Ed Note: August 30, 2016
The sudden number of comments on this old posting has us concerned. We are going to attempt to research why populations of this introduced species are suddenly on the rise. We are also going to tag this as an Invasive Exotic species as we suspect it might be displacing native Jumping Spiders. Finally, we are going to Feature this posting on our homepage until we discover any information on the sudden number of recent comments.
What is this insect?
Location: NE Ohio
August 16, 2011 4:10 pm
Hello, I am finding this bug in my home – mostly in the kitchen and bathroom. They are fast and seem pretty smart. Do you think it may be a carpenter ant of some sort?
Signature: Curious in Ohio
Dear Curious in Ohio,
This is a spider, not an insect. It is an Ant Mimic Jumping Spider, Myrmarachne formicaria. Jumping Spiders are hunting spiders that do not snare their prey. They have excellent eyesight and can capture prey much larger than themselves, including flies. BugGuide contains this very interesting fact regarding the range of this European introduction: “The first specimen records of M. formicaria from North America have all been from Ohio, USA: from Warren, Trumble County on 16 August 2001; the J.H. Barrow Field Station, Portage County on 15 September 2002; and at a residence near Peninsula, Summit County.”