“Look at that ant,” she said.
It’s not an ant, though.
Ants have six legs, not eight.
And ants sure don’t have those iridescent chelicerae in front. Or the row of eyes right above the chelicerae.
It’s a jumping spider, apparently Myrmarachne formicaria. Look how the spider even holds its palps under the chelicerae to help with the disguise.
This is one of four males found overwintering in an old toy bulldozer left in the woods of upstate New York. We brought the toy inside and a day or so later noticed these. Once they had warmed up, they were quite active and readily accepted small flies.
Myrmarachne formicaria is a ant-mimic jumping spider that was first found in the United States (in Ohio) in 2001. Obviously its range is spreading.
Have you ever been fooled momentarily by a spider that was an ant mimic? Have you ever seen one of these?
Richard A. Bradley, Bruce Cutler, Maggie Hodge. 2006. The first records of Myrmarachne formicaria (Aranae, Salticidae) in the Americas. Journal of Arachnology. 34(2):483-484.