Spitting Spider (Scytodes) Laura, Austin, TX 121308Spitting Spider--Laura, Austin, TX: This tiny spider--it measures, from head to tail, about 4mm (3/16ths inch), long--was collected by Laura, in north Austin, TX, on 121308. She asked several acquaintances what they thought it was, and one said it was a brown recluse, so she became concerned. She'd called me earlier this year about a snake, and decided to ask about the spider, too. When she had trouble getting her digital camera to focus on such a small critter, I offered to come by and pick it up. At her home, without a magnifying glass, I guessed it might be a juvenile wolf spider, but back at the lab, under the microscope, it turned out to be a spitting spider in the family Scytodidae. This worldwide family of spiders is divided into 5 genera and 192 species, but is represented in North America by a single genus (Scytodes) and seven species. One of the more common of these is Scytodes thoracica, and Laura's specimen appears to have all the exterior, easily discerned, markings of that species. I notice that L. Watson & J. Dallwitz (2004) report that this is the only species found in Britain (see the drawing provided). The spitting spiders are unique arachnids that squirt a glue-venom mixture from their fangs to ensnare and kill their prey, but they are considered harmless to humans and other mammals. (*see Ubick et al, [2005], p. 217-218) ----- NEXT PAGE ----- PAGE MENU: 1 * 2 * 3 * 4 * 5 *----- * TERMITE ENCOUNTERS  *  SNAKE ENCOUNTERS SNAKE BITE FIRST AID * SNAKE EXCLUSION * SPIDER ENCOUNTERS FOR 2008 SPIDER ENCOUNTERS FOR 2007 * SPIDER BITE FIRST AID * SPIDER EXTERMINATION * PUSS CATERPILLAR ENCOUNTERS * PUSS CATERPILLAR FIRST AID * PUSS CATERPILLAR EXTERMINATIONAssembled & Edited by Jerry Cates . Questions? Corrections? Comments? BUG ME RIGHT NOW! ---- Ph: 512-331-1111 ---- E-Mail ---- Privacy ----BugsInTheNews * --0a0s--