Tree trunk spider

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Tree trunk spider
Spider bangalore wall.jpg
Hersiliid from India
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
Family: Hersiliidae
Thorell, 1870

See text

11 genera, 145 species

The tree trunk spiders are members of the tropical and semi-tropical family Hersiliidae. There are about 150 species in this family. These spiders have two very prominent spinnerets that are almost as long as their abdomen. So they are also sometimes known as "two-tailed spiders". They range in size from about 10 mm (0.4 inch) to 18 mm (0.7 inch) long. Being very well camouflaged for life on the varicolored trunks of trees, they have an interesting way of capturing prey. Rather than making a web that captures prey directly, they lay a light coating of threads over an area of tree bark and wait hidden in plain sight for an insect to stray onto that patch. Once that occurs, they direct their spinnerets toward their prey and circle it; all the while casting silk on it. When the hapless insect has been thoroughly immobilized, they can bite it through its new shroud.


  • Hersilia Audouin, 1826 (Africa, Australasia)
  • Hersiliola Thorell, 1870 (Mediterranean to Central Asia, Nigeria)
  • Iviraiva Rheims & Brescovit, 2004 (South America)
  • Murricia Simon, 1882 (South Asia)
  • Neotama Baehr & Baehr, 1993 (America, South Africa, India)
  • Promurricia Baehr & Baehr, 1993 (Sri Lanka)
  • Tama Simon, 1882 (Spain, Portugal, Algeria)
  • Tamopsis Baehr & Baehr, 1987 (Australia, Borneo)
  • Tyrotama Foord & Dippenaar-Schoeman, 2005 (Africa)
  • Yabisi Rheims & Brescovit, 2004 (USA, Caribic)
  • Ypypuera Rheims & Brescovit, 2004 (South America)

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For a picture, see [1] or [2]