Bug of the Month September 2016: Ant Mimic Jumping Spider

Subject: Ant with enlarged head?
Location: Rochester, NY
August 30, 2016 10:18 am
Hi, I was studying in my dorm room in Rochester, NY when I noticed a little bug go scurrying by. At first I just thought it was ant carrying something black, but I quickly realized it was something far weirder. I was hoping you could identify it. Thanks.
Signature: Connor

Ant Mimic Jumping Spider
Ant Mimic Jumping Spider

Dear Connor,
Because we have gotten so many comments on the posting this summer, earlier in the week, we began featuring a five year old posting of an Ant Mimic Jumping Spider,
Myrmarachne formicaria, a species that was “Recently introduced from Europe” according to BugGuide where the range is listed as “Roughly Cleveland, OH to Buffalo, NY.”  BugGuide also notes:  “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. Additional individuals have been observed by the third author in and around the J.H. Barrow Field Station and the Peninsula residence during the summers of 2003 and 2004. ”  Because of the timeliness of your submission, we have decided to make it the Bug of the Month for September 2016.  Readers who want to see a better image can use this BugGuide image for comparison.  If you have a sighting, please leave a comment with your location.  If you have your own image, you may submit it using the Ask What’s That Bug? link on our site.  We don’t know how this introduction will affect our native ecosystem, but it is possible that this Ant Mimic Jumping Spider may begin to displace native Jumping Spiders if it is a more efficient predator or if it preys upon our native species, and for that reason we are tagging it as an Invasive Exotic species.

15 thoughts on “Bug of the Month September 2016: Ant Mimic Jumping Spider”

  1. We have been seeing this for the last week or so in Genesee County, NY. I thought the first one was an ant until I picked it up and found it hanging by a silk thread.

  2. Found one in deer stand while hunting in South Georgia. Also saw it hanging from a silk type web. When I tried to pick it up it was very fast!

  3. Do they bite? I’ve noticed small, biting, jumping, ant/spiders this summer here in Baltimore. The bite hurts bad but not for long.

  4. I’ve seen these every summer since I moved to Buffalo six years ago. I thought they were ants until I realized I was only ever seeing one at a time, and they move like jumping spiders.

  5. We got ‘em innorthern Virginia too. Or at least, on produce in Wegmans grocery chain. He had built a little web nest in the folds of a small gourd. Not the first time I’ve seen these here though, but they’re definitely not common in my area

  6. Just saw one here in Ottawa, Ontario Canada.
    Thought it was an ant but it moved like the commmon jumping spiders we have.
    I took a picture if interested.


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