The Find-a-Spider Guide

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Ant-mimicking spider

Fact Box
Species:
Myrmarachne macleayana robsoni (QM)
(also resembling Myrmarachne lupata)
Family:
Salticidae
Body length:
female: 7 mm
male: 9 mm
Habitat:
Any surface where ants can be found, the spiders tending to run with ants along established ant pathways
Toxicity:
A bite by this species may cause local inflammation and pain but probably nothing worse
Myrmarachne macleayana robsoni
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Another view
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Another view
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Underneath female
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Front view
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Another female
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Another view
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The male
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Male front 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, at least partly, with the colour of the ants they are running with.

The apparent differences among the images shown on this page may indicate that more than one species is presented. 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: Many other Myrmarachne species.


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 1 July 2017.