dwarf antmimic spiders (Family Phrurolithidae)

Dwarf antmimic spiders (Family Phrurolithidae)

There are 11 species of dwarf antmimic spiders known from Ohio. This represents about 2% of our spider species.

Characteristics of Phurolithidae:

  • usually dark in color, blacks, browns, sometimes iridescent
  • often mimic ant movement patterns and in their body form
  • fast running, often diurnal spiders
  • front legs are often waved like antennae when they move
  • found on ground, often in open
  • very small¬†spiders

Members of this family are active daytime hunters and build a tubular retreat of silk each night. They hunt primarily on the ground. Several species are thought to mimic the behavior and appearance of small ants. This mimicry may protect them from predation, because ants are generally distasteful to predators.

Ohio Examples:

Scotinella sp? female

Scotinella sp? female (this is as big as she gets!)

Scotinella sp? immature

Scotinella sp? immature

Scotinella sp? immature

Scotinella sp? immature

Phrurotimpus borealis subadult female

Phrurotimpus borealis subadult female

Phrurotimpus borealis adult male

Phrurotimpus borealis adult male

Phrurotimpus borealis adult male

Phrurotimpus borealis adult male

Phrurotimpus sp? immature

Phrurotimpus sp? immature