Now here’s a unique looking spider. If you google “spider with red on its back,” you might see a photo of and worry that this is a Redback Spider (extremely venomous). But not to fear, Redbacks are in Australia. The Redspotted Antmimic walks like an ant—raising its two front legs (so the legs look like an ant’s antennae) and mostly walks on its back 6 legs (since ants only have 6 legs). The combination of color, body shape, and behavior all aid in the disguise. According to Richard A. Bradley, author of Common Spiders of North America, “Presumably this resemblance provides some protection because many predators avoid ants.” When not hunting, these spiders live in a tubular silk retreat often under rocks or other debris on the ground.
Size: Female 8 – 10 mm; Male 6.2 – 7.6 mm
Photo by: Morgan McNeill on 8/26/22 in Lolo, MT