The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Ant-mimicking spider

Fact Box
Myrmarachne helensmithae? (QM and see notes below)
Body length:
female: about 5 mm
male: 5 mm
Mostly found under loose bark or where ants are running
Probably harmless to humans
Myrmarachne helensmithae?
Click to enlarge
Another view

The distinguishing feature of this species is the partial constriction of the cephalothorax and/or the abdomen into two segments to produce an ant-like body shape. The very large porrect (forward pointing) chelicerae on the male are another striking feature. The female's palps are long and thin with paddle-shaped ends. At least on some Myrmarachne species the cephalothorax appears to have a helmet-like shape. Note that the colour of Myrmarachne species seems to vary but the red colour of all parts of the spider except the head region and the rear part of the abdomen is a characteristic of Myrmarachne helensmithae.

The species name of the spider shown above is uncertain. It should also be pointed out that the taxonomy of the Australian Myrmarachne genus is currently being revised, the most recent example of this being the following paper: Pekar S., Petrakiva L., Corcobado G., and Whyte R. (2017) "Revision of eastern Australian ant-mimicking spiders of the genus Myrmarachne (Araneae, Salticidae) reveals a complex of species and forms" Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 197(3), 642-676.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Some other Myrmarachne species.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 2 July 2017.