The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Ant-mimicking spider

Fact Box
Species:
Myrmarachne erythrocephala (QM)
(or a closely related species)
Family:
Salticidae
Body length:
female: 7 mm
male: 9 mm
Habitat:
Any surface where ants can be found. The spiders often hide under loose bark but also run with ants along established ant pathways
Toxicity:
Probably harmless to humans
Myrmarachne erythrocephala
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A male
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Other views
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Underneath female
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The female

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 but are not porrect. At least on some Myrmarachne species the cephalothorax appears to have a helmet-like shape (as shown above). Note that the colour of Myrmarachne species seems to vary, at least partly, with the colour of the ants they are running with.

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


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 23 April 2014.