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Pirata piraticus  (Clerck, 1757) (Pirate otter-spider)
≤ 1900   1901-1979   1980-2005   2006 ≤
Description: Carapace dark yellow-brown with median and lateral bands yellow-brown. Margins with thin white line composed of white hairs. The tune fork marking in the median band is distinct with the arms of the fork reaching the posterior medial eyes. Abdomen reddish-brown with yellow cardiac mark outlined by thin white lines converging at rear. White lines are also present at the sides of the abdomen as well as rear half is marked with paired white spots. Legs yellow-green to yellow-brown. Male similar to female but white lines around the cardiac mark are reduced or absent. Both sexes are furnished with dark spots on the sternum. Size: Female 6-9 mm; male 5-6.5 mm.

Genus: Pirata Sundevall, 1833. (Pirate wolf spiders). Characters of genus: Small to medium-sized spiders with light median band on the carapace enclosing a dark tune fork-shaped marking. This marking is very characteristic for lighter coloured species, but may be difficult to distinguish at darker species. The cardiac mark is usually lighter than the ground colour of the abdomen. Most species have the cardiac mark followed by paired bluish-white or white dots which usually are very striking. Some species also have light bands at the sides of the abdomen. The species construct vertical tubes in peat moss which are used as retreats, however much time is also spent running about. They are capable of running on water surfaces where they catch prey both above and under the surface. Some species, in particular P. piscatorius, resemble species of the Dolomedes (Pisauridae), which occur in similar habitats.

Family: Lycosidae Sundevall, 1833 (Wolf Spiders). Characters of family: The lycosids belong to the group of araneomorph, ecribellate spider families having 8 eyes and 3 tarsal claws. The eyes are all dark in colour and arranged in three rows in a characteristic fashion. The anterior row has four small eyes set in a straight or slightly curved row, the second row has two large eyes further up on the on the vertical front, and the posterior row has two medium-sized eyes on the sides of the head which can be more or less steep sided. There are only few additional diagnostic characters of importance for the family, i.e. the lack of a retrolateral tibial apophysis on the male palp and that the female of many species carries her egg sack attached to the spinners. The carapace is longer than wide with the head region narrowed and high. It is usually densely covered with hairs and often with longitudinal median or lateral bands or both. In some genera there are characteristic bars in the median band or elongate U-, Y-shaped marks. The sternum is oval to shield shaped (scutiform). The chelicerae are relatively strong with toothed cheliceral furrow and prominent lateral condyle (boss). The labium is a wide as long, about half the length of endites. Legs are spinose and provided with 3 tarsal claws, usually with scopulae for adhesion. The second segments of the legs (trochanters) are notched. The abdomen is oval, always covered with dense hairs. There is no colulus in front of the spinners. The tracheal spiracle is situated just in front of the spinners. The epigyne is well sclerotized median septum which may be large and plate-like. The male palp is only rarely provided with a tibial apophysis. The tip of the male palp may have one or more claws.
Female with egg sack
Male
Male
Female
Female
Female
Female
Female
Female
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