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spitting spider

spitting spider (Scytodes thoracica) [female]
Photo © Hank Guarisco

Features and Behaviors

The spitting spiders have six eyes, arranged in three sets of two. Legs are long and without large spines. The cephalothorax is largest in the back where the venom glands and glue glands are located. The body color is light brown or yellow with black marks.

After moving close enough to a potential prey item, the spider spits a mixture of glue and venom on it, trapping it against the object it was walking on. As the venom starts to poison the prey, the spider bites the prey, injecting more venom, then moves away to wait before feeding. This spider does not build any web. It is found in and around buildings. It walks very slowly. Adults are present in summer.

Illinois Range


​Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Scytodidae

Illinois Status: common, native