Friday, May 6, 2011

Ant Mimicry - mimics vs models

Ant Mimicry: (from Wikipedia):

Ant mimicry is mimicry of ants by other organisms. Ants are abundant all over the world, and insect predators that rely on vision to identify their prey such as birds and wasps normally avoid them, either because they are unpalatable, or aggressive. Thus some other arthropods mimic ants to escape predation (protective mimicry). Conversely, some species (e.g. Zodariidae spiders) use their anatomical and behavioral ant mimicry to hunt ants (aggressive mimicry). Other cases are also known.[1] The term myrmecomorphy is also used to describe ant mimicry.

Protective mimicry - mimic ants to avoid predation.

Female ant-mimic jumping spider, Myrmarachne sp. (left)  mimicking a weaver ant (right)
female myrmarachne sp IMG_3218 copy OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!weaver ant IMG_3327 copy

Male ant-mimic jumping spider, Myrmarachne sp. mimicking a weaver ant carrying another worker, according to Wikipedia.

My 1st red ant-mimic spider...IMG_1384 copy

A black ant-mimic jumping spider, probably mimicking a Tetraponera sp. ant?
black ant mimic jumping spider IMG_7728 copy Tetraponera sp. ant IMG_0267 copy

An ant-mimic katydid of Macroxiphus sp. nymph, a mimicry of the Camponotus sp.?
Ant mimic katydid nymph.............IMG_3551b copy IMG_0014 copy

A red and black ant-mimic jumping spider, surely a mimicry of the fearsome semut selangor " Tetraponera rufonigra. (Image taken by Aniruddha, author of "Wanderer's Eye"
red and black ant-mimic jumping spider........IMG_3188 copy tetraponera rufonigra

Black ant-mimic jumping spider, mimicking the Polyrhachis sp?
black ant-mimic jumping spider (IMG_2394 copy) IMG_0483 copy

An ant-mimicking stick insect nymph:
stick insect nymph DSC_1788 web

Ant-mimicking mantis nymph
mantis nymph IMG_8963 copy

Ant-mimic Alydidae, two of them.

IMG_6190 copy ant mimic alydidae IMG_0642 copy

Aggressive mimicry - mimic ants in order to hunt them!

A male ant mimic crab spider Amyciaea lineatipes with weaver ant prey.
Amyciaea lineatipes IMG_9990 copy

An assassin bug nymph, Acanthaspis petax, with ant carcasses on its back, and an ant prey!
assassin bug nymph with ant carcasses on its back and also an ant prey IMG_9228 copy


  1. I would have never believed that an whatever bug (assassin or peaceful) could carry its pray on its back. Beautiful my friend.

  2. great collection Master Kurt!!! very beautiful ant mimicry!

  3. The spider that mimics Tetraponera rufonigra ants looks like Myrmarachne formicaria or Myrmarachne orientales. One is a palearctic species, the another one is an Indian species.



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