Spitting spider

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Spitting spider
Scytodes thoracica (aka).jpg
Spitting spider
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Superfamily: Scytodoidea
Family: Scytodidae
Blackwall, 1864


5 genera, 169 species

A spitting spider is a spider in the family Scytodidae. There are more than 150 species of spitting spider in the world. Spitting spiders are related to the recluse spiders in the Sicariidae family.

The name spitting spider comes from the way these spiders hunt. The spider spits a sticky and poisonous liquid at its prey. The liquid congeals (becomes solid) around the target. When the prey is trapped, the spider bites it to kill it with venom. It then wraps the prey in spider silk like many other spiders do.[1]

A spitting spider attack is very fast. It takes about 1/700th of a second. This kind of spider can spit 10 to 20 millimetres (0.39 to 0.79 in). The spider spits in a "Z" pattern and criss-crosses its prey in sticky liquid.[2]

There are five genera of spitting spider:

Sources[change | change source]

  1. Gilbert, C. and L. S . Rayor. 1985. Predatory behavior of spitting spiders (Araneae, Scytodidae) and the evolution of prey wrapping. J . Arachnol., 13 :231-241
  2. Piper, Ross (2007), Extraordinary Animals: An Encyclopedia of Curious and Unusual Animals, Greenwood Press.