14 Spiders That Look Like An Ant: Surprising Things To Know

Spiders and ants are the two big predators of the insect world. But did you know that there are some spiders that mimic ants to protect themselves from predators and to fool their prey? In this blog, we look at some of these unique spiders.

If you have ever watched the popular Netflix series Money Heist, you would know about the robber’s incredibly effective strategy to wear masks that look exactly like the ones that the hostages were wearing.

Using this mimicry, they were able to confuse the authorities and execute the robbery without any major casualties. Pretty smart, eh?

But what if we told you that the idea of mimicry is millions of years old, and even the lowly spiders beneath your feet have been using it effectively?

That’s right, spiders have been copying other insects to avoid predators, and one of the main insects that they mimic is the humble but powerful ant.

Ant Mimic Jumping Spider

In this article, we look at 20 examples of spiders around the world that have been copying ants. But before we begin, here is a brief background on mimicry in the insect world.

What is Mimicry?

Mimicry is exactly what the word suggests – one creature copying the characteristics of another one. The point of doing this is simple – predators often perceive the world around them by sight, sound, and smell.

If an organism is able to present itself as dangerous prey to its predators, then its chances of surviving in the wild increase dramatically.

Over millions of years of evolution, many organisms in the world, including common insects and smaller mammals, have adapted mimicry as a defense strategy.

Types of Mimicry in the Insect World

You might think that mimicry seems pretty straightforward, but that’s not the case. There are many types of mimicry and many end purposes also.

Some forms of mimicry are purely for defensive purposes, while others are aggressive, and a few others are reproductive in nature.

Aggressive mimicry is the reverse of what you would normally think – its predators copy prey to make them appear harmless.

Jumping Spider mimics Mating Blues

Reproductive mimicry is more often shown by plants whose flowers copy the features of other plants that are rewarding so as to attract insects to pollinate themselves.

However, the most common form and most widely researched form of mimicry remains defensive. Within this, there are several types, as explained in the table below.

Type of MimicryDescription
Batesian mimicryA harmless organism poses like a harmful one
Müllerian mimicryTwo species that are harmful pose as each other.
Emsleyan/Mertensian mimicryA deadly creature mimics a less harmful one so that the predator learns a lesson from biting the less harmful creature.
WasmannianMimicking a creature that the mimic lives near or with
VavilovianWeeds that look like domesticated plants
GilbertianPossible host mimic a parasite to drive it away
BrowerianLess dangerous insect mimics more dangerous one from the same species

Why Should Spiders Mimic Ants? Aren’t They Just as Deadly and Venomous to Boot?

Yes, spiders are venomous. And they are known to give painful bites to all those who approach them. But that doesn’t mean that they are the most successful defenders in the world.

As per fossil dating, the oldest ants have been around since 99 million years ago, and scientists suggest that this duration could be much longer.

So what has helped them live for so long in a cruel and unyielding world that eliminated huge creatures such as dinosaurs and the wooly mammoth?

There are four things that they have worked on, which most other insects have failed to do:

  • Organize themselves into colonies in resource-rich areas
  • Create a role-based system with clear and defined work for each ant
  • Evolved features necessary to perform their respective roles.
  • Learned to attack in groups rather than fight alone.

Ants realized eons ago that the best strategy to survive in this world is to get organized. They created a hierarchy-based system with a solitary queen, workers, soldiers, and males (whose only job was to procreate and die).

Each ant has developed specialized tools to do its job properly. For example, soldier ants have strong jaws that let them bite predators and stingers that can spray formic acid on them.

But Why Do Spiders Need To Mimic Them?

For one thing, many spiders are still solitary, so despite their venom, they are not as effective in warding off prospective predators.

Moreover, spiders realize that ants are excellent foragers and hunters. This makes it a good idea to copy them in order to attack their prey and eat them.

There are nearly 45,000 species of spiders in the world, and more than 300 of them have resorted to ant mimicry to get things done.

It is not just that they look like ants – some of these spiders actually behave like them (perhaps they have a split personality disorder!)

Some of them wave their front legs so that they look like they have antennae, while others walk in a zig-zag pattern, just like ants searching for a pheromone trail.

Mimicry of Ant in Spiders

While copying their looks is an obvious trait of mimicry, there are certain other behaviors and features that spiders have evolved to ensure that they look as close to ants as possible.

For example, many ant-mimicking spiders raise their two front legs, making them look like antennae. This can easily confuse any predator that is looking at the spider from the front since it seems like a six-legged ant is approaching.

Scientists used to think that these spiders simply never use their front legs, but recent research has shown that they do.

In fact, these spiders make brief pauses while moving, long enough for predators to see their raised legs, and then put down the legs and use them to walk just like other spiders.

Other characteristic features include a thread-waisted body that looks like it has three segments, spots on the head that look like ant eyes, and a zig-zag walk that appears almost that of an ant searching for pheromones to guide her.

Some spiders even live near ant nests, rubbing their formic acid on themselves to mimic their smell and deter predators.

It is pertinent to note here that not all ant mimic spiders use all tactics. Most use only 1-2 of these features (the leg-raising thing is perhaps the most common).

As long as predators are getting fooled, the spiders don’t seem to care!

Ant -Like Crab Spider (Amyciaea forticeps)

Found primarily in the Amazon rainforests, ant-mimicking crab spiders have evolved several unique adaptations that make them look like weaver ants.

For one thing, these spiders beautiful disguise their eight legs (as opposed to the six of the ant) by lifting up their front two legs in a sort of waving motion, almost as if they were antennae.

Another interesting feature is the fake spots on the front of the mouth, which look like the eyes of the ant.

Males look like they are carrying another ant in their mouth, but this second ant is actually a sword-like jaw, which they use to fight predators and also to impress the females.

Ant -Like Crab Spider

Crab spiders look and dance like (you guessed it) crabs. They even walk sideways like crabs.

But when they are fighting, they bring in all these mimicry features to make them appear like ants.

They don’t go after the prey, appearing to wait for it until it comes in front of them. They then use the front two legs (which they were waving around like antennae) to grab their prey

These spiders usually live in trees and make their home near the nests of their model ants. But one thing that clearly differentiates them is their ability to jump – no ant can jump like a spider can.

If they ever attack the ants themselves, they let themselves fall, hanging on by a silk strand. The poor fighting ant has no chance to call its mate and eventually dies of the venom in the spider’s sting.

Here’s a video of these amazing creatures.

Red Weaver Ant-mimicking Spider (Myrmaplata plataleoides)

Also known as the Karenga ant-like jumper, this is another species of spider that mimic weaver ants, with almost similar characteristics as that of the ant-like crab spider.

These spiders have orangish bodies, a thin and narrow waist, spots on the abdomen that look like eyes and raise their front legs like antennae.

In short, they do everything in their power to look like weaver ants.

It makes a lot of sense for these spiders to mimic ants because neither is their venom very powerful nor are they fierce biters.

Red Weaver Ant-mimicking Spide

These spiders live in trees near their model ants colonies and even go near the nest to get the ant-like smell on themselves to fool predators.

However, unlike the ant-like crab spiders, the Karenga jumpers do not hunt ants directly. They weave a light web and wait for prey to fall into it on its own.

The video below shows the similarities between this species and their model weaver ants.

Two-banded Ant-mimic Sac Spider (Castianeira cingulata)

So, rather than explain to you how this spider imitates an ant, let’s just show you a video instead:

This tiny spider does everything in its might to replicate the look of an ant, including a dark, long body, and thin, thread-like waist.

From afar, there is hardly anything that can help you tell the difference, but when you look up close, you will find the two telltale extra legs that a spider has.

There is one more identification marker of this spider that becomes visible as it grows slightly older. It has two light brown bands on its body, which are often quite hard to see from a distance but can be visible when you come up close.

Two-banded Ant-mimic Sac Spider

Common Patterned Ant-mimic Ground Spider (Sergiolus montanus)

After covering weaver ants, let us now move to spiders that mimic velvet ants.

The Common patterned ant mimic is a brightly colored spider that tries to imitate the looks of a velvet ant. It is hairy and comes in several varieties of colors.

These spiders are found in wooded areas where they can hide under tree bark and leaves. They are wanderers, but they do build a nest to lay eggs.

These spiders are hunters; they are not the kind that builds webs to catch their prey. They use their strong stingers and mouthparts to disable their prey.

Velvet ants are known for their powerful stings in the insect world, so mimicking them is an effective strategy that wards off many predators in the wild.

Here’s a video of a patterned ground spider foraging around in some trash:

Orange Ant-mimic Sac Spider (Castianeira amoena)

As the name suggests, this is a bright orange colored spider that mimics velvet ants of the same color.

Velvet ants are actually wingless wasps, but the name ants has stuck to them because of their appearance and the fact they don’t have wings.

Orange Ant-mimic Sac Spider

The Orange ant mimic spider gains from the fear that velvet ants have generated due to their powerful and venomous stingers.

Myrmarachne Formicaria

The Myrmarachne Formicaria is a jumping spider commonly found in the tropics, with a very close resemblance to wood ants.

These spiders usually grow to about 1/5th of an inch and show many characteristics of an ant, such as walking in a zig-zag pattern, raising their legs in the air when they pause (to mimic antennae), and of course, their brownish black color.

In the United States, these spiders can often be seen during the summer months. They love to inhabit homes as well as open spaces like gardens

Myrmarachne Formicaria

Jumping spiders, like the Myrmarachne Formicaria are part of a large set of nearly 6,000 described species of spiders, who all show the ability to jump long distances.

They have a unique way of propelling themselves very high. Unlike grasshoppers (which have strong hind legs) or springtails (which use an appendage known as furcula), these spiders can channel a large amount of blood to their rear legs when they need to jump.

This sudden rush of blood expands their legs and lets them jump like a spring action. Jumping spiders can travel distances almost forty times their body lengths using this method.

They use this ability to catch their prey off guard and sting them easily.

Greater Ant-mimic Corinne Spider (Phrurotimpus borealis)

A spider native to America, the greater ant-mimic Corinne does not actually resemble an ant very much. However, it is able to mimic the behavior of ants to grab its prey.

The spider is brown to metallic black in color and has a big abdomen. It comes from the family Phrurolithidae.

The spider raises its first leg to mimic the motion of antennae and also walks in a somewhat random fashion as if searching for a trail.

Bicolor Ant-mimic Jumping Spider (Myrmarachne melanocephala)

While this beautiful species of jumping spider does not closely resemble an ant from up close, some of its features resemble that of ants from afar.

It might look like an ant to a predator who is looking at it from above. This spider can jump long distances and also hunts other ants.

Its orange and black color is somewhat similar to that of the strobe ant, and it moves fast, just like the ant does.

It is also believed that this spider can produce odors similar to the ants’ pheromones, which helps it hunt ants by luring them near.

https://youtube.com/shorts/Hnu282Pyckw?feature=share

Japanese Ant-mimic Spider (Myrmarachne japonica)

As you must have guessed by now, many of these spiders are from the family Myrmarachne. This is a species of jumping spiders that all mimic ants and move like them.

While some of the species only have a passing resemblance to their models, the Japanese ant mimic is very much like an ant. Just watch it in the video below.

Their bodies are adapted in a way that makes them look three-segmented, resembling ants.

Moreover, it is jet black in color and lifts its legs in the air to mimic antennae, just like ants. The presence of large forward-facing eyes is one of the things that give away the fact that this is actually a spider, not an ant.

Japanese Ant-mimic Spider

One interesting tidbit about jumping spiders is that they have excellent eyesight. They are able to stalk their prey from afar and then use their jumping tactic to grab them quickly.

Variegated Ant-mimic Sac Spider (Castianeira variata)

The variegated ant mimic spider is a reddish brown insect that looks very much similar to C. Longipalpus ( a kind of beetle).

They are found all over Central and North America and are smallish creatures with a length of about 0.3-0.35 inch length.

This is another species of spider that doesn’t look much like an ant but certainly behaves like one to ensure that predators are left in doubt.

This species also tries to live near anthills so that they can confuse any predators they might have.

Red-spotted Ant-mimic Sac Spider (Castianeira descripta)

The red-spotted ant mimic spider has shades of the black widow look, except for large red markings on its back.

This spider is often feared but seldom aggressive. It loves to feed on ants, insects, small rodents, etc. Its bites can be painful, but not deadly.

Red Spotted Ant Mimic Spider

While the spider isn’t exactly a perfect ant mimic in looks, it makes up with its tendency to raise its two forelegs many times while it walks, to confuse its predators as well as prey.

The females of this species are nearly ½ inch long, so it’s actually bigger than most ants.

Slender Ant-mimic Jumping Spider (Synemosyna formica)

This is one of the best and closest ant mimics by appearance. This slender-looking black spider has everything that can fool a potential predator: a slender waist, an appearance of three partitions in its body, and even the tendency to lift its front legs to mimic antennae.

Slender Ant-mimic Jumping Spider

Interestingly, this spider is often prey to the very ants it is mimicking, but that still does not deter it from making its home near their ant nests.

It creates a nest that has a solid outer layer that prevents ants from entering, but it also mimics the odor of the ants to keep away other predators.

Long-palped Ant-mimic Sac Spider (Castianeira longipalpa)

Another spider that does not look like an ant, but behaves like one.

The Long palped ant mimic has a black abdomen but has grey stripes on its sides. It has a blackish-brown head, and the front legs have graded colors from black to brown.

Long-palped Ant-mimic Sac Spider

These spiders are about ½ inch in size, but it starts out much smaller. The babies are just 1/10th of an inch large.

Mourning Ant-mimic Spider (Myrmarachne luctuosa)

This spider is native to Australia, specifically New South Wales. It is another species of ant-mimicking jumping spider.

This species has a long body and variegated markings all over itself, which makes it look very much like an ant. It also has two large spots on the front, which look like ants’ eyes.

Wrap Up

The insect world is replete with many unusual examples of evolution that have helped certain species survive. But perhaps the most unique of these evolutionary tactics is mimicry.

We hope we have been able to pique your interest in how these unique ant-mimicking spiders have evolved new ways to tackle predators and fool their prey.

Thank you for reading, and do let us know if you spot any of these beautiful creatures in or near your home!

Reader Emails

We hope you enjoyed the descriptions above. Over the years, we have been fortunate to have quite a few of these ant-mimic spider pics sent to us for identification. Sample some of these below.

Letter 1 – Ant Mimic Jumping Spider

 

Is this an ant or spider? May 2, 2010 This was crawling across our table this morning and have never seen anything like it before. Is it an ant or a spider and is it poisonous/does it bite? Jennifer Tennessee
Ant Mimic Jumping Spider
Hi Jennifer, This is an Ant Mimic Jumping Spider, so your confusion is understandable.  All spiders have venom, but very few are dangerous to humans.  The Ant Mimic Jumping Spiders pose no threat.

Letter 2 – Ant Mimic Jumping Spider

 

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
Ant Mimic Jumping Spider
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.”

Letter 3 – Red Spotted Antmimic Spider

 

Redback in Louisiana Location: Louisiana April 19, 2012 12:02 am Hi! I found this spider on my sister’s door (in the door jam)of her apartment. I got it in a cup, took a picture, and let it go outside. Signature: Kristi
Red Spotted Antmimic Spider
Hi Kristi, The Redback Spider, Latrodectus hasselti, is an Australian species that is related to the Black Widow and its bite is considered dangerous.  To the best of our knowledge, there have never been any reports of Redback Spiders in North America, but plenty of Australian species have become established here and elsewhere, so anything is possible with global travel being so commonplace these days.  You can read about the Redback Spider on the Australian Museum website.  Our web search led us to the Spiderzrule website where we identified this Antmimic Spider, most likely the Red Spotted Antmimic Spider, Castianeira descripta.  We verified that identification on BugGuide though we would not rule out the possibility that your spider is a relative, Castianeira crocata, also represented on BugGuide.  It is not considered to be a harmful species.  We are tagging your posting with the Bug Humanitarian Award for your catch and release of this interesting Antmimic Spider. Thank you for responding. It is nice to know that it wasn’t poisonous! I prefer to let them go so they can eat our mosquitos! 😉

Letter 4 – Ant Mimic Spider

 

Subject: What is it? Location: Houston, Texas November 2, 2012 9:29 pm Found this spider crawling away from my bed and I freaked out. I really dislike spiders. I tried searching online to see if it is venomous. The search just left me confused…black widow family or red stripe spider from Australia? It looked more like a red stripe spider from a image I saw online. What do you think? Signature: Cyn
Ant Mimic Spider
Hi Cyn, Though the coloration and markings are superficially similar to the dangerous Australian Redback Spider, this Ant Mimic Spider in the genus Castianeira is perfectly harmless, and you can read more about it on BugGuide.

158 thoughts on “14 Spiders That Look Like An Ant: Surprising Things To Know”

  1. I’ve seen this type and another type of ant mimic spider that doesn’t jump by the backyard screen door in my home. The latter was crawling on the screen door with its front legs above its head looking like an ant. The dead give away was the strand of web that it was dangling from when I tapped the screen.

    Reply
  2. It seems these are becoming pretty prolific in Northeast Ohio–I’ve seen two in Ashtabula County in the last week!

    The front legs almost look like antennae. Were it not for the suspicious vise-looking front, I probably would have given them the benefit of the doubt as being ants and not looked into it!

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    • a little late commenting but I renovated a house in seven hills. They are everywhere. behind baseboards, every room except bedrooms. Cant turn around without seeing 5 of them. look like ants til you see them hanging from lines. Looking for best way to exterminate time

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    • I JUST found one in my hallway. I live in northern Massachusetts and noticed it had eight legs rather than six, and recoiled at the thought of yet another spider in doors. At first glance I thought it was an ant though. Never seen this creature before today.

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    • I’ve seen three of these crawling across my monitor at work within the past couple of weeks here in Mentor, OH.

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  3. Seen today in Portage County, OH. We thought it was an ant hanging from a spider web, but on further inspection, it was SPINNING the web!

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    • Think this is what was in my shower today. It was almost 1.5″ around! Huge thing. Tried to crush it with a shampoo bottle but it ran into the cover around the shower head pipe. Finished my shower (with one eye open) and then emptied half a can of Raid onto that punk!

      Reply
  4. Does this minic spider bite ? I have seen two in my house the pastweek and thought they were ants…. should I be worried ? Beacuse I am lol

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    • They won’t bite. I like to sit out in my yard and wait for them to show up so I can photograph them. They seem curious. Jumping spiders of all kinds like to climb on me (cuz I don’t brush them off) and they like to jump on my camera lens. They will not hurt a human being, so let’s not hurt them! They are quite cute and fascinating.

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  5. Spotted several traveling through our house in Western PA recently. We also saw them this time last year but didn’t investigate as closely, assuming some ants had found their way in. Really interesting!

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  6. i found and captured an ant mimic jumping spider just now, i tried to take pictures of it but it moves fast, blurring the picture. Bugman, I am from southern part of the philippines, so it is safe to say that this kind of arachnid is found dispersed. However, this ant mimic is different, it really looked like a black ant, difficult to distinguish, yet it has movements very different to black ants.

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    • a colony of spider-ants just moved in near our house.. small, black, fast, looks like ants and prey on small insects.. and have webs. NE India

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  7. I’ve a phobia for any spider regardless of the size and/or, species. They’re all ugly – hideous looking crearures in mine opinion. Here in my region, in Richards Bay South – Africa, I’ve seen one O’those li’l ant mimic ‘goggas’ running around on garden chairs outside and on trees if I’m not mistaking. They were all black , they mimic the black ants we have here, vey convincing though, but, their tipical spider like movements and menouvers, and close up investigation, gave me the benefit O’the doubt concerning these creatures. I’ve always wondered what’s the potency O’their venom and if they actually were spiders or ants. So, thx for your info concerning these “things”… I rest my case.

    Reply
    • Thank you for going public with your phobia. We hope that our site encourages people to overcome their fears by learning that most spiders are perfectly harmless to humans. We imagine they have weak venom with that has very little effect on humans.

      Reply
  8. Blue Ridge, GA
    Kristi, thanks for posting. I just encountered either one or two (not sure). I saw one around the house last summer. Pretty much the same thought as you, if it doesn’t bother me, I won’t bother it. It was in and out of the wood surrounding my onion/carrot bed. 20 minutes later I saw it (or a different one) crawling up my pants by the cantaloupe; scared me to death! Will definitely start bringing my camera with me.

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  9. There was one on my mom’s porch window all day today. We live in NE Tennessee close to VA boarder. Guess they’re not so northern :/

    Reply
  10. Great info here, had this Ant type spider on my basement workbench, and thought it was a carpenter ant. Was going to squash it with my index finger and to my surprise it was strong enough to push off finger and pinched the skin and then it jumped about 6 to 8 inches in the air as if it was attacking. It then ran extremely fast and disappeared thru a crack in the bench. It was a strange encounter for me, and I’m glad to find out what it was. I thought I had run into a mutant ant.

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  11. My husband swears that he saw a red back in our she’d I’ve showed him many different types of spiders and no match except the red back is it possible that they would be in Oklahoma

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  12. I killed two red back spiders this week. One tonight in the living room while picking up my son’s booksack off the carpet. Two days ago another one was under the car port. They aren’t shy. They weren’t in hard to reach places like typical dangerous spiders and know to mistakenly come into contact with people. I live in central louisiana.

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  13. Here in Buffalo New York just found one drinking water out of my dogs water bowl. That would be ant mimic jumping spider number 3. Took that Sucker right outside. They are very observant and look right at you. One bit my daughter but nothing happened, thank goodness. Those things are freaky looking.

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  14. I’ve been bitten by these before. Multiple times in my backyard. It is painful. It feels like a very intense fire ant sting, and last for about an hour. It swells and reddens during that hour, and then eventually subsides. It leaves a bump for a few days at the sight. I don’t know what these are, but they are pretty cool. I really wish they would stop biting me, it freaking hurts!

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  15. One almost jumped on my daughter and we’re in Raleigh, NC. Oddly enough we moved here 10 years ago from Mahoning County, Ohio! This is the scariest looking thing I’ve seen in a while and we have a lot of creepy bugs down here. UGH!

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  16. Just caught one exactly like the picture in Killeen. TX. let it go …but then killed it when I saw the bright orange band down the back. Sorry I’m use to nature’s basic law. “Bright warnings usually equals dangerous”.

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  17. I’ve seen two on separate occasions in my yard in Minnesota.
    Please don’t squash these or any other spiders!
    They won’t hurt you and they are really cool to watch closeup.

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  18. I had an unreasonable fear of spiders when I was younger. I have learned over the years, however, that spiders mostly just want to be left alone. My favorite spider is the jumping spider, in any of its forms. They are very friendly and will actually spend time sitting on my hand or arm. Their motto could be: Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

    Reply
  19. I found a tiny guy, I think it was a spider, that looked very much like one of my tiny black sweet ants that are all over my kitchen. I live in MD. Unfortunately, it got away and I don’t have it to refer to. It had no markings that I noticed.

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  20. Bugman – can you please clarify if this Ant Mimic Jumping Spider can also produce a web or thread? I found one (on me!) inside my house today. I went to the door with it in my hand to take outside, and it repeatedly used a web to drop down from my hand. I was so surprised I put it in a container instead, to do some research before I let it go. I looked up “spider that looks like an ant”, and when I saw the pictures, I didn’t think this was the same – at first. Upon closer inspection, I realized that it DOES have those flat pinchers in front.

    I also saw a post saying someone had found a “male”. How can you tell?

    I’m just outside Buffalo, NY, very close to Lake Erie.

    Reply
    • Most all spiders can spin silk that they use for a variety of reasons, but some species do not use silk to spin a web to snare prey. Ant Mimic Jumping Spiders would spin silk for the purposes you describe. Many male spiders have enlarged pedipalps, the first set of appendages before the legs.

      Reply
  21. Los Angeles area – yes, we have them 🙁 Been looking online for what I found in my bed yesterday. Looks like robust ant, but larger, and boy does it move fast!! I knew it wasn’t an ant, and was probably a spider – waaaah

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  22. These have all the sudden exploded here..Never seen them before. McKean, Pa..Just south of Erie. Thought they were red carpenter ants, there were several in the door jam of my screen door, now have seen a few inside. They jump very high and very quickly. Neighbors and friends in other towns are noticing them too. Is there any concern? I have a toddler.

    Reply
    • I am also in McKean. They are all over my house. We have tons of spiders in and outside. Never seen so many anywhere. We love watching the orb spiders which live in every outside corner and nook. I have been a bit concerned for my littles, though. My research says they are all pretty harmless, so we let them be.

      Reply
  23. I seem to have a considerable number of them in my house. I see perhaps 3-5 a day. NE OH.

    And I am SO relieved to find that they are jumping spiders and not some ant tearing my house apart from the inside out.

    For some odd reason, I’m a jumping spider fan; so they are welcome.

    Reply
  24. I live in Erie Pennsylvania and I have these coming in my house. I thought it was an ant until I seen it coming down with webbing coming out of its but. They seem very fast to move when you put your finger buy it or it jumps. I can’t believe how good of eye sight they have. Haven’t seen any all summer until 2 weeks ago. Now they keep trying to get in.

    Reply
  25. Ashtabula Ohio.I just had what looked like an ant on a tomato in my windowsill. I picked up the tomato and it dropped with a web. It’s black and red and looks like an ant. I googled ants with webs and this is what I came across and I am sure this is what it is. I don’t like bugs but I can handle ants better than spiders in my house !!

    Reply
  26. We are in Ashtabula Ohio and I seriously have them all over they are on my car then on the door step. Now in my bathrooms and kitchens! I want them to go awayyyyyyy they’re creeping me and my children out!!! Any suggestions on how to get them to leave? I have peppermint oil I think I’m going to spray. That won’t kill them just make them not want to come around right??

    Reply
    • Perhaps one of our readers will be able to provide a good deterrent for you as we have no suggestions. We are going to research the sudden number of comments that are appearing on this posting, which tends to indicate there is a sudden population explosion of Ant Mimic Jumping Spiders.

      Reply
  27. They are in New York now to cause they are all over in my house and they are freaky smart and aggressive even to people they will chase me lol

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  28. Just found one on my shower curtain. I live in Central New York. 25 mins north of the city of Syracuse. Wasn’t sure what it was till I saw this Webpage. Seems like they are becoming more wide spread in the northeast.

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  29. Ive been finding them all over the place for the past few weeks, the walls, the doors, i see at least 2 every day id say. They sure do love the James H. Barrow FS location

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  30. Interestingly, I grew up in Trumbull County Ohio just outside of Warren. I have been in Erie County Pennsylvania for the last 12 years. I never encountered one of these little spiders until our recent move to our new house in McKean, Pa (still Erie County). We have a ton of them, along with many other spiders. My dad, who still lives on a farm in Trumbull County, was the only person who could tell me what they were. Interesting little species. Would love to know how they managed to invade and migrate!

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  31. Have them all over a table out side of work ..They come out from below the table and are often found running around on are clothes coming back into work .. Lmao.. Lockport NY

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    • Just so that you know I’m from the Alden Lancaster border. I first saw this last year I thought it was an ant as well. And now I’m seeing them again this year which prompted me to do a little bit of research they’re cool little creatures but definitely seeing them for the first time over the last couple years. Lived in the area most of my life, and I don’t recall ever seeing them in the past.

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  32. I tried looking this up last week, as I find at least ten of these in my home each day the past couple weeks, and found your article; finding your update that everyone else is suddenly experiencing them too has me super freaked out.

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  33. found this ant on my kitchen table when I bushed him off I looked to see where he was and he was hanging on a web from the edge of the table. I put him on the table and killed him gently I have some bites was it him itched for a short time.

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    • Well, clap clap clap. You killed a harmless spider who did not bite you and in fact was probably hunting for whatever bug it was that did bite you. I’ve seen a baby jumping spider on its first foray beyond the nest try to attack a fly 50 times it’s size. And yet you would kill one of these courageous little heroes. For shame. Next time please think twice.

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  34. Caught a couple of them in my home in Port Robinson, Ontario, also seen one at my brothers house. Looks like their moving around pretty fast.

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  35. I found one inside my home and thought it was an ant but thought maybe some different kind of ant because it was a little different looking. Then while sitting outside on the patio I saw one hanging from a web! I thought wow! I didn’t know ants could hang from webs! I then thought maybe its an old web until I saw it climb back up the web and then I was convinced this was some kind of spider. Very neat little creatures I have yet to see it jump though. Finding them in Buffalo NY.

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  36. Just recently, we have these. Just noticed that they had a web when I pushed it off the picnic table yesterday. We thought it was weird. Just had another one in my kitchen that did the same thing when I pushed it into the sink. We live in northwestern Pennsylvania, near the town of North East.

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  37. Brockport NY (Just West of Rochester) has them. Seen them outside of house as Summer drags on, but never in groups like ants… just singles… then found a couple roaming inside the house a couple weeks later. Saw one on a bike in the garage this morning and when I went to ‘get it’… it dropped with a silk line. Small like an ant. Red middle… just like the picture. looked up silk spinning ant and got this. bingo. thanks Google and Whatsthatbug. Now- what to do about them?

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    • I have them too. This is the first time i have ever seen them in brockport ny. I see one or two a day. Will the peppermint spray really work?

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  38. i believe my wife may have found and captured one it looks like it has ant antenae and a ant body black on the rear black on the head red in the middle it can spin webs it look like it has an ant head as well as body it does not look like its carrying anything i dont see any thing that looks like pincers like there are in the picture above it does jump but it looks exactly like an ant no difference i can see. if its a spider theres no sign of that at all. i have it in a see through container. if what looks like its antenae are legs maybe a spider but doesnt look at all anyway like one would be a perfect mimic.?canton ohio stark county 2016 sept 7

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  39. I’m finding them all over my house. My friends say they saw them too, about 100 of them at once in the common hallway of their apartment complex. We are in Canandaigua, NY. (Finger Lakes Region)

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  40. Live in Portage county (NE Ohio) and I’ve seen an incredible amount in and around my property lately. Thought at first it was a type of carpenter ant from what I saw online, until I saw them hanging from webs! Odd to see such an influx out of the blue.

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  41. Found one crawling across the hardwood floor in my bedroom 19 minutes ago. Sorry, I scooped it up with a tissue and flushed it down the toilet.

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  42. I live in Walton county Florida and we just spotted one of these guys on our porch very cool! Mistook him for an ant until he dropped from underneath a lamp onto the table from a web! He is as curious about us as we r about him lol!

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  43. I see these on my patio daily. The way I can tell it’s not an ant is it has almost a dark amber/red color if the sun hits it just right. Unlike ants. Plus they seem way smarter than ants and can tell when you are near. I have not seen them in groups of any kind, just around the patio and patio table. In Buffalo ny

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  44. found one in knoxville tn today looks just like the Antmimic spider. I have grown up with Black Widows all my life and this is NOT a BW.

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  45. I live in Vermont and Never before have I seen them until this week …. I’ve seen 2 already in my kitchen. I thought it was an ant except it was hanging by its web/thread thingy. looks just like that photo. Could they be.migrating to the northeast?

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    • Since this is not a native species, once it is established in a new location, they are able to spread. We also believe they can hitch rides with tourists and visiting relatives, and they are able to increase range expansion through human travel patterns.

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  46. I live in Ct. The last couple weeks I’ve been finding ant mimic spiders all over the place in my home. These ones are strange, though. They have teeny tiny white stripes that are barely noticeable on their black bodies. They dont jump either. But the body type resembles a carpenter ant! My concern, and the only reason that I think about them so much is that I most often find them on my pillow near my face, and that they seem to go out of their way to approach me. I’m by no means afraid of spiders, but for obvious reasons this is a little freaky. Im finding between 2 and 4 of these things a day, each time right next to me. Please tell me whats going on!

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  47. Found one on my sticky trap here in Wichita Ks. We’ve seen an increase of spiders including black widows I’m assuming it’s because of the increase in ants.

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  48. I live in Bengaluru, India. I have been seeing Ant-mimic Spiders since 2 years in my garden. I have clicked photos of at least 6 different sizes and shapes of these bugs. They hunt mosquitoes, flies, ants, and other tiny spiders. Like all other spiders they use ‘silk’ to hang from and weave their webs. They usually foray around an ant nest. But I am yet to seem ‘ their’ nest. Like the others they may also be lone fighters.
    I see a lot of people expressing concern or surprise for their ‘sudden’ increase in number, ‘invasion’ or ‘migration’. I remember S. Hawking scaring us about ‘Aliens are coming’. So let us find out the source and try to build a ‘wall’- a tall and transparent wall at that at their cost! LOL

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  49. i found one in my couch. but i guess he came from our curtains when we took them down. i was scared because my dog kept walking over the spider, even though the spider was dead. and i live in Columbia Missouri.

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  50. I have recently found one in upstate New York in my home by my toilet, I was just wondering what it was and stumbled across this page thanks

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  51. Saw two ant mimic jumping spider in my home Sept.12 2017 in Southern Ontario Canada near Lake Erie.Caught one didn’t know where to take so looked for website and found picture matching my spider.

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  52. My dog was laying on my bed with me when she got up like something was bothering her. Then I saw this spider running out from underneath her. I scooped it up and took a picture. Creeped me out on my bed! I’m in Milton, Florida. Clearly this is a southern spider.

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  53. Just found one hanging from the a/c vent in my kitchen (NE Ohio)! I thought I must be seeing things because it looked like it was hanging from a silk thread…but appeared to be an ant. SO glad I happened upon this posting! Thx for the info.

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  54. I have seen 2 of these in 24 hours. One at the nursing home where I work, hanging from the ceiling. The second was in my home, hanging from a doorway. Both Western PA

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  55. Found one! Curious as they are, I prefer my spiders with some spacious bedmanners.
    Glad they only bite! Thanks for the helpful site!
    -muggy summer ontario

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  56. Saw one today in Highland county, OH. Pretty sure it was all black tho. Looked like an ant walking backwards, and had large mandibles, but was definitely a spider….

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  57. ok..spider ants r in my home..im in washington state..ive been bit over and over by some unknown bug..turning into severe rashes and has made me and my cat sick. is this spider ant able to bite humans and cats? please let me know..i have caught three…one i tried to kill n it kept movin n groovin for over 3 hours.

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  58. Think we have found 3 of these in our house over the last 2 days. I knew it was a spider. My bf thought it was some kind of an ant. We live in Los Alamos, NM.

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  59. Im here in Ny. 1st time I’ve ever seen one. I noticed him when I was shutting the shed door, and he flipped over the handle, with a 6th sense that was uncanny for an ant. I proceeded to extend my finger out, and he flipped to the other side instantly, like a spider would. I kept looking closer, but all his features were that of a long black ant. After “messing” with it, he walked away like a normal ant! Had me fooled enough and curious enough to look it up, I thought I had discovered a freak cross-breed.

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  60. Regular ants seem to be sparse now a days. This may be attributed to moisture and low tempr as it is raining for the last few weeks.
    But i suspect that the ant mimic-spiders which have come in different shapes and sizes, for the last 2 years, have devoured all our ants.
    Are ants an endangered species?

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  61. They are onvding my office in Stark County, OH. My co worker has crushed 5 or 6 and I have 2. Help! I don’t want to bring these home on me and I especially don’t want them biting my baby!

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  62. I’m in buffalo new York, and for the last couple weeks I’ve been noticing a lot of “ants” crawling around here.. well, what I thought were ants. I went to bend over to pet my dog this morning and noticed an “ant” hanging from a web off of my shirt! I kinda flipped, one because I realized this thing wasn’t an ant since it had a web and second because it had been on my my body . I’ve never noticed these things before and we’ve never had an insect or spider problem, but now I’m starting to get concerned… we have a baby coming in the next month.

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  63. I’m finding these bugs in my bathroom I didn’t know what they were so I looked up, “cross between a spider and an ant” and came across your site. I’m terrified of spiders I’d rather it be an ant! Is there an effective remedy such as an insecticide of some sort that I can use that will not harm my cat ? I live in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania

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  64. Just leaving a note that I think I found one in a bathroom in South Euclid OH yesterday. There was an “ant” in my bathroom sink not really running around like an ant, but attracted to water like some of the larger ants. When I tried to capture in some toilet tissue, it took three tries, so I had to smooosh it badly. It’s carcass def did not seem ant-like. It was red with blood….which might explain the number of bites on exposed feet, elbows, and calves that ITCH like you wouldn’t believe….

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  65. I found another one of these had made a web between my microwave and countertop. It crawled off the web and walked towards the sink, I watched as it headed towards where the water was and once it saw me it stopped, and waited.. they’re creepily sentient, like it knew i was coming for it. Does anyone know if they do indeed bite?

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  66. I just found this today, I saw two of these outside by an unmaintained garden. I bolted out of there as I do not mess with spiders. Southeast Alabama. I’d take a picture of them, but no!

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  67. Had one of these get me 12 hours ago, but I had recently heard about them existing, and the one that got me was a bit darker, but otherwise the same. I’m an arachnophobe, so I flipped out and nearly broke my wrist. Also TN.

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  68. Tidewater Va. here. Have seen two in the last week. They were different enough of an insect for me to note that I had never seen one before. The hubby happened to be around when I spotted second one and told me what it was (ant mimicking spider) although he said nothing about jumping!

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  69. I saw one today while doing yard work. She was scurrying across the driveway. I wish I had my camera with me but she looked just like the picture above. I knew it wasn’t a black widow (although I have seen black widows, brown widows, red widows, and brown recluses around here over the last 10 years) and figured it couldn’t be a redback (although those possibilities do exist with world-wide travel and trade). My two hours of searching for whatever she is paid off. She must be a red-spotted ant mimic spider, although the red was pretty much her entire back. I observed her until she went into the grass. I figured the red was a warning for me not to touch her. I also figure it is a female (although my logic may well be flawed) because, with spiders, the males are not generally brightly colored. She was easily as large as a black widow spider.

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  70. Reporting in from the town of Newfane in Niagara County, NY.
    Over the last week I’ve had two definite and one possible sighting in our house. One was in the kitchen and the other two in the breezeway between garage and kitchen.

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  71. Had to Google it. Found on in the bathroom lastnight and it scared me because I though it was a black widow but I didn’t smash it enough so I could see if it was an hourglass and nope looks identical to the post above. I’m in a small town called mcloud Oklahoma.

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  72. Just saw one on my office wall in Troy Michigan. Looked up spiders that look like ants and found this site. Couldn’t get him to jump though.

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  73. I would have thought this little guy was a Texas fire ant, a very common sight here in Dallas–had he not been dangling above my desk at work a few minutes ago. Still, I was perplexed. He began to ascend the strand, and I was pretty sure it was a spider in disguise.

    Halloween was last week, buddy.

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  74. My husband found this exact spider walking around on our bathroom floor. We had a good look at him/her and then let it go outside. I was concerned that it was a species of Black Widow and began looking for it. The picture at the beginning of this site is the same spider.

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  75. Think I saw my first ones last summer, but this year they are everywhere! The first ones I saw this spring were in an open garden area, and there were quite a few so I passed them off as ants, since they were running across the ground just like ants. But the black-reddish-black coloring and the weird-shaped ‘head’ threw me off when I looked closer. So I went through books & online to find out what kind of ants they were, and eventually found a cross reference to the ant mimic.
    They are everywhere now. Most I have seen are on open soil, but also the kitchen table, in the bathroom, and the floor of the house. I finally saw my first one hanging from a thread, in the bathroom, which finally made it appear more like a spider than an ant. I live in western Geauga County in Ohio. I never saw these before last summer, and now they are everywhere!

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  76. I’ve found 3 of these in the last 2-3 weeks in my home in western NY (between Rochester and Buffalo). Twice they dropped down in front of me from the ceiling on their web while I was working (once in the kitchen and once at my desk in the office). I was confused as it looked like an ant but it definitely had a web. Tonight, I found one clinging to a piece of lettuce in my bagged salad, again with a definite web. First time I’ve ever come across these.

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  77. Well we just saw one just like this in my livingroom and it scared the living hairs off of me. I’m sorry but with that red color on it’s back just threw a red flag at me so I just gently stepped on it so that I can pick it up and research it. And because I know nothing about spiders nor did I know that a black widow has the same colors until I researched it. The black widow with the same red colors but the black widow has red spots. And this one had a strip. So I have sprayed my house with water & peppermint oil. I want nothing to do with spiders in my house they creep me out. ?

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  78. I’m in Montreal in Quebec, Canada. In the past 24 hours I’ve seen and eliminated 3 of them in my bedroom. The last one was on the carpet and I saw it jump.
    They freak me out, they look like ants on steroids.
    Battling recurring bedbug infestations and now this… and why in my bedroom?

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  79. I just found one inside my house in Southern Ontario.
    Was crawling across the wall and I was worried it was an ant. As I got closer to take a look it stopped and reared back and extended two legs (antanne?).
    Looks the same as pics.
    Have never seen this species here not that I would have noticed anyways.

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  80. Just found one of these babies crawling on my kayak and absolutely believed it was an ant and was about to gently flick him when he dropped down on his web, I was pretty sure there were no web spinning ants so I captured him for a closer look and sure enough… back to the garden little fella. Good spinning lil guy.

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  81. Found one indoors in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, hanging from its thread. Would have thought it was some kind of ant otherwise.

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  82. Seen these in our house. Just caught one hanging from the ceiling (June 14, 2022). Sure do look like ants, except for the eight legs ! I live in St. Catharines, Ontario … not far from Niagara Falls.

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  83. Found one at work, about scared me to death. Was able to capture it in a cup and it’s just like the pictures above. This one is in northern Utah. Weather is really cold outside. Interesting to see everyone else found this spider in the south and east U.S.

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