Mimetus hesperus

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Current valid name

Mimetus hesperus Chamberlin (family Mimetidae)

Recognition and diagnostic features

Many curved spines on legs I and II with a diagnostic pattern of one long spine followed by 3 to 5 small spines. Obligatory predator upon other spiders.

Related or similar species

Theridion dilutum


Body lengths when mature: male: 3.5 - 4.5 mm, female: 4.0 - 6.3 mm

Immatures resemble miniature adults.

Egg sac

No egg or egg sac information is available for this species


In California: throughout most of the state except possibly northern counties

Elsewhere: western United States

Native to North America

This species has not been transported or become established outside of its range.


Mimetus spiders are known as pirate spiders because they are obligatory predators on other spiders. They hunt for spiders and invade webs to subdue and eat the host. Because they are spider predators, they are never very common.

Status in table grapes

Level of Incidence: uncommon

Level of Concern in New Zealand: WPNZ (May 2010) nr, BORIC (Dec 2011) nr (not listed), MAF-BPRA (2002) nr (coding definition)

Level of Concern in Australia: WPAU (2006) nr (coding definition)

Level of Medical importance: none

Common name

None for species, pirate spiders for family

Taxonomic history


Selected references

Chamberlin, R. V. 1923. The North American species of Mimetus. Pomona Coll. J. Entomol. Zool. 15: 3-7.