The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Ant-mimicking spider

Fact Box
Species:
Myrmarachne species (QM)
(possibly an immature form of Myrmarachne bicolor though it seems too large to be that species)
Family:
Salticidae
Body length:
female: about 9 mm
male: 11 mm
Habitat:
This species makes use of crevices under loose bark on trees but may also be found where streams of ants are running
Toxicity:
This species is probably harmless to humans
Myrmarachne species
Click to enlarge
View from above
Click to enlarge
Underneath spider

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, at least partly, with the state of maturity and with the colour of the ants they are running with. In the case of the spider shown on this page the colour scheme is suggestive of Myrmarachne bicolor but it seems larger than that tropical species and was also found in South Queensland.

It should be noted 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.