Ant-mimic Spiders

Myrmarachne clavigera

Myrmarachne clavigera is a species within the genus Myrmarachne, which is known for its ant-mimicking spiders. This genus is part of the Salticidae family, also known as jumping spiders, which are recognized for their excellent vision, agility, and distinctive hunting behaviors. Ant-mimicking jumping spiders are fascinating for their evolutionary adaptation to resemble ants, a trait that helps them avoid predators and sneak up on their prey. Myrmarachne clavigera, like other ant-mimicking spiders, has evolved to closely resemble ants not just in appearance but also in behavior. This mimicry allows the spider to live among ants, its primary prey, without being detected.






















Myrmarachne clavigera

Other Information


As with most spiders, Myrmarachne clavigera is venomous, using its venom to immobilize prey. However, the venom is not dangerous to humans and typically would only cause minor effects, such as localized pain or itching, if a bite were to occur.

A Danger to Humans?

There is minimal danger to humans from Myrmarachne clavigera. These spiders are not aggressive towards humans and are more likely to flee than attack. Bites are rare and not medically significant.

Population Status

Detailed information on the population size of Myrmarachne clavigera is not widely available. Like many specialized species, its presence is likely closely tied to the abundance of the ant species it mimics and preys upon.

Ant-mimic Spiders (Myrmarachne clavigera), Photo by David Lowenthal

Life Span:
The lifespan of jumping spiders, including those in the Myrmarachne genus, can vary but generally spans about 1-2 years, encompassing development from spiderlings to adults.

Weight and Length:
Myrmarachne clavigera is a small spider, with lengths typically in the range of a few millimeters, aligning with the size of the ants it mimics to enhance its disguise.

Myrmarachne clavigera is found in regions where its ant models are present, which primarily includes parts of Asia. Its distribution is influenced by habitat suitability for both the spider and the ant species it mimics.

Habits and Lifestyle:
This spider exhibits behaviors similar to ants, including mimicking ant movements and living among or near ant trails and colonies. Despite its ant-like appearance, it retains the predatory habits characteristic of jumping spiders, using its agility and jumping ability to capture prey.

Diet and Nutrition:
Myrmarachne clavigera primarily preys on ants and occasionally other small insects. Its ant-mimicking appearance allows it to approach and capture ants without alarming its prey.

Mating Habits:
The mating behavior of Myrmarachne clavigera involves careful approach strategies by the male to signal its intentions to the female and to avoid being mistaken for prey. Visual and possibly chemical cues play a role in their courtship, which is typical of jumping spiders, known for their complex and often visual mating rituals.