Dec 3, 2008

Spider in Ant's Chitin

Dark Roasted Blend posted a fantastic series of spider photos not too long back. If you want to stare jumping spiders in the face, then you must read it (those iridescent orbs are hypnotic).

But what really fascinated me were the species of salticidae (jumping) spiders that look like ants. Don't believe me? Then count the eyes and legs and tell me those aren't spiders. Mimicry at its finest, people. The proverbial wolf in sheep's clothing. Or, the spider in ant's chitin.

Thanks for the photos, Ida.








































(image credit: Opo Terser)



































(images credit: Hannes Mitchell)


13 comments:

linty said...

wow, very convincing...but can the ants tell the difference?

I may have to extend my arachnophobia to ants now just to be safe.

LisaL said...

That is super neat. I never would've guessed that they weren't ants if it hadn't been said.

alex said...

that is amazing! i wonder what advantage that would give the spider to evolve this way?

The Traveler said...

Very interesting. I wonder if they are smarter than ants as far as ant traps go.

Becca said...

Long time reader, first time poster.

Wikipedia has an interesting articles on ant mimicry: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ant_mimicry

It seems the main advantage to this adaptation is usually to avoid predators, rather than be "wolf in sheep's clothing" (although it does happen).

niner said...

I would totally not step on an ant as opposed to a spider. Very cool articles.

April said...

Great, now I have to start being afraid of ants just in case. Those little spidery bastids.

Danielle said...

WTF.

Those sneaky leggy bastards.

Jessica said...

I'm gonna have to take a closer look at ants from now on, too, but for a different reason. I have no problems killing ants - especially when I find them in the cat food bowl. But I never kill spiders if I can help it. Wow I thought they were ants. Great post.

Raging Wombat said...

They are amazing, aren't they?

Vanessa said...

That page contains the most stunning photographs of jumping spiders that I have ever seen - they are gorgeous!
Thank you.

Raging Wombat said...

You're welcome, Vanessa.

Nonexistant Black Feather said...

that's so neat! The first one looks the most like an ant to me, and the last one has a definitely spidery face and coloration. cute!