Cosmophasis bitaeniata (Keyserling, 1882) Green Tree Ant Cosmophasis

A jumping spider found in New Guinea, Australia and Micronesia. Cosmophasis bitaeniata is a myrmecophilic associate of the green tree ant, Oecophylla smaragdina. The abundance of C. bitaeniata on a tree or shrub is positively correlated with the number of nests of O. smaragdina on that vegetation. Experiments with captive spiders confirmed that the spiders prey on the larvae by removing them from the mandibles of minor workers. C. bitaeniata avoids direct contact with major workers of O. smaragdina in daylight. It is thought C. bitaeniata may be an exploitative chemical mimic of its host. (Rachel A. Allan and Mark A. Elgar Australian Journal of Zoology 49(2) 129 - 137)

Male from side, Yepoon

Cosmophasis bitaeniata
Photo: Ian R Macaulay


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