Spitting spider (Scytodes thoracica), SEM

Spitting spider (Scytodes thoracica), SEM

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Credit: DENNIS KUNKEL MICROSCOPY/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of Spitting spider (Scytodes thoracica). Spitting spiders have a domed shaped body with 6 eyes arranged in 3 pairs (instead of the normal 8 for most spiders). They have long legs but are slow movers. They are mostly nocturnal spiders that have an unusual method of prey. Spitting spiders capture their prey by spitting a poisonous fluid that turns in to a sticky mass. Scytodes thoracica has silk glands along with poisonous glands in anterior cephalothorax area. When the spitting spider discovers another arthropod it carefully approaches the prey extending one of its long legs to judge the distance. Then it contracts its body and spits two poisonous liquid streams (silk and poison) in a zigzag pattern towards the prey to immediately immobilize it. Magnification: x1.0 when shortest axis printed at 25 millimetres.

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Keywords: 212441-452d, 6, arachnid, arachnids, araneae, colored, coloured, electron, eye, eyed, eyes, false-colored, false-coloured, gland, glands, micrograph, nocturnal, photomerge, poison, poisonous, scanning, scytodes, scytodidae, sem, silk, six, six-eyed, spider, spiders, spit, spitting, thoracica, venomous

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