Two Tailed Spider: All You Need to Know Unveiled

The two-tailed spider is a fascinating creature that has captured the interest of many arachnid enthusiasts. This unique spider possesses an impressive pair of long spinnerets, resembling two tails, which have a variety of purposes. In this article, you will learn essential information about these remarkable arachnids, their habitat, and behavior.

Two-tailed spiders belong to the family Hersiliidae, and they can be found in various parts of the world, from Africa to Asia and Australia. These spiders adapt well to different environments, whether they are in a dense forest or the corner of your home. Don’t worry, though; they are generally harmless to humans and prefer to keep to themselves.

You’ll find that the two-tailed spider is an amazing hunter with a unique method of catching its prey. They use their long spinnerets to weave a special kind of web, which they use to trap and immobilize their victims. As you continue reading, you’ll discover more intriguing aspects of their biology and behavior, making them a truly captivating subject.

Identification of Two-Tailed Spider

Two-tailed spiders, also known as long-spinneret bark spiders, belong to the Hersiliidae family. These spiders are fascinating due to their unique appearance and behavior. Here is how you can identify a two-tailed spider:

  • Legs: Two-tailed spiders are easily recognizable by their long legs. They have four pairs of legs like all spiders, but their legs are slender and stretch out in front of and behind their bodies.

  • Abdomen: The abdomen of a two-tailed spider is elongated and relatively narrow. This helps them to blend in with tree bark and other habitats they live in.

  • Long spinnerets: The most distinctive feature of two-tailed spiders is their long, parallel spinnerets extending from the end of their abdomen. These spinnerets are responsible for their common name, as they resemble two tails.

Feature Two-Tailed Spider Other Spiders
Legs Long, slender, and stretching Varying lengths and shapes
Abdomen Elongated and relatively narrow Various shapes and sizes
Spinnerets Long and parallel, resembling tails Shorter and closer to the abdomen

To give you a better understanding of what to look for, here are some characteristics unique to two-tailed spiders:

  • They belong to the Hersiliidae family
  • Prefer to live on tree bark or in crevices
  • Predators of small insects
  • Innocuous to humans

With this information, you should now be able to easily identify two-tailed spiders in your surroundings. Just keep an eye out for their distinctive long legs, elongated abdomen, and long spinnerets, which sets them apart from other spiders.

Habitat and Distribution

The Two Tailed Spider can be found in various places, such as Australia, Asia, and India. They typically live in forests, where they skillfully blend into their surroundings. You will often find them on tree barks, camouflaging with the surface, or hidden in leaf litter waiting to ambush any unsuspecting prey.

Living in both temperate and tropical climates, these spiders have adapted quite well to diverse environments. For instance, you might notice them in Australian rainforests or Indian woodlands.

In summary, the Two Tailed Spider inhabits the following regions:

  • Australia
  • Asia
  • India

Their preferred habitats include:

  • Tree bark
  • Leaf litter

Remember, when venturing into the forests of these regions, keep an eye out for the Two Tailed Spider. They might be harder to spot than you think due to their excellent camouflage skills. Good luck on your next nature exploration!

Behavior and Lifestyle

Two-tailed spiders exhibit a fascinating behavior, as they employ a combination of camouflage, ambush, and silk spinning in their daily activities. These spiders are mostly active at night when they hunt for prey by blending into their surroundings.

Their camouflage abilities are remarkable; they use foliage to match the colors and patterns of the environment. Two-tailed spiders usually look like a small twig or folded leaf. This helps them stay hidden from potential predators while also allowing them to ambush their prey more efficiently.

Using their specialized silk-producing glands called “spinnerets,” these spiders build unique web structures. They place strong silk lines between branches to serve as a base structure. Here are some aspects of their webs:

  • They make use of a L-shaped silk line, leading to their invisible retreat.
  • At the end of this line, they have a tethering silk thread used to feel the vibrations of trapped prey.
  • Once a prey item is captured, they quickly move down the line to secure it and retreat to consume their catch.

Two-tailed spiders are quite skilled in their nightly endeavors. Understanding their unique behavior and lifestyle can provide valuable insights into the natural world.

Prey and Hunting Mechanism

Two-tailed spiders primarily target smaller arthropods such as insects, spiders, and other small invertebrates for their prey. Using their exceptional skills in trapping and capturing, they rely on ambush tactics and speed to secure a meal. For example, ants, flies, and smaller spiders could be their potential targets.

Being an ambush predator enables them to conserve energy, as they patiently wait for their prey to get closer. These agile hunters are equipped with sensitive hairs on their legs, which help them detect prey movements. As a result, you would often find two-tailed spiders remaining stationary for long periods.

When the moment is right, the two-tailed spider strikes swiftly and powerfully. They use their strong, elongated front legs to grasp their prey firmly. Once caught, their fangs inject venom that quickly immobilizes their target. Within seconds, they begin consuming their meal, as the venom also aids in breaking down the prey’s tissue.

Features of Two-Tailed Spider’s Hunting Mechanism:

  • Ambush tactics
  • Sensitive hairs for detecting prey
  • Strong front legs for grabbing
  • Venomous fangs for immobilizing and digesting

Comparing two-tailed spiders to other hunting spiders, we can notice some similarities in their strategies. Both employ tactics like ambushing and use venom to subdue prey. However, two-tailed spiders have unique adaptations which distinguish them from their relatives, such as their long, strong front legs specialized for grabbing.

In conclusion, two-tailed spiders are fascinating hunters with highly efficient skills and adaptations that help them thrive in their environment. Just remember to appreciate these clever arthropods from a distance, as they can also be quite shy and prefer not to be disturbed while they’re hunting.

Reproduction and Lifespan

The reproduction process of the two-tailed spider involves the participation of both the male and female spider. The female spider is responsible for creating egg sacs, which play a crucial role in protecting and nurturing their eggs until they hatch.

  • Male: Males search for a potential mate and then court the female to attract her attention.
  • Female: Once the female accepts the male’s advances, they mate and she becomes pregnant.

The female two-tailed spider then creates an egg sac using silk produced from her spinnerets. Inside this egg sac, she lays numerous eggs that will eventually hatch into baby spiders. Here are some features of egg sacs:

  • Made of silk
  • Protects and nurtures the eggs
  • Serves as a temporary home for the baby spiders

The lifespan of the two-tailed spider largely depends on several factors, such as their habitat, food supply, and the presence of predators. In general, these spiders tend to live for a few months to a couple of years.

Overall, understanding the reproductive cycle and lifespan of the two-tailed spider gives you a better appreciation of their unique characteristics. So next time you come across one, remember these interesting facts about their reproduction and lifespan.

Predators and Threats

When it comes to predators, two-tailed spiders have a few to watch out for. For example, scorpions are known to prey on various species of spiders. They use their venomous stingers to immobilize and consume spiders, even those with tricky defenses like the two-tailed spider.

Another predator to be aware of is the jumping spider. These agile hunters are equipped with outstanding visual acuity and quick reflexes, allowing them to snatch unsuspecting two-tailed spiders as prey.

  • Examples of predators:
    • Scorpions
    • Jumping spiders
    • Daddy-long-legs
    • Redback spiders

Daddy-long-legs, also known as harvestmen, pose a threat to two-tailed spiders as well. Although they are not true spiders, they belong to the same class of arachnids and can prey on two-tailed spiders with their elongated legs and powerful jaws.

Redback spiders, which are part of the venomous widow spider family, also prey on other spiders, including the two-tailed spider. Their potent venom is used to paralyze and consume their targets.

Here is a brief comparison of two-tailed spider predators:

Predator Attack Technique Venomous or Not
Scorpion Stinging with venomous tail Venomous
Jumping Spider Ambushing and pouncing Non-venomous
Daddy-long-legs Using elongated legs and powerful jaws Non-venomous
Redback Spider Biting and injecting venom Venomous

In conclusion, two-tailed spiders face various threats from other arachnid predators such as scorpions, jumping spiders, daddy-long-legs, and redback spiders. Each predator has its unique method of attack, contributing to the challenges faced by the two-tailed spider in the wild.

Two-Tailed Spider Bites

Two-tailed spiders, also known as long-spinneret bark spiders, are not known for dangerous bites. However, it is still essential to be informed about their bites and potential symptoms.

If you happen to be bitten by a two-tailed spider, you might experience mild pain and swelling. Symptoms usually subside within a few hours. To alleviate discomfort, consider applying an ice pack on the affected area and taking over-the-counter pain relievers.

Keep an eye on the bite site. Although occurrences are rare, some individuals may be more sensitive to spider venom. In such cases, symptoms like severe swelling, persistent pain, or even necrosis might develop.

Seek immediate medical attention if you exhibit these severe symptoms. Remember, prevention is always better, so be mindful of your surroundings when encountering spiders and avoid handling them directly.

Invasion in Homes and Gardens

Two-tailed spiders can occasionally find their way into your homes and gardens. They usually prefer to stay outside, but sometimes they may hitch a ride on clothes or sneak in through tiny openings.

In your garden, you may spot these spiders close to their preferred habitats. For example, they could be hiding in the crevices of tree trunks or blending in with the foliage. Keep an eye out, as their presence may indicate an infestation of other insects.

When it comes to other spiders also found in homes and gardens, there are a few commonly encountered species. Some examples include black house spiders and white-tailed spiders, also known as L. murina, Lampona cylindrata, and Lampona murina.

Here’s a comparison of two common spiders found in homes and gardens:

Spider Type Appearance Habitat Bite Risk
Black House Spider Dark brown-black Corners in houses Low
White-tailed Spider Gray with white tip Under bedding, clothes Mild to moderate

It is essential to promptly identify and deal with any spider infestations in your home. While most are harmless, some can deliver painful bites, like the white-tailed spider. Regularly clean bedding and vacuum floors to minimize the risk of encountering them indoors.

Remember, spiders also have their merits, as they help control insect populations. So, it’s essential to strike a balance between keeping your living spaces comfortable and coexisting with nature.

Controlling and Preventing Spider Infestations

To prevent spider infestations, it’s essential to keep your home clean. By regularly vacuuming and dusting, you can reduce the number of hiding spots for spiders. Make sure you also clean behind furniture, as it’s a common place for nests.

Outside your home, remove any rocks or debris that may provide shelter for spiders. Keep garden beds and shrubs well-maintained, as they can harbor many insects that attract spiders.

To keep spiders from entering your home, seal any cracks and gaps in your walls, windows, and doors. Replace damaged screens to prevent spiders from crawling in.

Spiders are attracted to clutter, so it’s crucial to keep your belongings organized. Regularly wash your sheets and blankets, as spiders are known to settle in bedding.

Here are some helpful tips for controlling and preventing spider infestations:

  • Keep your home clean and clutter-free
  • Regularly vacuum and dust
  • Seal any cracks and gaps in your home
  • Maintain your yard and garden
  • Replace damaged screens
  • Wash your sheets and blankets often

Following these tips, you can create a less hospitable environment for spiders and reduce the chances of infestations in your home. By being proactive, you can keep these fascinating creatures at bay and enjoy a spider-free space.

Two-Tailed Spiders and Humans

Have you ever come across a two-tailed spider between May and March? If so, you might have been curious about their relationship with humans. Worry not, we’ve got you covered with this friendly brief on their interactions with people.

First off, you should know that two-tailed spiders are generally harmless to humans. They prefer to munch on insects rather than posing a threat to people. So, if you encounter one, there’s no need to panic.

Interestingly, two-tailed spiders can even be beneficial for your home and garden. For example:

  • Natural pest control: They help keep insect populations in check by feeding on pests like mosquitoes and flies.
  • Eco-friendly: By doing their part in pest control, they save you from using pesticides, which can harm the environment.

In a nutshell, two-tailed spiders can be a helpful, harmless, and eco-friendly presence around your home. Just remember to give them their space and admire them from a safe distance.

In-Depth Spider Classification

When it comes to classifying spiders, it’s essential to understand their class and order. Spiders belong to the class Arachnida and the order Araneae. Let’s take a closer look at these classifications.

In the class Arachnida, spiders share features with other arachnids like scorpions, ticks, and mites. Some distinct characteristics of arachnids include:

  • Four pairs of legs
  • Two body segments (cephalothorax and abdomen)
  • No antennae or wings

As you explore the world of spiders, you’ll notice they belong to the order Araneae. Spiders within this order have certain shared characteristics:

  • Venomous fangs for subduing prey
  • Spinnerets for producing silk
  • Eight simple eyes (usually)

Spiders can be further classified into families, genera, and species. However, focusing on class and order should give you a solid foundation for understanding the fascinating world of these eight-legged creatures.

Reader Emails

Over the years, our website, whatsthatbug.com has received hundreds of letters and some interesting images asking us about these insects. Scroll down to have a look at some of them.

Letter 1 – Two Tailed Spider from Australia

 

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,
Grev

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.

Letter 2 – Two-Tailed Spider from Guatemala

 

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.”

Letter 3 – Two-Tailed Spider from Indonesia

 

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

 

Authors

    by
  • Bugman

    Bugman aka Daniel Marlos has been identifying bugs since 1999. whatsthatbug.com is his passion project and it has helped millions of readers identify the bug that has been bugging them for over two decades. You can reach out to him through our Contact Page.

  • Piyushi Dhir

    Piyushi is a nature lover, blogger and traveler at heart. She lives in beautiful Canada with her family. Piyushi is an animal lover and loves to write about all creatures.

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