Scytodidae

These are the spitting spiders. They are closely related to the Pholcidae, and they are usually recognized by the presence of six eyes and short tarsi. They do not make webs, but instead they can eject a viscous material that ensnares their prey, which is the basis for the common name.

scytodes thoracica (Fig. 18.8g) Males are 3.5-4 mm and females are 4-5.5 mm long. The body is pale yellow with black markings on the cephalothorax and abdomen. Markings on the cephalothorax resemble a lyre. The legs are long and banded. Adults can eject a viscous secretion that fastens its prey to the substrate. This species does not build a web, and indoors it is found walking in shaded areas, dark corners, cellars, and closets. It is distributed in Japan, Europe, and eastern USA.

Other scytodes S. longipes occurs in the Central American tropics, including Bermuda, where it is common indoors, and is known as the dust spider. Several species occur in peridomestic habitats in Brazil, including: S. Jusca, which is cosmopolitan; S. univittata, introduced from Asia; S. globula; and S. itapevi.

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