#Biodiversity150 number 110 of 150 Myrmarachne formicaria

110/150: Ant-mimicking spiders; One of these things is not like the other!

Animalia: Arthropoda: Arachnida: Araneae: Salticidae: Myrmarachne: Myrmarachne formicaria (De Geer, 1778)

Members of the genus Myrmarachne are commonly referred to as the Ant-mimic spiders and represent some of the best examples of Batesian mimicry in the world. Their cephalothorax is elongated, with a tapered waist that imitates the silhouette of an ant and they will often wave their front legs in the air to resemble ant antennae. The mimicry of these spiders is often so exact that each species has evolved to mirror a specific ant species. These spiders benefit from their mimicry as it camouflages them from predators who like to eat spiders but not ants. So, the spiders can hide in an ant colony away from their predators. Despite the diversity of this genus, there is only one species found in North America. M. formicaria was introduced to the United States from Western Europe as recently as 2001. Since this discovery, its range has spread and it has been found in Toronto, Ontario as of 2015, and Stratford, Ontario as of 2016. #Canada150 #Biodiversity150

A male M. formicaria found at an Ontario Bioblitz event. Photo Credit: Valerie Levesque-Beaudin, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics
The checlicerae of male M. formicaria are much larger than that of females. Photo Credit: Gergin Blagoev, Centre for Biodiversity Genomics

Here’s the barcode sequence information for this species:

Process ID: ARONW682-14

nucleotide sequence


amino acid sequence


Visual representation of DNA barcode sequence for Myrmarachne formicaria

Learn more about it’s BIN (Barcode Index Number): BOLD:ABA9498

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