Why does the genus Paraplectana camouflage as a ladybird?

I first knew about paraplectana when i found an observation whith Paraplectana rajashree, and at first i thought it was a ladybird, but then i realized it was a spider, so could you tell me why they camouflage as ladybirds?

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Ladybirds are poisonous, with “dangerous” colours of bright red and yellow, so maybe that’s how such colouring helps spiders too? I know some spiders mimic their prey, but doubt it is the case here, only if allow other insects get closer.

I suggest you bring the link down from the title to your title post, that way it is easier for other readers to access the link.

My thought is it may be some form of aposematic coloring, or that it mimics the ladybird since it is a poisonous predator.

I have perhaps a more general question regarding animal mimics. How does one actually conclude that a certain species mimics another, and go beyond the step of “they look similar to my human eyes”?

There’s no such thing as #1 case in nature, only specimens surviving with traits they have, they look similar in eyes of victims or predators, thus surviving and multiplying, it’s just easier for humans to say that e. g. “species X mimics ants”.


Wait. They’re poisonous?!
I had no idea!

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I suppose, to demonstrate mimicry, you’d want to show that the potential predator (or prey, in some cases) responds to the mimic the same way that they would the mimic’s model.
On the other hand, some of the Mullerian mimicry rings in South America don’t leave much doubt, from what I understand. When you have unrelated species that show nearly identical geographic variation, and there’s no obvious environmental variation to match, it’s hard to see what else might be going on.

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Here’s a blog post on this species that goes into some of the potential reasons for the mimicry. As a bonus it has some really excellent photos.

In that same region there is another spider, Cyrtarachne sunjoymongai, that mimics snails.

A little bit more info about these and other spiders of the area is in this Indian Science Wire article.


Here it is: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/822362-Cyrtarachne-sunjoymongai.

South Korea has the similar-looking Cyrtarachne inaequalis though it looks like the English common name for that one on iNat is ‘Bird-dropping Spider’. Our Cyrtarachne bufo is the one that more closely resembles bird droppings to my eyes (and has the English common name ‘Lesser Bird-dropping Spider’).


And here is the genus: https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/155024-Cyrtarachne

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