by Greg Mayer
Matthew shared with me an interesting video of a spider from Singapore that looks like the head of a snake.
The videographer, Nicky Bay, is most interested in the pulsation of a dark region below the ‘eyes’, but to me it’s the resemblance to a snake that is most striking– the ‘nostrils/loreal pits’ (note the number/arrangement is not perfect), and the ‘preocular and supralabial scales’. There are at least two species of pit vipers on Singapore. The mangrove pit viper is dark, and not at first glance an appealing candidate for a a model. Wagler’s pit viper, though, has potential.
Mimicry of snakes by arthropods is not common, but not unknown. Jerry posted here at WEIT earlier about a lepidopteran pupa mimicking a snake, and Matthew posted on a caterpillar mimicking a snake, as well as a frog said to mimic a bird dropping. I mention the latter because Bay considers that the spider may be a bird dropping mimic, which doesn’t seem to be the case to me. He gives it a vernacular name of “bird dropping spider”, but says, “Gave me the impression of a snake’s head though!” The taxonomic identity of the spider is not clear; there are additional photos on his website.