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A bug’s life

Belonging to the Genus Myrmarachne, these jumping spiders are also called ant-mimicking spiders as they copy ants by waving their front legs in the air to resemble antennae. Some species have a long waist and an elongated cephalothorax, which resembles the three-part body (head-thorax-abdomen) of ants and other insects.

The males have huge jaws that project forward, making them look like soldier ants.

Scientists believe that such mimicry is a tactic to prey on the ants or the homopteran bugs that are tended by the ants. Other experts suggest that the spiders mimic ants to protect themselves from spider-hunting predators such as wasps and birds that avoid the formic-acid secreting ants.

These spiders are mostly found in the tropics from Africa to Australia, though some also live in temperate regions.

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