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Misumena vatia  (Clerck, 1757) (Goldenrod Spider)
≤ 1900   1901-1979   1980-2005   2006 ≤
Description: This species has a very distinct appearance, and cannot be mistaken for any other species in the region.Female carapace is white with olive green lateral bands or yellow with indistinct bands. The eye region is often yellow with small eyes. Legs of the same colour as the carapace. The abdomen is usually the same clour as the carapace with or without bright red dorsolateral bands. Juveniles are pale green. In the much smaller male the carapace is dark reddish-brown with a cream coloured median band. The eye region is light. Legs I and II are dark reddish-brown, except segments from the tibia and outwards which are annullated yellow/dark reddish-brown. Legs III and IV are uniform yellow. The abdomen is cream coloured with two dark reddish-brown median bands and two lateral bands. Size: Female 9-11 mm; male 3-4 mm.

Genus: Misumena Latreille, 1804. (Flower crab spiders). Characters of genus: The carapace is almost without spines. The eyes are small with the medials forming a square. Lateral eyes on small confluent tubercles. The abdomen is triangular, but rounded at corners. It is widest at the rear, but this is less pronounced for the male. Legs I and II are much longer than legs III and IV. Legs I of the female have tibia and metatarsi furnished with paired robust spines. At least six pairs are present on the tibia and at least seven pairs are present on the metatarsi.

Family: Thomisidae Sundevall, 1833 (Typical Crab Spiders). Characters of family: The thomisids belong to the group of araneomorph, ecribellate spider families having 8 eyes and 2 tarsal claws. The eyes are arranged in two recurved rows of four with the posterior row usually more curved than the anterior row. The median eyes are the smallest, the laterals on confluent tubercles, with the posterior laterals facing somewhat backwards. The secondary eyes are provided with tapetum. Thomisids belong to a morphologically very diverse family of spiders generally characterized by broad, moderately flattened carapace and abdomen. The carapace is about as long as wide being semicircular, ovoid or slightly elongated sometimes with protuberances. Usually, it is thinly covered by a few erect simple or clavate setae sometimes arising from warts. Most species have lateral bands on the carapace; sometimes the bands reach the edge. The sternum is heart-shaped. Chelicerae are relatively small and weak, adapted for quick kills by biting prey in the head. Cheliceral teeth are absent except in one subfamily. Sometimes there are small teeth (denticles) present on promargin. Endites and labium are frequently longer than wide. Legs I and II are longer and sturdier than legs III and IV. Legs articulate in plane of the body (laterigrade legs). The anterior legs are often provided with series of strong spines on tibia and metatarsi (e.g. Xysticus and Ozyptila). The abdomen is variable in shape and colour. It may be round, ovoid or elongate, nearly always widest at rear half. It is often covered by scattered simple setae or clavate hairs. Abdominal colours vary from bright hues of white, yellow, green, and pink to shades of grey and brown in obscure patterns. The anterior spinners are short and conical and situated close together. A colulus is present in front of the spinners. The tracheal spiracle is situated close to the spinners. The epigyne is small and weakly sclerotized in some species. The epigynes of Xysticus species can be highly variable in depth of sclerotization within the same species and females are therefore sometimes difficult to identify by examination of epigynes. The tibia of the male palp is provided with ventral and retrolateral apophyses. Embolus is often long and curved along the rim of the cymbium.
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