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Red-spotted Ant Mimic Spider (Castianeira descripta)

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

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Finding a spider close by usually sets off alarms for insects, but the Red-spotted Ant Mimic Spider reaps the benefits of good behavior.

Updated: 01/05/2022; Authored By Staff Writer; Content ©www.InsectIdentification.org
The Red-spotted Ant Mimic Spider acts like an ant to gain better positioning when attacking prey. It walks on its back six legs while raising the front pair as if they were antennae. This clever behavior relaxes other ants and insects into thinking the spider's presence is nothing to worry about. They are more likely to allow the spider to get close, making it easier for the spider to kill and eat them.

Red-spotted Ant Mimic Spiders are black. A large, bright red mark on the abdomen and a white line down the middle of the carapace are the only other colors on this arachnid. Legs are glossy black. Females use their spider silk to wrap eggs in a sac. They then attach the shiny egg sac to a rock or stone for safe-keeping. Spiderlings overwinter and hatch in the spring, leaving their siblings to find their own way. All adults spin silken sacs for themselves to rest in. These silken sacs are typically hidden near anthills or ant colonies either in a leaf, in bark cracks, or on a node (where a new branch or tree starts growing). This allows the spider privacy without losing advantageous proximity. Look for this spider in a variety of habitats including woods, under stones, on shrubs, or in parks.©InsectIdentification.org

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General Characteristics
Capability, Shape, Texture/Pattern, Benefits, Dangers
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Hairy insect icon
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Taxonomic Hierarchy
Species Breakdown
Kingdom: Animalia
  Phylum: Arthropoda
    Class: Arachnida
      Order: Araneae
        Family: Corinnidae
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          Genus: Castianeira
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            Species: descripta
Identifying Information
Size, Colors, Features
Scientific Name: Castianeira  descripta
Category: Spider
Size (Adult; Length): 5mm to 10mm (0.19" to 0.39")
Colorwheel Graphic Colors: black; red; white
Descriptors: hairy; biting; venomous

Relative Size Comparison
Typical Size Between 5mm (0.2in) and 10mm (0.4in)
Lo: 5mm
Md: 7.5mm
Hi: 10mm
Territorial Map*
U.S., Canada, and Mexico
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Territory map graphic of the country of Mexico
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Prince Edward Is.  
* MAP NOTES: The territorial heat map above showcases (in red) the states and territories of North America where the Red-spotted Ant Mimic Spider may be found (but is not limited to). This sort of data is useful when attempting to see concentrations of particular species across the continent as well as revealing possible migratory patterns over a species' given lifespan. Some insects are naturally confined by environment, weather, mating habits, food resources and the like while others see widespread expansion across most, or all, of North America. States/Territories shown above are a general indicator of areas inhabited by the Red-spotted Ant Mimic Spider. Insects generally go where they please, typically driven by diet, environmental changes, and / or mating habits.


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