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Pirate spider

Fact Box
Species:
Australomimetus species
or a related genus (QM)
Previous species name:
None
Family:
Mimetidae
Body length:
female: 5 mm
male: about 4 mm
Habitat:
Usually on green leaves but are sometimes found in the webs of other spiders they are attacking; they do not normally make webs of their own
Toxicity:
Unknown; this species is very small and bitings are rare
Australomimetus species
Click to enlarge
The leg spines
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The male
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Legs retracted
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Another specimen

These spiders are called pirate spiders because they feed on other spiders rather than on insects. They no not use webbing to catch their prey but may use a small amount as protection for their eggs and subsequent spiderlings.

Mimetids are characterised by a row of large curved spines separated by sets of small spines on the tibia and the next segment (the metatarsus) of the first pair of legs.

The first two pairs of legs are much longer than the other two pairs and sometimes fold back over the spider's body. All legs are obviously spiny but the spines are not as erect as on oxyopid spiders.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Some oxyopid species, such as Oxyopes elegans


Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 25 November 2005.