An ant or two.

Yesterday I’d talked about a spider that disguised itself as a weaver ant, and how I had stumbled on to one without realising at the time. Turns out that the spider is Myrmarachne plataleoides, also known as the Kerengga Ant-like Jumper.

(When you have about 40,000 spider species with over 5,000 of them being jumping spiders, you end up using silly common names like that one.)


I had spotted a female, and this was way back in January btw. A couple of months ago I’d seen the same near the flower pots some evening, but I didn’t have the camera near me, and the critter disappeared before I could arm myself with one.

Cut to Tuesday evening this week, I noticed something like an ant or two on one of the leaves of a plant growing just in front of my door. It’s evening and after dark, so my eyes almost glanced over it. But my spider sense tingled. 🙂 And then I noticed the webs to one side.


As it turns out, the male Myrmarachne one-ups the female, not very common in the arachnid world. While the female Myrmarachne resembles a weaver ant, the male resembles TWO! It has adapted itself to resemble a worker weaver ant carrying a smaller ant.


Most jumping spiders are cute, but this one looks nasty. Even though they are quite timid, really. They mimic the fearsome (and apparently bad-tasting) weaver ants so that they can get by unmolested. They try to be so convincing in their disguise, these jumping spiders rarely jump, except in dire need.

I love the way the name rolls off my tongue, though. Myr-ma-rach-ne. Apparently, that’s ancient Greek for ant and spider: myrmex and arachne. Everything sounds cooler in ancient Greek. If only we can decipher Linear A some day.


Metadata Canon Powershot G11. ISO 80. f/4.5 at 1/125 second; f/2.8 at 1/500 second (w/ flash); f/5.6 at 1/500 second (w/flash); and f/5.6 at 1/500 second (w/flash). Edited using Picasa 3.8 and Adobe Photoshop CS5. Taken in July 2011 at home in Bangalore, India, except for the first, which was taken back in January in my backyard.

An ant or two.

5 thoughts on “An ant or two.

  1. Anonymous says:

    @Raghu Thank you, good sir! I but stumbled into that world a few months earlier. :)@Ash ^_^ Your comment reminds me of the Ghostbusters song: /There is something strange/in the neighbourhood. @SS And spiders too!

  2. Saisudha says:

    OMG!! Pavan you are amazing!! So such things exists. You are opening our eyes to such a fascinating mystery world. Keep up. What a clarity. I can see every part of that spider.

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