The Sparassidae are also known as the (older) synonyms Heteropodidae and Eusparassidae. They have a crab-like appearance, a broad and flat body with long legs, like the Philodromidae and the Thomisidae.
The family includes mainly tropical species, which may sometimes travel to Europe along with a cargo of tropical fruits. In Europe about 15 species occur and in Northern and Central Europe only one (Micrommata virescens).
The spiders of the genus Eusparassus are medium to large (up to 30 mm.) They are the most important arthropod predators in semi-arid areas and deserts. They live in rocky areas and make their firm silken shelter under a large rock or in a crevice between the stones. The female makes her egg sac in this retreat. The spiders are found in large parts of Africa, Europe and Asia.
These medium-sized, mainly green coloured spiders hunt during the day and quite passively doing so; they wait in low vegetation until a prey passes by and subsequently grab them with lightning speed.
Olios is the largest genus of the Sparassidae: 250 species occur worldwide. In Europe four species can be found. They are medium-sized and nocturnal. During the day they hide in a silken retreat between stones or leaves which are spun together.