The Variegated ground spider (Sergiolus capulatus) may be a mimic spider. However, little is known about this ground spider at this time.
The Variegated Ground Spider: Description.
The male Serfiolus capulatus, better known as the Variegated Ground spider, has a body length of approximately one-fourth inch. At the same time, females are marginally larger, with their total body lengths ranging from one-fourth to slightly less than one-half inch.
The cephalothorax and the portion of each leg nearest to its torso display an orange hue. Its abdomen, however, is black and decorated with white bands for a unique look.
Variegated ground spider: Habitat.
Variegated ground spiders may imitate the look of velvet ants, which are wasps with powerful stings. Males can be observed in activity from February till November, while females remain present between May to November due to their distinct coloration.
The Variegated ground spider is widespread across the eastern United States, from the Atlantic to beyond the Great Plains. This species tends to settle on dry grounds such as open fields, grasslands, and deciduous wooded areas that receive a fair amount of sunlight. It generally inhabits leaf-strewn land or other environments with minimal moisture levels.
Variegated spiders don’t erect intricate webs to trap their victims but rather hunt on foot. While most sources consider them nocturnal predators, some suggest they are also active during the daytime. However, regardless of when they’re hunting, these arachnids use a silk-lined retreat for resting in cooler temperatures and at nightfall.
Variegated ground spider: Hunting style.
The Variegated ground spider slyly stalks its prey, first trying to establish physical contact. Then, if successful, it can gauge whether or not the meal will be easy to capture without a struggle by ensnaring their victim in an immobilizing “leg basket.” But when necessary, this predator takes no chances and quickly binds their quarry’s legs and mouth with thick strands of sticky silk.
Ground spiders construct a sac from special threads to protect their eggs; just like the Clubionid species, females stay close by until hatching. Additionally, these industrious creatures create intricate mesh-like shelters of woven silk to rest and retreat when they’re not actively hunting for food.
Further recommended reading about spiders.
Spider pages: Learn how to identify and avoid these spiders.