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Mimetidae Mimetus sp.

Order: Araneae

Family: Mimetidae (Pirate Spiders)

Genus: Mimetus

The distinguishing feature of the Pirate Spiders is a row of spines on Metatarsus I and II. Short spines alternate with long spines which curve toward the end of the leg and increase in length towards the body. In Mimetus, the top halves of the chelicerae are covered with dense bristle (see picture). There is wide variation in color and pattern within the genus. Females range from 4 to 6.5 mm, and males range from 3.4 to 4.5 mm.

Pirate Spiders, do not build their own snares. Instead, they invade the webs of other spiders, kill the occupant, and eat it. Some pirate spiders also wait in ambush for other passing spiders. Most species eat spiders exclusively, though some also eat insects.

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Last updated 12/13/2004