus, who got a juicy fly.
Although Philodromus does not build a web, it uses silk as a safety line - which you can see in this photo of one in ambush on a flower.
These spiders can be strikingly well camouflaged on their habitat, which can include lichens on tree trunks, heather or sandy beaches. Some species even have the ability of changing the depth of colour to match their surroundings. A species that lives in lichens, Philodromus margaritatus, is hard to spot when sitting on them, and it can also change colour from green to white or grey depending on her surroundings.
The males of some Philodromus species can look quite different in color pattern to the females. In some species males are iridescent.
The beautiful iridescent male of Philodromus aureolus. The female looks like the individuals in the photographs above.
This is another male Philodromus with iridescence, and just six legs.
Spiders are not particularly known for their ability to regenerate body parts. But it is not unusual to see Philodromus with legs missing. The specimen with the fewest legs I've seen is four, only one left on one side, and yet it seemed to move about freely over flowers. It looked like it used its remaining palp for balance.
If leg loss happens in young individuals they can be regenerated as they grow a new leg, thinner and shorter than the original, in the next moult.
This Philodromus sp with its aphid prey has regenerated the two middle legs on the foreground, which is thinner and shorter than the other and has a plainer appearance.
Philodromus basking on a sunny spring day.