Spitting Spider

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The Spitting Spider (Latin name Scytodes thoricica) belongs to the family of six eyed spiders. (Haplogynae). It is called the "Spitting Spider" because it spits a poisonous sticky substance over its prey. Its body size ranges between 3 and 6 mm. They catch their prey by spitting a fluid that immobilizes it by congealing on contact into a venomous and sticky mass. They can be observed swaying from side to side, in order to cover the prey in a crisscrossed "Z" pattern; each of two pores in the chelicerae emits half of the pattern. The spider usually strikes from a distance of 10-20mm and the whole attack sequence is over in a little under 1/700th of second. It is a slow hunter and seems to use special long hearing hairs on its legs to locate its prey. It hunts at night and moves slowly towards its prey. When it is about 10mm away, it stops and carefully measures the distance with one front leg. Then it squeezes the back of its body together and spits two poisonous silk threads in one six-hundredth of a second, in a zigzag manner over the victim. The prey is immediately immobilized. If the prey is big, the spider spits several times.  


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