// Myrmarachne maxillosa (Giant Ant-like Jumper) //
Easy peasy spidey ID:
The most foolproof way to tell them apart is to gently knock them off course. If it spins a silky safety line, you can be sure that’s a spider! Spiders that belong to the genus Myrmarachne copy the appearance of ants to trick its predators (e.g. wasps and birds) into thinking that they are one of the the foul-tasting ants that secrete formic acid when attacked. And thus, avoid getting eaten! *
The genus name, Myrmarachne, is a portmanteau of two Greek words ‘myrmex’ (ant) and ‘arachne’ (spider). Having difficulty remembering the genus name, Myrmarachne?
Here’s an easier way: Think of your Ah ma (grandmother) having acne.
My–r–mar-(has)-ach–ne = My-ah-ma-has-acne
(Original photo source: Babyzone.com)
May 2014, Singapore
More ant-mimicking spiders here.
*Read Spiders of Brunei Darussalam by Joseph Koh to find out more about these