If an aperture for ingress and egress, for purposes of feeding, were left in the wall of such a chamber, there would arise in a rudimentary form what is known as the tubular nest or web; and the next important step was possibly the adoption of such a nest as a permanent abode for the spider., Some spiders, like the Drassidae and Salticidae, have not advanced beyond this stage in architectural industry; but next to the cocoon this simple tubular retreat - whether spun in a crevice or burrow or simply attached to the lower side of a stone - is the most constant feature to be observed in the spinning habits of spiders.
As a rule terrestrial spiders guard the cocoon in the permanent burrow, as in the trap-door spiders, or in the silken retreat which acts as a temporary nursery, as in the Salticidae.
Most curious of all is the courtship of the males of some species of Salticidae, or jumping spiders, which are decorated with plumes or coloured stripes or iridescent patches.
In several families of spiders, but principally in those like the Clubionidae and Salticidae, which are terrestrial in habits, there are species which not only live amongst ants, but so closely resemble them in their shape, size, colour and actions that it requires a practised eye to distinguish the Arachnid from the insect.
Amongst the orbweavers of the family Argyopidae there are species belonging to the genera Cyclosa and Cyrtophora which closely resemble small snail-like gastropods as they cling to the underside of leaves with their legs drawn up. Other members of the same family - like Araneus coccinella, and Paraplectana thorntoni- imitate beetles of the family Coccinellidae which are known to be distasteful; and certain genera of the family Salticidae (Homalattus and Rhanis) closely resemble small hard-shelled beetles.
To this category belong Myrmarachne plataleoides, one of the Salticidae, and Amyciaea forticeps, one of the Thomisidae, which in India imitate and live with the vicious little red ant (Oecophylla smaragdina); also Myrmarachne providens, which mimics the red and black Indian ant (Sima rufonigra); and the South American species of Clubionidae, e.g.
Many other spiders belonging to the Theridiidae and Linyphiidae also mimic ants; but it is needless to enumerate them, the most perfect examples of this phenomenon being found in the families Clubionidae and Salticidae.
An example of the latter occurs in Singapore where the vicious red spinning-ant (Oecophylla smaragdina) is mimicked by the larva of a Noctuid moth and by spiders belonging to two distinct families, namely, Saltiicus plataleoides (Salticidae) and Amyciaea forticeps (Thomisidae), there being no reason to suppose that either the moth larva or the spiders are protected forms. Mimetic aggregations of species similar to those mentioned above have been found in other countries; but the instances cited are sufficient to show how widespread are the influences of mimicry and how profoundly it has modified the insect fauna of various parts of the world.
Examples of Selenops (Clubionidae) lie flat and absolutely still on the bark of trees, to which their coloration assimilates, and spring like a flash of light upon any insect that touches their legs; the Lycosidae dart swiftly upon their prey; and the Salticidae, which compared with other spiders have keen powers of vision, stealthily stalk it to within leaping distance, then, gathering their legs together, cover the intervening space with a spring and with unerring aim seize it and bury their fangs in its body.
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