Currently viewing the category: "Two Tailed Spiders"

Subject:  Pretty Spider
Geographic location of the bug:  Antigua Guatemala
Date: 03/25/2019
Time: 12:57 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  Hey there!
This gorgeous spider has been hanging out in my shower for the past 3 weeks. It doesn’t move, nor does it flinch when I move. It’s just been growing (look at size difference of body from week 1 to now)
How you want your letter signed:  Leilani

Two-Tailed Spider

Dear Leilani,
This really is a beautiful spider.  It looked vaguely familiar to us, and we searched for spiders with long spinnerets, and discovered the Trapped in Nature & Exploration Malaysian blog with an entry about Tree trunk spiders belong[ing] to the Family Hersiliidae.  We have a Two-Tailed Spider from Indonesia in our archive, so we searched BugGuide for North American representatives, and there discovered
Neotama mexicana which ranges from “Cameron and Hidalgo Counties of southmost Texas, south to S. Amer” and the “Perch head down on tree trucks or stone walls.”  BugGuide also notes:  “When an insect approaches the waiting spider, the spider jumps over the prey. The spider then spreads silk by rapidly running in circles with the spinnerets toward the prey. When the prey is completely wrapped, it is bitten and eaten. They are amazingly fast. No snare is built.”

Subject: Beautiful Spider
Location: Manglayang Mountain, West Cibiru, West Java, Indonesia
January 26, 2013 7:43 am
Hello again Daniel,
Last Thursday I go to the abandoned cabin in the woods again where I found the wolf spider.
This guy have this interesting long stretched legs, 2 tails like on the end of it’s abdomen, and beautiful colored abdomen.
I wonder what spider is it, hope that you could help.
ps. I sent the high res images…male and female.
Signature: Mohamad Idham Iskandar

Two-Tailed Spider

Dear Mohamad,
We are positively thrilled to receive this intriguing posting.  As your email notes, there are two tails on the abdomen that are very distinctive.  They are actually spinnerets, organs used by the spider for spinning silk.  A spinneret is identified on BugGuide as a:  “Structure at or near the tip of a spider’s abdomen which produces silk (there are normally a group of them).”  BugGuide also notes:  “Most spiders have spinnerets visible from only from the side or below. Prominent spinnerets visible from above help to identify the Family Gnaphosidae and the genus Agelenopsis in the family Agelenidae.”  We have never seen such prominent spinnerets, and it is also very unusual that your spiders have very short lets in the third pair.  We did an internet search for spiders with long spinnerets in Indonesia and found several images including this image on FlickR identified as a Two-Tailed Spider or Long Spinneret Bark Spider in the family Hersiliidae.  FlickR also has another image from Panama.  BioDiversity Explorer has this to say about South African Hersiliids:  They  “Have distinctive elongate lateral spinnerets, which are used in prey capture by swaying them over the victim thus wrapping the victim in silk. Two genera in southern Africa: Hersilia is usually found in trees and Tyrotama is usually found under rocks.
The Hersiliidae is a family of spiders noted for their elongated posterior lateral spinnerets which can be as long as the abdomen in long-spinnered bark spiders and less in rock living species. Hersiliids are small to medium (4.5-12.5mm body length) dorso-ventrally flattened spiders, especially the arboreal genera. They are cryptically coloured in variegated shades of cream, orange, green, brown, grey and black, features they share with the family Selenopidae. Both families are quick and difficult to capture as they disappear into the narrowest of crevices.”
  The Spiders of South India website has this information on the family:  “Popularly called two tailed spider, this is common spider in southern India. It lives on tree trunks of large tress and also common on the trunk of coconut palm. Its colour closely matches that of tree trunks in which it lives. It feeds on moths, ants, and other smaller spiders. Cocoon is generally laid in the holes crevices of tress. It can be easily identified by its long spinnerets.”  In trying to determine which species you have in Indonesia, we found Hersilia baliensis listed on Wikipedia, and searching that name led us to the Le Monde des Insectessite with images from Bali.

Two-Tailed Spider

Wow thanks a lot Daniel for the ID,
they are really hard to see even though the size is relatively big about 6 to 8 cm from toe to toe,
but when I try to see closely I mean really really closely 🙂 there they are just sitting there waiting for me take photos of them and there are a lot of them it’s about 5 or 6 with different sizes.
I sent you another photo of them with different background for whatsthatbug image database and another spider with long spinnerets that I couldn’t identify because I only could take one photo of them from right side before he run away, maybe next time I’ll hunt them down for a photo session :).

Two Tailed Spider


Two-tailed spider, Australia
Dear Bugman,
I noticed this smallish spider on the bark of a gum tree, only through my camera lens. Its camouflage is quite efficient. It took some time to identify, but I think it is the Two-tailed spider, Tamopsis. It is a very fast-moving spider, using a sort of combined jumping-scurrying movement. For the past couple of weeks I have been back to the tree, and the spider is always there, in the same place, without any web that I can see. One day there was a smaller, darker companion, which I think is the male. Thanks for your site, which I always find fascinating. Kind wishes,

Hi Grev,
It has been some time since you have sent us a new photo. Thanks for providing this Two Tailed Spider for our archives. We are linking to the University of Queensland Find a Spider site which substantiates your identification of this distinctive spider with long spinnerets.