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Myrmarachne is a genus of jumping spiders which imitate an ant by waving their front legs in the air to simulate antennae. Some species also look strikingly like ants. Spiders in this genus are commonly called antmimicking spiders, although there are many other spiders that mimic ants. Panachraesta used to be a synonym until it was removed and made into its own genus.[2]

Myrmarachne sp.jpg
Myrmarachne sp mimicking an ant
Scientific classification e
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Subphylum: Chelicerata
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Infraorder: Araneomorphae
Family: Salticidae
Genus: Myrmarachne
Macleay, 1839[1]
Type species
Myrmarachne melanocephala
MacLeay, 1839[1]

See text.

228 species
  • Bizonella Strand, 1929
  • Emertonius Peckham & Peckham, 1892



The cephalothorax is elongated, with long chelicerae projecting forward in males. A waist is present on the cephalothorax, and often also on the opisthosoma. Colors vary from black to yellow, depending on the mimicked ant species. One African species was observed to mimick one species when immature, and another as an adult.[3] The genus Bocus is so similar to Myrmarachne as to be indistinguishable without the help of a microscope.[3]


Myrmarachne mainly occurs in the tropics from Africa to Australia, with some species found in the New World. A few species, such as the palearctic M. formicaria, occur in temperate regions. With about 80 described and many undescribed southeast Asian species, it is the most diverse genus of jumping spider in this region.[3]


The genus name is a combination of Ancient Greek myrmex "ant" and arachne "spider".


Female M. formosana from Hong Kong

As of December 2015, the World Spider Catalog accepted the following 228 species:[1]


  1. ^ a b c d "Gen. Myrmarachne MacLeay, 1839", World Spider Catalog, Natural History Museum Bern, retrieved 2015-11-13
  2. ^ Prószyński, J. (2016). Delimitation and description of 19 new genera, a subgenus and a species of Salticidae (Araneae) of the world. Ecologica Montenegrina 7: 4-32.
  3. ^ a b c Murphy & Murphy 2000: 304


  • Murphy, Frances & Murphy, John (2000). An Introduction to the Spiders of South East Asia. Kuala Lumpur: Malaysian Nature Society.

Further readingEdit

  • Nelson, X.J., Jackson, R.R., Edwards, G.B. & Barrion, A.T. (2006) "Living with the enemy: jumping spiders that mimic weaver ants". The Journal of Arachnology 33: 813–819. PDF (M. assimilis)

External linksEdit