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Mimetidae (Pirate Spiders)

The Mimetidae somewhat resemble small Comb-Footed Spiders (Theridiidae), but can be distinguished from this family by the prominent spines on their legs and often by the nodules (also called tubercles) on their abdomen. To our knowledge, they only catch other spiders. They do this by pulling the threads of the spider’s web, so this spider thinks it has caught something and is attracted by the vibrations. The spider is then quickly bitten in the leg, paralysed by the poison and then eaten by the Pirate Spider. Nine Mimetidae species occur in Europe.

Genus Ero

The spiders of this genus are quite small (2-4 mm) and have 2 or 4 lumps on their abdomen. The species can be distinguished by the number and the position of these lumps. Moreover, each species differs in markings on the sternum.


Genus Mimetus

The spiders of the genus Mimetus are distinguishable from those of the genus Ero, because they are larger and have longer chelicerae. They also have a number of short spines on femora I and II.