Two-tailed Spider

a two-tailed spider, Hersillidae, from Lake Bogoria National Park, October 2010. Photo © by Michael Plagens

Observed on the surface of an inactive termite mound near the shores of Lake Bogoria, Rift Valley, Kenya, Africa. October 2010. This specimen is about 12 mm in length (excluding legs) and about average for adult hersiliid spiders.

Also commonly known as tree-trunk spiders, two-tailed spiders are inhabitants of the tropics and subtropics on all the continents. A pair of long silk-producing spinnerets from the end of the abdomen give the name. With precise camouflage they wait at the center of a fine web spun right onto the surface of a tree's bark or other surface. Normally the disguise is so good that spotting them can be quite difficult. When a prey insect stumbles into the web the spider rapidly runs around it releasing copious silk to entangle it before delivering a bite with venom.

Hersilliidae -- a Spider Family

More Information:

Kenya Natural History

Copyright Michael J. Plagens, page created 31 Janurary 2011.