Similar in general appearance to
, but typically only one or two pairs of spots flank the midline band at the posterior end. Some specimens may posses more spots and thus become indistinguishable from
. In this case only examination of the genitialia will provide the correct identity of the species. The male is smaller and darker than the female, and rather similar to the male of
Female 8-10 mm; male 7-8 mm.
Simon, 1875. (Slender crab spiders).
Characters of genus:
Distinctive spiders with elongate, slender bodies and long legs. They inhabit grasses, sedges and other herbs. They are not easy to detect when they rest on a dried grass stem because their striped, straw coloured body is held close to the stem, and the legs are stretched out to the front and back. It is not possible to separate the species alone by the general appearance. As the species also overlap somewhat in habitat examination of the genitialia under a microscope is sometimes necessary for reliable identification. It should be noted that they resemble species of Tetragnathidae, which also have the habit of stretching themselves along stems and twigs. However, these spiders have much larger chelicerae and different eyes.
Thorell, 1870 (Running Crab Spiders).
Characters of family:
The philodromids belong to the group of araneomorph, ecribellate spider families having 8 eyes and 2 tarsal claws. The eyes are not situated on tubercles. In many species they are fairly equal in size, however in some species all eyes of the anterior row or just the anterior medials are larger. The eyes are arranged in
two recurved rows
of four with the posterior row sometimes more strongly recurved than the anterior row. All legs are of about the same lengths or legs II alone longer (twice as long in
). The legs are laterigrade so that the morphologically dorsal surface is rotated about one quarter of a turn to a posterior position. Tarsi I and II are provided with scopulae and claw tufts composed of spatulate hairs (thickest point on the distal half). The anterior tibia are sometimes provided with a
row of long spines
. Other diagnostics characters which separate philodromids from the related thomisids and sparassids include the lack of a colulus and the absence of tapetum in the secondary eyes. The carapace is as long as wide or elongate, rather flattened usually with fovea absent. It is densely clothed in
hairs. The carapace is frequently marked by a lighter longitudinal band of about the same width as the eye rows. The
is oval corresponding with carapace form, apex blunt between coxa IV. The cheliceral fang furrow usually has no teeth. The labium is longer than wide. Endites are longer than labium and converge in front. The female palp has a small toothed claw. The shape of the abdomen is oval, in some species slightly longer than wide, in others quite elongate. In most species the widest point of the abdomen is found in the rear half. It is densely covered with recumbent hairs and sparsely covered with longer, erect hairs. The
is darker than the surrounding abdomen, sometimes very distinctive as in e.g.
. It may be followed by a series of chevrons. The spinners are simple. The tracheal spiracle is situated close to the spinners. The epigyne is usually small having a median septum. The male palp is furnished with a tibial apophysis; the shape of which is important when identifying to species level using the stereomicroscope.
Female, abdominal markings
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