If arachnids enthrall you, then the Spitting spider (Scytodidae) should be at the top of your list! This family boasts more than 250 species divided into five distinct genera. The most popular one is unsurprisingly Scytodes, so keep an eye out as you explore this fascinating group of creatures.
Spitting spider: Description.
With six eyes in three pairs, like cone web and recluse spiders, these creatures feature a dome-shaped carapace with distinct flecked spots. Additionally, they possess haplotype characteristics which indicate their female genitalia is less complex than that of other spider species.
Spitting spider: Hunting style.
Scytodidae utilizes a unique method of capturing their prey: spitting out the venomous and sticky liquid onto whatever they’re hunting. Not only does this fluid contain toxins, but it also contains spider silk! And while the substance is produced in toxin glands in the chelicerae, it thickens when it comes into contact with its target.
Some evidence suggests that the spiders’ venomous silk has an immobilizing and poisonous effect on prey such as silverfish. When filmed at high speed, these arachnids can be seen rhythmically swaying from side to side while “spitting”—trapping their victims in a Z-shaped pattern created by each chelicerae emitting half of that shape.
At a distance of roughly half an inch to eight-tenths of an inch, the spider surprises its prey with a quick attack sequence that only lasts one seven-hundredth of a second. Then follows up with venomous bites before wrapping in silk from the spinnerets for safekeeping.
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