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Brief Summary

    Pirate spider: Brief Summary
    provided by wikipedia

    Pirate spiders, members of the family Mimetidae, are araneomorph spiders which typically feed on other spiders.

    The family Mimetidae contains roughly 200 species divided among 12 genera, of which Mimetus and Ero are the most common. Mimetids are usually yellow and brown and are usually 3 to 7 mm long. Mimetids can be recognized by the rows of spine-like hairs on their long front legs; the rows consist of a long spine, followed by a series of progressively shorter ones.

    Mimetidae usually hunt by picking at the strands on their prey's web to simulate the movements of either a trapped insect or a potential mate. When their prey comes to investigate, they are instead captured and eaten. Some mimetids have been observed to feed on insects as well. The spider-feeding habit presents problems in mating, and little is known about how the males court females to avoid being eaten. However, some male mimetids in the genus Gelanor, found in South America, have enormously long appendages which they use to inseminate females.

     src= Female Mimetus ryukyus
    Brief Summary
    provided by EOL authors

    The spider family Mimetidae (pirate spiders) includes 156 described species (Platnick 2013); in North America north of Mexico, there are 18 described species plus at least 10 undescribed ones, most of them occurring in the southwestern United States (Lew and Mott 2005). Mimetids are found on all continents except Antarctica. In North America, they are absent only from Arctic regions.

    Mimetids, which do not build webs, feed on other spiders. Although some species are sit-and-wait predators, mimetids more typically stalk orbicularians (e.g., Araneidae, Theridiidae, and related families) on their own webs, attacking the spider on its leg. They will eat insects when the opportunity arises, but their venom is specialized to kill spiders rapidly. They have been observed eating the egg sacs of their spider prey as well.

    Mimetids have a distinctive spination pattern on the tibiae and metatarsi of the first two pairs of legs (see illustrations in Lew and Mott 2005 and Bradley 2013). Lew and Mott (2005) reviewed the taxonomic history of this family. Natural history observations have been published for several mimetid species (e.g., Cutler 1972; Kloock 2001, 2012).

Comprehensive Description

    Pirate spider
    provided by wikipedia

    Pirate spiders, members of the family Mimetidae, are araneomorph spiders which typically feed on other spiders.

    The family Mimetidae contains roughly 200 species divided among 12 genera, of which Mimetus and Ero are the most common. Mimetids are usually yellow and brown and are usually 3 to 7 mm long. Mimetids can be recognized by the rows of spine-like hairs on their long front legs; the rows consist of a long spine, followed by a series of progressively shorter ones.

    Mimetidae usually hunt by picking at the strands on their prey's web to simulate the movements of either a trapped insect or a potential mate. When their prey comes to investigate, they are instead captured and eaten. Some mimetids have been observed to feed on insects as well. The spider-feeding habit presents problems in mating, and little is known about how the males court females to avoid being eaten. However, some male mimetids in the genus Gelanor, found in South America, have enormously long appendages which they use to inseminate females.

    Taxonomy

    The Mimetidae are sometimes taxonomically grouped in the superfamilies Araneoidea or Palpimanoidea.[citation needed]

    Genera

    The categorization into subfamilies follows Joel Hallan's Biology Catalog.

    • Gnolus Simon, 1879 (South America)
    • Oarces Simon, 1879 (South America)

    See also

    References

    • Platnick, N.I. & Shabad, M.U. (1993). A review of the pirate spiders (Aranae, Mimetidae) of Chile. American Museum Novitates 3074. Abstract - PDF (12Mb) (with color pictures of O. reticulatus male and female, G. cordiformis m/f, G. blinkeni f, G. zonulatus f, G. spiculator f, H. collusor f; new description of G. blinkeni)