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by Valerie

October, 2015

Orange Ant-mimic

orange ant-mimic

In colors certainly befitting Halloween, the orange ant-mimic (Castianeira amoena) is a small ground-dwelling spider. Belonging to the family Corinnidae, which includes many ant-mimicking spiders, this particular species doesn't seem to resemble any particular ant in our area. It looks more like a little tiger. A good number of orange, black and white insects and spiders are not necessarily mimics of a specific model, but the colors themselves are the deterrent. This combination often means the animal is distasteful, poisonous or venomous. Some corinnid spiders do not resemble ants so much as velvet ants, which are actually wingless wasps with a powerful sting. One other possibility for this kind of coloration is that, in a mixed habitat of gravel, weeds and dirt, the confusing colors may make the spider harder to see or possibly send mixed signals to predators, affording it a degree of protection.

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