01 February 2009

Zodariidae - (presumably) Storena species 3

Click image to enlarge

Zodariidae - (presumably) Storena sp. 3

These photos show the ant mimicry of this spider, which I presume is another Storena species, but such a large number of species from the Zodariidae family with its 19 genera, detailed information is required that is normally only available from specialised taxonomic journals, so without access to these, I shall allow myself a little wriggle room. Therefore, assuming this particular spider is from the genus Storena, it is one of the smaller species, being much less than 1 cm and closer to 1/2 cm (1/4") in length (excluding legs).

Two of the above photos show the female with her two front legs raised at an angle above her head to represent the ants antennae and she will keep them in that position until the need for deception is no longer required (which also included me taking photographs). Their more normal stance (shown in the other photos) is legs splayed and ready to run, which is typical of hunting ground spiders who ambush or run down their prey. Regarding this spider, their prey are often the very ants they pretend to be.

The patterning on their abdomen is quite different to those of Storena species 1, and apart from the considerable size difference, would alone indicate another species. The photographed male on the other hand, has the familiar boxing glove type pulps.