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Spitting Spider (Scytodes spp.)


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

 Updated: 8/1/2018; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ¬©www.InsectIdentification.org




A Spitting Spider has no web to care for and does not chase insects. It sprays a sticky spit at an insect to ensure it can't escape.



This spider earned its name by spraying its prey with a sticky secretion. When a Spitting Spider approaches a possible meal, it taps one of its long front legs between it and the insect in order to gauge the distance. It will come within range and then spit at the insect. The Spitting Spider quickly sways its head from side-to-side to form crisscrossing bands that pin the insect prey to the ground or whatever is behind it. Big insects may get sprayed multiple times in order to subdue them. Once the prey is subdued, quickly wraps it in spider silk, spinning it between the back legs while quickly winding the silk. The Spitting Spider than bites the insect, injecting venomous fluid that liquefies the internal parts of the prey's body. It consumes the insect on site unlike other spiders that may drag it to a lair for later consumption.

They can be found in woods, under rocks, stones and leaf litter, and in cellars and closets of homes. Its long, gangling legs make it look like its walking on stilts. They are slow-moving, nocturnal hunters.




Taxonomic Hierarchy
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Scytodidae
          Genus: Scytodes
            Species: spp.
Identifying Information
Scientific Name: Scytodes spp.
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 4mm to 9mm (0.16in to 0.35in)
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: brown; black; yellow
Descriptors: speckled, biting, venomous
Territorial Map
Alaska  
Hawaii  
Prince Edward Is.  
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State of Delware graphic
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Canadian territory of Manitoba graphic
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Canadian territory of Saskatchewan graphic
Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
Contiguous United States shape map layer graphic


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).