Ant-mimic spider, Myrmecotypus rettenmeyeri, and Gold Carpenter Ant, Camponotus sericeiventris

Spiders of the genus Myrmecotypus  (Corinnidae) are known for being morphological and behavioral mimics of ants (ant-mimicry or mirmecomorphy). This genus currently includes nine species from the New World, which occur from the United States (one species) to Argentina (one species), but most (seven species) occur from Mexico to Panama.

Myrmecotypus rettenmeyeri (top-left), native to Panama, mimics the Golden Carpenter Ant, Camponotus sericeiventris (top-right and bottom) which occurs in the same habitat. 

In this case, the medial dorsal keel on Camponotus sericeiventris is mimicked by a medial dorsal band of hair on Myrmecotypus rettenmeyeri. The active behavior of this spider also accurately mimics the antennal movements in the ants, keeping the first pair of legs raised when stopping, and often moving about. Other similarity is that the black surface of both spider and ant has yellow or golden-white pilosity with high reflectance.

References: [1] - [2] - [3]

Photo credits: [Top: ©Jeremy Gatten | Locality: Altos Del Maria, Panama, 2012] - [Bottom: ©Seig | Locality: Lapa Rios Ecolodge, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica, 2014]

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Family Phrurolithidae - Genus - Phrurotimpus - 3.5mm Female - sub adult.

Usually have iridescent scales on the body.  The egg sacs are red, flattened discs fastened to the underside of stones. Ant mimic.

The genus is in moderate disarray and is in need of a revision. Numerous undescribed species can be found in most major museum collections".

The wise, misleading nature of Amyciaea albomaculata

Do not let your eyes fool you, this is not an ant, but a deceptive spider that mimics the Green Tree Ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) which are their food  Commonly known as Green-ant Mimicking Spider, Amyciaea albomaculata (Araneae- Thomisidae) is an ant mimic spider native to Australia and New Guinea, whose disguise not only mimics the shape and color of the ants (visual mimicry), they also have false eye spots on their abdomen and wave their first pair of legs in the air, apparently mimicking the movements of an ant’s antenna.

In this case the mimicry is not only a strategy for the spider to get their food, but at the same time is a defensive strategy. Bird predators avoid this spider because they see it as a Green Tree Ant, which is a fierce biter and stinger.  So, the ants are easily caught as they seem to accept the spider as one of them - probably because the spider can mimic the ants’ chemical scent signals (chemical mimicry). Having made its catch, the spider drops off on a silk thread so that it can eat its meal in safety.

References: [1] - [2]

Photo credit: ©iainrmacaulay | Locality: Queensland, Australia (2013)

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Top:  Long-legged fishing spider

Middle:  SO COOL>  a bullet ant mimic spider.  No idea on the ID if anyone knows! At first I thought it was a Salticid but the eyes are not right.

Bottom: Some species of fuzzy wandering spider in the family Ctenidae.

All 3 are boys!

Tiputini, Ecuador