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Australian Wildlife

  Spitting Spider (Scytodes thoracica)





Spitting Spider | Scytodes thoracica photo
Scytodes thoracica spider.

Image by André Karwath - Some rights reserved.    (view image details)



SPITTING SPIDER FACTS

Description
The Spitting Spider is a small brown spider with a flecked pattern of spots. The dome-shaped carapace is unusual in that it slopes upwards towards the rear end, whereas the abdomen slopes downwards. It has six eyes arranged in three pairs. It has long stilt-like legs.

Size
Body length: male 4mm, female 6 mm

Habitat
caves, corners of open man-made structures such as sheds and bridges. In Northern Europe they are only to be found in houses.

Food
They catch their prey by spitting a fluid onto it that congeals on contact into a venomous sticky mass. They sway from side to side to cover the prey in a "Z" pattern. The spider strikes from a distance of 10-20mm. The attack takes under 1/700th of second!

Breeding
The female carries the egg mass under its body.

Notes
Not dangerous to humans as the fangs are small and cannot open wide



Classification
Class:Arachnida
Order:Araneomorphae
Family:Scytodidae
Genus:Scytodes
Species:thoracica
Common Name:Spitting Spider