The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Pirate spider

Fact Box
Species:
Australomimetus species (QM)
Previous species name:
None
Family:
Mimetidae
Body length:
female: 5 mm
male: about 4 mm
Habitat:
Usually on green leaves or under fallen logs but are sometimes found in the webs of other spiders they are attacking; they probably do not make substantial webs of their own
Toxicity:
this species is relatively small, timid and secretive; bitings are rare
Australomimetus species
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Legs extended
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The leg spines
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The male
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As a pirate
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Another species?
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Female from above
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Female underside
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Egg sac

These spiders are called pirate spiders because they feed on other spiders rather than on insects. One of the photos included on this page shows an immature male specimen feeding on a female Parasteatoda tepidariorum. Australomimetus species no not use webbing to catch their prey but may use a small amount as protection for their eggs and subsequent spiderlings.

Mimetids are characterised by a row of large curved spines separated by sets of small spines on the tibia and the next segment (the metatarsus) of the first pair of legs.

The first two pairs of legs are much longer than the other two pairs and sometimes fold back over the spider's body. All legs are obviously spiny but the spines are not as erect as on oxyopid spiders.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Some oxyopid species, such as Oxyopes elegans


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 8 August 2016.