Synageles noxiosus (Hentz, 1850) - Jumping Spider
Adaptations of behavior and morphology each play important roles in ant mimicry. As might be expected the movements of ant mimics differ from typical salticid motion. Unlike the "slow motion" and deliberate movements of most jumping spiders (as they approach or stalk prey), the mimic may make numerous and frequent changes in direction. Synageles, like other ant mimics, mirror the antennal movements of ants by lifting and waving their legs. Most ant mimics use their forelegs (leg I) to this end. Synageles (along with Peckhamia ant mimics), however, use their second pair of legs (leg II) to mimic an ant's antennal movements. Our present species Synageles noxiosus has an extensive range stretching from northeastern North America through the southern plain states and into northern Mexico. Although it is somewhat unusual, S. noxiosus and its sibling species S. bishopi have overlapping ranges and are active at the same time of year. These realities and Synageles' small size preclude species sight identification. Members of this genus may also be confused with Peckhamia salticids occupying the same areas. Confirmation of records should be based on the examination of genitalic characters. See final segment of video.
Massachusetts - First State / County Records
- ♦ *J. H. Emerton - Peckhamia scorpiona - Middlesex (Cambridge), Essex (Ipswich) - Emerton, 1909: 233, pl. 12, f. 6
- ♦ **BSNH - P. s. - Suffolk (Allston) - Bryant, 1908: 91
- ♦ - Synageles noxious - Barnstable - Cutler, 1987: 337.
- ♦ Connecticut - Gertschia noxiosa - Kaston, 1948: 450 - 16 records
*In this account Emerton comments,
. . . always on fences on which it runs about slowly and irregularly like an ant. When threatened it flattens itself against the wood, holding on so tightly that it is hard to pick it up without injury.
- ** See Bryant, 1908
Cutler, B. 1987. A revision of the American species of the antlike jumping spider genus Synageles (Araneae, Salticidae). Jour. Arach. 15:321-348.