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Genus Misumessus

Tiny green crab spider - Misumessus oblongus Spider - Misumessus dicaprioi CrabSpider? - Misumessus oblongus Misumessus oblongus - female Crab Spider  - Misumessus oblongus Misumessus oblongus? - Misumessus oblongus yellow crab spider - Misumessus - female Pale Dimpled Crab Spider - Anterior  - Misumessus
Classification
Kingdom Animalia (Animals)
Phylum Arthropoda (Arthropods)
Subphylum Chelicerata (Chelicerates)
Class Arachnida (Arachnids)
Order Araneae (Spiders)
Infraorder Araneomorphae (True Spiders)
No Taxon (Entelegynae)
Family Thomisidae (Crab Spiders)
Genus Misumessus
Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Misumessus Banks, 1904
See: Lehtinen, P. T. & Y. M. Marusik, 2008. A redefinition of Misumenops F. O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1900 (Araneae, Thomisidae) and review of the New World species. Bull. Br. arachnol. Soc. 14: 173-198.
Numbers
7 species, 4 in the US and Canada.(1)
Misumessus dicaprioi
Misumessus lappi
Misumessus oblongus
Misumessus tamiami
Identification
Misumessus are somewhat common in my area and I'm starting to get a gestalt for them. I see similarities between Misumessus and Misumena in large females. Here are some of my Misumessus clues:

The Misumessus in my area have a gorgeous green-bordered tiling pattern of guanocytes on the abdomen that for me, at least in person, is sufficient to make the ID. (After examining the above thumbs, I'm not so sure the color pattern is diagnostic. This one is shaped like M. vatia but colored the way I expect M. oblongus to be colored.)
~ Joe Lapp, 6 March, 2012

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
Range
Misumessus dicaprioi - AZ, CA, CO, NM, NV, TX, UT; "California, Utah, and western Colorado from the west side of the Rocky Mountains, south and east through Arizona and New Mexico to western Texas, and probably northwest Mexico, as there are several records just on the United States side of the border from Texas to California."(2)
Misumessus lappi - CO, OK, TX; "Central Texas from the eastern edge of the Edwards Plateau, northwest to eastern Colorado, on the east side of the Rocky Mountains."(2)
Misumessus oblongus - AL, AR, CT, FL, GA, IL, IN, KY, LA, MD, MI, MN, MO, MS, OH, OK, ON, NB, NC, NH, NJ, NY, OK, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, VA, WI, WV; "Eastern NA from Ontario, Canada on the north to eastern Texas and the northern two-thirds of peninsular Florida on the south, with a western border at approximately 988W longitude, roughly equivalent to the eastern edge of the Great Plains."(2)
Misumessus tamiami - FL; "Southern peninsular Florida from Sarasota County to St. Lucie County and southward, but not yet recorded from the Florida Keys. Possibly absent from the central ridge, where M. oblongus occurs at least as far south as Highlands County, so this may be a species that only occurs in southern coastal and Everglades habitats."(2)
Remarks
Some species of spiders in this genus have been moved to Synema.