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webs and egg sacs
Myrmarachne helensmithae? (QM and see notes below)
female: about 5 mm|
male: 5 mm
Mostly found under loose bark or where ants are running
Probably harmless to humans
The distinguishing feature of this species is the partial constriction of the cephalothorax and/or the
abdomen into two segments to produce an ant-like body shape. The very large porrect (forward pointing)
chelicerae on the male are another striking feature. The female's palps are long and thin with paddle-shaped
ends. At least on some Myrmarachne species the cephalothorax appears to have a helmet-like shape. Note that the colour of Myrmarachne species seems to vary but
the red colour of all parts of the spider except the head region and the rear part of the abdomen is a characteristic of Myrmarachne helensmithae.
The species name of the spider shown above is uncertain. It should also be pointed out that the
taxonomy of the Australian Myrmarachne genus is currently being revised, the most recent example of this being the following paper: Pekar S., Petrakiva L.,
Corcobado G., and Whyte R. (2017) "Revision of eastern Australian ant-mimicking spiders of the genus Myrmarachne (Araneae, Salticidae) reveals a complex
of species and forms" Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 197(3), 642-676.
Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: Some other Myrmarachne species.
Email Ron Atkinson for more information.
Last updated 2 July 2017.