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Ant Mimic Spider (Castianeira longipalpis)


Detailing the physical features, habits, territorial reach and other identifying qualities of the Ant Mimic Spider.

 Updated: 1/31/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




If the appearance the Ant Mimic Spider isn't enough to fool prey, then its clever behavior certainly helps accelerate mealtime.



Small and fast, Ant Mimic Spiders have similar coloring to certain types of ant. With bodies shaped a lot like ants, it may be difficult at first glance to tell that this creature is actually a spider. In an effort to blend in with their food source, Ant Mimic Spiders walk with their front pair of legs raised in the air, sometimes rubbing them together, mimicking antennae. They may also occasionally tap their abdomen to the ground. These cunning behaviors can make it tricky even for a human to identify it as a spider. As with most arachnids, all is revealed by simply counting legs.

The resemblance to ants isn't just an aid in hunting; it can also act as a defense against predators. Many types of ants taste pungent to birds, small mammals, and other insects thanks to natural formic acid secretions, so looking and acting like an ant can deter typical spider predators from eating Ant Mimic Spiders. Add in the likelihood that an Ant Mimic Spider often lives near ant hills or nests, and it is possible to almost create a safe zone for itself.

Females are only slightly larger than males. They eat smaller insects and lay a small clutch of eggs on circular, flat, white egg sacs. Eggs hatch in autumn and spiderlings overwinter until spring. Ant Mimic Spiders can be found anywhere ants are found: fields, lawns, gardens, woods, on trees and under stones. Look for a tubular 'retreat,' a sac of silk inside a rolled-up leaf or under plant matter. When not hunting, they rest inside these sacs.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Corinnidae
          Genus: Castianeira
            Species: longipalpis
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Castianeira longipalpis
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 10mm (0.20in to 0.39in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; yellow; orange; red
Descriptors: ant-like, patterned, venomous, banded, striped, antennae, legs
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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Territorial Reach (A-to-Z)
Alabama
Alaska
Arizona
Arkansas
California
Colorado
Connecticut
Delware
Florida
Georgia
Hawaii
Idaho
Illinois
Indiana
Iowa
Kansas
Kentucky
Louisiana
Maine
Maryland
Massachusetts
Michigan
Minnesota
Mississippi
Missouri
Montana
Nebraska
Nevada
New Hampshire
New Jersey
New Mexico
New York
North Carolina
North Dakota
Ohio
Oklahoma
Oregon
Pennsylvania
Rhode Island
South Carolina
South Dakota
Tennessee
Texas
Utah
Vermont
Virginia
Washington
West Virginia
Wisconsin
Wyoming
Canadian National Flag Graphic
Alberta
British Columbia
Manitoba
New Brunswick
Newfoundland and Labrador
Nova Scotia
Ontario
Prince Edward Island
Quebec
Saskatchewan
Mexican National Flag Graphic
Mexico
Note: An insect's reach is not limited by lines drawn on a map and therefore species may appear in areas, regions and/or states beyond those listed above as they are driven by environmental factors (such as climate change), available food supplies and mating patterns. Grayed-out selections indicate that the subject in question has not been reported in that particular territory. U.S. states and Canadian provinces / territories are clickable to their respective bug listings.




Spider Anatomy
Graphic showing basic parts of spider anatomy
1
Legs: Spiders have four pairs of legs and these are attached to the cephalothorax.
2
Pedipalps: Small appendages near the mouth used as taste and smell organs.
3
Cephalothorax: Contains eyes, head, mouthparts, and legs.
4
Abdomen: Contains various organs related to digestion, reproduction, and web-making.
5
Spinnerets: Used in the production of spider silk for fashioning webs or catching prey.
NOTE: Unlike insects, spiders have both an endoskeleton (internal) and exoskeleton (external).