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Genus Castianeira

Spider - Castianeira Almost a death's head - Castianeira longipalpa Spider with Red Abdomen - Castianeira Castianeira Spider - Castianeira Spider - Castianeira Ant-like salticid - Castianeira athena Antmimic spider - Castianeira amoena Dark Spider with Reddish Legs - Castianeira
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Araneae (Spiders)
Infraorder Araneomorphae (True Spiders)
No Taxon (Entelegynae)
Family Corinnidae (Antmimics and Ground Sac Spiders)
Genus Castianeira
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
There are 26 species found in the USA & Canada.
Abdomen not constricted. (1) In Castianeira the PER are slightly to moderately procurved. (Micaria PER is rarely procurved... usually straight.)

The following ID tips come from Reiskind, 1969.(2) Corresponding page numbers are listed below. (Dorsal pattern plates start on page 293)

It's easiest to separate them by the most similar pattern & color and then look at the ranges. C. alteranda (pg.206) & C. amoena (pg.204) are both black on orange. C. alteranda in the Rockies & C. amoena in the southeast.

  C. alteranda         C. amoena

The second similar looking trio is C. alata (pg. 188), C. longipalpa (pg. 186) & C. variata (pg.197). The one characteristic of yellow banded tibia on C. variata only appears to be visible in preserved specimens (in alcohol). The patterns on all three species can be similar, but perhaps one field marking that might work to separate C. alata & C. longipalpa from C. variata might be that the ends of the white abdominal lines in the first two species point up while in C. variata they point toward the rear (down). C. longipalpa may be confused with Micaria rossica in the northwest. Look for tibia IV to be thinner in Micaria.

  C. longipalpa                 C. variata

C. alata, found only in Maryland can't be distinguished from C. longipalpa at this time. Here are Bugguide's only two C. longipalpa images from Maryland that might be C. alata.

The next group is C. crocata (pg. 200), C. descripta (pg.208), C. occidens (pg.211) & C. floridana (pg.201). C. occidens can be separated from the other two by the white stripe on the carapace. At this point we aren't sure we can separate C. crocata & C. descripta. It's possible that the red mark goes all the way to the rear in C. descripta and stops short in C. crocata. Also, males of C. descripta have 'some white hairs at the posterior end'. C. floridana is easier to separate because it's only found in peninsular Florida, but range may overlap with C. descripta.

    C. crocata                 C. descripta                 C. descripta                 C. descripta                 C. occidens             C. floridana

C. cingulata (pg.221) has a similar pattern to C. trilineata (pg.219) & C. gertschi (pg. 217). C. cingulata is dark brown/black while C. trilineata is orange. We aren't sure if juveniles of C. cingulata may also be orange which may confuse some IDs.
C. cingulata femurs are all striped, both lateral and dorsal stripes dark brown on yellow. It is often confused with Micaria sp. which can also have striped femurs.
In C. gertschi look for the abdomen that starts lighter brown but turns to dark brown/black near the rear.

     C. cingulata                 C. trilineata                 C. gertschi                 Micaria

We should be able to ID the following species by their distinct abdominal patterns:

C. athena - (pg. 228) southern California

C. crucigera - (pg.214) Florida, Arkansas, North Carolina, Virginia

C. thalia - (pg. 192) Coastal California and Northeastern Oregon (pattern can sometimes have red/orange mark overlying the black & white pattern.

C. walsinghami - (pg.213) Oregon, Washington, BC
Exact distribution within these countries will be added when time permits.

C. alata - Maryland
C. alfa - southern California and Arizona
C. alteranda - Rocky mountains of Colorado, Montana, Saskatchewan and Alberta, BC
C. amoena - North Carolina to eastern Kansas, south to eastern Texas and the panhandle of Florida
C. athena - southern California
C. cingulata - Eastern USA and Canada down to the Ozarks in Arkansas and the mountains in South Carolina and Alabama, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS
C. crocata - Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Missouri, Tennessee, New Jersey
C. crucigera - Arkansas, North Carolina, Virginia
C. cubana - southern tips of Texas and Florida
C. descripta - Eastern USA, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS
C. dorsata - southern Arizona
C. floridana - peninsular Florida
C. gertschi - Eastern and Southern US from Massachusetts to Texas, and Missouri, ON
C. longipalpa - USA and Canada east of 100th meridian, and the Northwest, BC, AB, SK, MB, ON, QC, NB, NS
C. luctifera - southern California, Arizona and New Mexico
C. mexicana - New Mexico
C. nanella - Southern Arizona
C. occidens - south half of California and neighboring Nevada; Arizona and neighboring Utah and New Mexico
C. peregrina - southern tip of Texas
C. rothi - southern Arizona
C. thalia - Coastal California and Northeastern Oregon
C. trilineata - Wisconsin and Illinois to Texas and Louisiana; Florida and North Carolina, ON
C. variata - Gertsch, 1942 - Kansas, Missouri, Arkansas. Louisiana, Virginia, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Rhode Island, ON
C. vulnerea - Gertsch, 1942 - Brooklyn, New York and nearby New Jersey
C. walsinghami - Oregon and Washington, BC
C. zionis - Zion National Park, Utah

Castianeira alteranda Gertsch, 1942
Castianeira amoena (C. L. Koch, 1841)
Castianeira crocata (Hentz, 1847)
Castianeira cubana (Banks, 1926)
Castianeira descripta (Hentz, 1847)
Castianeira gertschi Kaston, 1945
Castianeira longipalpa (Hentz, 1847)
Castianeira nanella Gertsch, 1933
Castianeira occidens Reiskind, 1969
Castianeira peregrina (Gertsch, 1935)
Castianeira trilineata (Hentz, 1847)

CO species
C. descripta, alteranda, longipalpa, occidens & variata
Gertsch 1942 C. arizonica name in doubt... probably was something else. -- It was Micaria
Print References
Spiders of the Eastern United States (3)--according to comments here, on page 263 of this reference, the image labeled as Castianeira amoena is actually C. gertschi or trilineata.
Internet References
~ - New American Spiders of the Clubionidae, Gertsch 1942. (no dorsal drawings)
Works Cited
1.Spiders of North America: An Identification Manual
D. Ubick, P. Paquin, P.E. Cushing and V. Roth (eds). 2005. American Arachnological Society.
2.The Spider Subfamily Castianeirinae of North and Central America
J. Reiskind. 1969. Bull. Mus. of Comp. Zool. Vol 138: 163-325.
3.Spiders of the Eastern US, A Photographic Guide
W. Mike Howell and Ronald L. Jenkins. 2004. pearson education.