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Genus Mecaphesa

Yellow spider to ID - Mecaphesa Flower spider - Mecaphesa Which flower spider, please? - Mecaphesa Crab Spider with Prey - Mecaphesa Crab Spider - Mecaphesa - male White, pink and gray crab spider - Mecaphesa Radioactive Mecaphesa - ventral2 - Mecaphesa - female Crab Spider - Mecaphesa
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Araneae (Spiders)
Infraorder Araneomorphae (True Spiders)
No Taxon (Entelegynes )
Family Thomisidae (Crab Spiders)
Genus Mecaphesa
Other Common Names
Crab Spider, Flower Spiders
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
First described in 1900 by Eugène Simon.

Virtually all of the nearctic species now placed in this genus were formerly placed in Misumenops. Lehtinen redescribed the type species of that genus and transferred nearly all of our species into Mecaphesa in 2008 (see print reference below).
Misumessus oblongus was part of this genus until 2008.
Numbers
18 North American species listed in world spider catalog
Identification
Some closeups of facial images to aid in identification:

Misumessus:

ALEs larger than AMEs.

Misumena:
All four anterior (front) eyes are about the same size. When viewed from the front, and a little above, it seems all eight eyes are visible and form a crescent shape. The lateral eyes are on tubercles, but the posterior laterals are visible. See



Misumenoides:
All four anterior (front) eyes are about the same size. When viewed from the front, and a little above, only six eyes are visible. The posterior laterals are facing sideways and are on the ends of a long horizontal transverse ridge across the face. Eric says "Misumena has essentially no black markings (while Misumenoides may have some), which is how you can tell them apart in the field most easily." See



Mecaphesa:
The anterior lateral eyes are a little larger than the anterior median eyes. When viewed from the front, and a little above, only six eyes are visible. The posterior laterals are facing sideways and backwards on tubercles that include the anterior laterals. Mecaphesa is also often (always?) hairy. See



Comments, corrections, and suggestions most welcome. Please add them to discussion thread here.

Images by Tom Adams, Troy Bartlett, Derrick Ditchburn, Tony DiTerlizzi, Bill DuPree, Vincent J Hickey, Richard Leung, Paul F Wagner, Paul McNelis, Bill Claff, and Chris Wirth
Print References
Lehtinen, P. T. & Y. M. Marusik. "A redefinition of Misumenops F. O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1900 (Araneae, Thomisidae) and review of the New World species". Bull. Br. arachnol. Soc. 2008, vol. 14: 173-198.
"Spiders and their Kin: A Golden Nature Guide" (1), pp. 94-95
"National Audubon Society Field Guide to North American Insects & Spiders" (2), pp. 906-907
Internet References
~ crawford.tardigrade.net - Image of a Misumenops sierrensis male found in WA.
~ crawford.tardigrade.net - Image of Female Misumenops sierrensis from WA
Fauna Hawaiiensis, v.2, p.495 - Simon's original description of the genus (in Latin)
Works Cited
1.Spiders and Their Kin: A Golden Guide from St. Martin's Press
Herbert W. Levi, Lorna R. Levi, Nicholas Strekalovsky. 2001. St. Martin's Press.
2.National Audubon Society Field Guide to Insects and Spiders
Lorus and Margery Milne. 1980. Knopf.