Myrmarachne

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Myrmarachne
Myrmarachne-plataleoides.jpg
Myrmarachne plataleoides
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Suborder: Araneomorphae
Family: Salticidae
Subfamily: Myrmarachninae
Genus: Myrmarachne
Macleay, 1839
Type species
Myrmarachne melanocephala
MacLeay, 1839
Species

M. formicaria
M. inermichelis
M. plataleoides
M. striatipes
hundreds more, see text

Diversity
205 species

Myrmarachne is a genus of jumping spiders which imitate an ant by waving their front legs in the air to simulate antennae. Some species also look strikingly like ants.

Spiders in this genus are commonly called antmimicking spiders, although there are many other spiders that mimic ants.

Description[edit]

The cephalothorax is elongated, with long chelicerae projecting forward in males. A waist is present on the cephalothorax, and often also on the opisthosoma. Colors vary from black to yellow, depending on the mimicked ant species. One African species was observed to mimick one species when immature, and another as an adult.[1]

The genus Bocus is so similar to Myrmarachne as to be indistinguishable without the help of a microscope.[1]

Distribution[edit]

Myrmarachne mainly occurs in the tropics from Africa to Australia, with some species found in the New World. A few species, such as the palearctic M. formicaria, occur in temperate regions. With about 80 described and many undescribed southeast Asian species, it is the most diverse genus of jumping spider in this region.[1]

Name[edit]

The genus name is a combination of Ancient Greek myrmex "ant" and arachne "spider".

Species[edit]

female M. formosana from Hong Kong

Footnotes[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Murphy & Murphy 2000: 304

References[edit]

  • Murphy, Frances & Murphy, John (2000): An Introduction to the Spiders of South East Asia. Malaysian Nature Society, Kuala Lumpur.
  • Platnick, Norman I. (2007): The world spider catalog, version 8.0. American Museum of Natural History.

Further reading[edit]

  • Nelson, X.J., Jackson, R.R., Edwards, G.B. & Barrion, A.T. (2006): Living with the enemy: jumping spiders that mimic weaver ants. The Journal of Arachnology 33: 813–819. PDF (M. assimilis)

External links[edit]