Bug-mimicking Swift Spider - Supunna picta

Family Corinnidae

This page contains pictures and information about Bug-mimicking Swift Spiders that we found in the Brisbane area, Queensland, Australia.
Leg to leg 30mm  
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We sometimes found this spider on tree trunk with the Gum Tree Shield Bug nymph. This spider look very similar to the bug nymph. The spider has the black colour body and white markings. Its pair of front legs has the same colour as the nymph's antenna. Most interesting is the spiders walk with three pairs of legs only, and wave its front legs just like antenna. 
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Gum Tree Shield Bug nymphs
We suspect either the spider mimic the nymph because they are not eatable (Batesian Mimicry), or more likely, mimic the nymph to approach them for prey (aggressive mimicry). Since the Gum Tree Shield Bug nymphs live together in group under the gum tree bark. The spider hiding among those nymph is just a sheep-skin-covered wolf among the sheep. 
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When disturbed, this spider runs very fast in a short distance and hide. It runs on tree trunk extremely fast. The spider active during the day.
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Females make flat disk-like egg-sac on flat surface, include Acacia leaf. Also found it nested under loose bark on gum tree trunk.
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1. Supunna picta - The Find-a-spider Guide for Australian Spiders, University of Southern Queensland, 2007.
2. Wildlife of Greater Brisbane - Queensland Museum 1995, p35.3.
3. Supunna picta L. Koch, spotted ground swift spider - Australian Insect Common Names, 2005
4. Spiders of Australia: An Introduction to Their Classification, Biology & Distribution - Hawkeswood T, Pensoft Pub, 2003, p66. 

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Last updated: February 20, 2010.