Some spiders mimic ants to avoid being devoured


Some spiders defend themselves with venom. Others simply hide in plain sight.

Researchers studied how jumping spiders use mimicry to disguise themselves as ants. While most animals mimic by altering their physical appearance, spiders do it by changing how they move.

That's because spiders are a more sought-after food than ants. But many of their predators — like some toads, lizards and wasps — have slow visual systems, so these spiders will move like ants to throw off attackers.

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Brown Recluse Spider, Loxosceles reclusa, Arizona, USA
BROWN RECLUSE SPIDER. ARIZONA
Brown recluse spider on white.
Brown recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa, Characteristic violin-shaped marking is visible on back. Image courtesy CDC, 1974. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).
The Brown Recluse spider, Loxosceles reclusa, has a distribution throughout North America, 1962. Though death due to a Brown Recluse bite is rare, there is ensuing tissue deterioration at the long-standing wound site, which seems to avoid scab formation. Image courtesy CDC/Harold G. Scott. (Photo by Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images).
Brown Recluse, Brown Recluse (Loxosceles Reclusa). (Photo By Encyclopaedia Britannica/UIG Via Getty Images)
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The arachnids' motions are pretty sophisticated, too. They will replicate winding movements like ants do when they're following pheromone trails.

They can even sell their act while standing still. When predators are around, they'll pick up their front two legs and wave them like antennae.

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