It was represented by the ancients as a creature having the forepart a goat, and the hindpart a fish, or sometimes simply as a goat.
In the majority of ant-imitating spiders the forepart of the cephalothorax is constricted on each side to resemble the neck of the insect, and in many cases the similarity is increased by the presence of a stripe of white hairs which has the optical effect of cutting out an extra piece of integument, exactly as occurs in analogous cases in insects.
In addition there is in this particular genus, as indeed in many others, a long tubular spur or horn projecting downwards from the back of the lip, whose office it is to secrete and store a honeyed juice; the forepart of the lip forms an expanded plate, usually larger and more brightly coloured than the other parts of the flower, and with hairs or ridges and spots of various kinds according to the species.
The head is large, the neck slender, the antennae short and the legs longish, and the appearance of the long stalk-like waist of the ant is produced by a patch of whitish hair on each side of the forepart of the abdomen which has the effect of cutting away the parts of the segments so covered, leaving a narrow dark-coloured median area to represent the waist.
In one of these (Heteronotus trinodosus), the dorsal area of the forepart of the thorax is developed into a plate which projects backwards over the body of the insect, which retains its normal form, and conceals all but the head, wings and, legs.