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Brief Summary

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The spider family Selenopidae (wall crab spiders or flatties) includes 252 described species (Platnick 2014). The family has a pantropical distribution, although much of the known diversity is found in Africa and Australia; only Selenops occurs in the New World (Crews and Harvey 2011; Platnick 2014). Several selenopid species are found in deserts and selenopids can be found from sea level to over 2500 meters (Crews and Harvey 2011). The majority of selenopid species are placed in the genus Selenops, which is found in the tropics and subtropics worldwide (Crews 2011). Selenops are relatively large (adult body size 5 to 20 mm), but are among the most secretive and elusive of spiders due to their speed (up to 63 body lengths/second for Selenops lindborgi) and their ability to hide in inaccessible places (Muma 1953; Crews et al. 2008). In North America north of Mexico, the six or seven recognized species occurring in this region are found from southern California east to Texas, Florida, and most Caribbean islands (Crews 2011; Platnick 2014).

Selenopids are extremely dorsiventrally (top-to-bottom) flattened and are exceptional in their running and striking speeds, which place them amongst the world’s fastest animals (Crews et al. 2008; Crews 2011). They have eight eyes, outlined in black, at the front of the wide face. Typically, six eyes are in what appears to be one row, the outermost eyes being the smallest; just behind and lateral to these are the last pair of eyes, which are often the largest and facing to the side. The legs are held in a laterigrade position (i.e., the legs extend sidewise and the femora, especially, are twisted so that the front surface faces up), which helps selenopids fit their flattened bodies into very narrow spaces. (Crews 2005; Bradley 2013)

Selenopids live in habitats ranging from dry desert and chaparral to mesic (moist) tropical areas. They are typically found under rocks and bark, but can also be found in houses and occasionally on logs, in debris on the ground, or between the bases of leaves of tropical plants (Muma 1953). Selenopids are nocturnal and do not build webs. Although they can be challenging to collect, selenopids are easily reared in the lab on crickets and fruitflies. Adults have been collected throughout the year. (Crews 2005)

Crews et al. (2008) reported on the natural history of Selenops occultus in Brazil as well as various Caribbean species.

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Selenopidae

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Selenopidae, also called wall crab spiders, wall spiders[1] and flatties,[2] is a family of araneomorph spiders first described by Eugène Simon in 1897.[3] It contains over 280 species in nine genera, of which Selenops is the most well-known. This family is just one of several families whose English name includes the phrase "crab spider". These spiders are often called "Flatties" due to their flattened dorsal profile.[4][5] The Afrikaans name for these spiders is "Muurspinnekop."[5]

They are a variety of colors, including shades of grey, brown, yellow, and orange, with darker markings on the cephalothorax and spots or mottling on the abdomen, and annulations on the legs of most species.[6] They are very flat dorsoventrally, and have two tarsal claws and laterigrade legs. Their running and striking speeds place them among the world’s fastest animals,[6] making them difficult to capture, while their coloring often makes them difficult to see. Their spin is the fastest leg-driven turning maneuver of any terrestrial animal, being able to strike their prey in an eighth of a second (three times the speed of a blink); therefore, the spiders' spins are being used by researchers in robotics applications.[4] Dr. Zeng of UC Merced claims that the flattie spiders' "outward stance," which "tracks parallel to the ground" allows them to spin rapidly, giving them a "wider range of unrestricted motion."[4] Each of their legs face a different direction. Like most other Entelegynae, they have eight eyes arranged in two rows; one with six and one with two.[7]

They occur worldwide, from sea level to over 2,500 metres (8,200 ft), and are primarily tropical and subtropical, though several species are found in deserts.[6] They are commonly found on walls or under rocks. Selenops is the most widely distributed and Anyphops is found throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. The remaining genera have more specific distributions. At least one (possibly extinct) species of Garcorops, G. jadis, is known only from subfossil copal.[8]

Genera

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Flattie spider found in Kruger National Park South Africa; this specimen is most likely Anyphops rubicundus

As of April 2019, the World Spider Catalog accepts the following genera:[9]

  • Amamanganops Crews & Harvey, 2011 — Philippines
  • Anyphops Benoit, 1968 — Africa
  • Garcorops Corronca, 2003 — Comoros, Madagascar
  • Godumops Crews & Harvey, 2011 — Papua New Guinea
  • Hovops Benoit, 1968 — Madagascar
  • Karaops Crews & Harvey, 2011 — Australia
  • Makdiops Crews & Harvey, 2011 — India, Nepal
  • Selenops Latreille, 1819 — Asia, North America, Caribbean, South America, Africa, Central America
  • Siamspinops Dankittipakul & Corronca, 2009 — Malaysia, Thailand, Taiwan

See also

References

  1. ^ Dippenaar-Schoeman, Ansie (2014). A Field Guide to the Spiders of South Africa. LAPA Publishers.
  2. ^ "SELENOPIDAE Flatties". Arachne.org.au. Retrieved 2018-01-16.
  3. ^ Simon, E. (1897). Histoire naturelle des araignées.
  4. ^ a b c "Fastest spin on Earth? For animals that rely on legs, scientists say one spider takes gold". Eurekalert!. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
  5. ^ a b "Common Wall Spider". African SnakeBite Institute.com. Retrieved 20 August 2021.
  6. ^ a b c Crews, C.S.; Harvey, M.S. (2011). "The spider family Selenopidae (Arachnida, Araneae) in Australasia and the Oriental Region". ZooKeys (99): 1–104. doi:10.3897/zookeys.99.723. PMC 3118779. PMID 21738435.
  7. ^ Jocqué, R.; Dippenaar-Schoeman, A.S. (2006). Spider families of the world. ARC-PPRI, Tervuren.
  8. ^ Bosselaers, J. (2004). "A new Garcorops species from Madagascar copal (Araneae: Selenopidae)" (PDF). Zootaxa. 445: 1–7. doi:10.11646/zootaxa.445.1.1.
  9. ^ "Family: Selenopidae Simon, 1897". World Spider Catalog. Natural History Museum Bern. Retrieved 2019-04-24.

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Selenopidae: Brief Summary

provided by wikipedia EN

Selenopidae, also called wall crab spiders, wall spiders and flatties, is a family of araneomorph spiders first described by Eugène Simon in 1897. It contains over 280 species in nine genera, of which Selenops is the most well-known. This family is just one of several families whose English name includes the phrase "crab spider". These spiders are often called "Flatties" due to their flattened dorsal profile. The Afrikaans name for these spiders is "Muurspinnekop."

They are a variety of colors, including shades of grey, brown, yellow, and orange, with darker markings on the cephalothorax and spots or mottling on the abdomen, and annulations on the legs of most species. They are very flat dorsoventrally, and have two tarsal claws and laterigrade legs. Their running and striking speeds place them among the world’s fastest animals, making them difficult to capture, while their coloring often makes them difficult to see. Their spin is the fastest leg-driven turning maneuver of any terrestrial animal, being able to strike their prey in an eighth of a second (three times the speed of a blink); therefore, the spiders' spins are being used by researchers in robotics applications. Dr. Zeng of UC Merced claims that the flattie spiders' "outward stance," which "tracks parallel to the ground" allows them to spin rapidly, giving them a "wider range of unrestricted motion." Each of their legs face a different direction. Like most other Entelegynae, they have eight eyes arranged in two rows; one with six and one with two.

They occur worldwide, from sea level to over 2,500 metres (8,200 ft), and are primarily tropical and subtropical, though several species are found in deserts. They are commonly found on walls or under rocks. Selenops is the most widely distributed and Anyphops is found throughout Sub-Saharan Africa. The remaining genera have more specific distributions. At least one (possibly extinct) species of Garcorops, G. jadis, is known only from subfossil copal.

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