Sassacus papenhoei  (three photos)
"beetle mimicry"

I found this little spider along with a few others at this same location glowing like rainbows among the green
bushes on Antelope Island.  I have never seen them so colorful in the sunlight.  © Carol Davis, 7-6-2010

beetle mimicry
In this pose it really does look like a beetle.  © Carol Davis, 7-6-2010

beetle mimicry
This little female spider that I found on Antelope Island on Curly Cup Gumweed is one of a few spiders in the US who mimic
beetles.  They can sometimes be seen walking on six legs and holding the other two against their body as part of the
mimicry.  Stuff like this is so cool!  What on earth made
Sassacus papenhoei take on this strange behavior for
either defense or predation?  It even resembles a little beetle with its stocky body and big head.  Fascinating! 

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