A Dominican Mimicry Complex

Spider guy Wayne Maddison has documented a remarkable mimicry complex involving several species of ants and jumping spiders in the Dominican Republic:

waynemaddison
Camponotus (left) and Peckhamia. Photographs by Wayne Maddison.

There’s more at Wayne’s blog. And don’t miss the comments by Scott Powell.

4 thoughts on “A Dominican Mimicry Complex”

  1. A basic question about the ant-mimicking jumping spiders: Are the ones who mimic ants members of the same subfamily or genus, or are they sort of scattered around the Salticids?

    1. That’s a great question. I’m no expert on spider phylogenetics, but as I understand it the ant mimics are scattered among the salticids and other families as well (esp. Corrinidae). Plenty of convergent evolution.

    2. As Alex said, they’re scattered about. . but I’ll add that there are a couple of genuses that are a bit ant-mimic loaded, like the Myrmarachne. (Ooh, and side note. . . some of the males, like M. plataleoides, are positively amazing/frightening with their ‘fangs’ open)

      I’m not an expert or anything, just a fan. 🙂

  2. James C. Trager

    This is a great story, Alex. Thanks for bringing it to our attention here.
    (And I amused to learn that I am not the first to use “vinosus” as a specific epthet for a red ant.)

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