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Spider - Badumna longinqua

Spider - Badumna longinqua
Alameda County, California, USA
October 12, 2009
Size: ~0.15 in. (4 mm)

Images of this individual: tag all
Spider - Badumna longinqua Spider - Badumna longinqua Spider - Badumna longinqua Eyes--detail - Badumna longinqua The spinneret end - Badumna longinqua

Moved from Spiders.

I would suggest the Desidae family. Possibly Badumna longiqua. That's fun to say out loud. :) The two eyes in the middle are larger I think (looking at #342839). I believe this is an exotic species from Australia that has made its way here. The data link says that the only two contributors of this genus are also from California.

Maybe so has a little info, very little, about B. longiqua.

The spider was on a parsley leaf in a raised bed. No web was there except a few strands that were probably a temporary shelter.

On that page it seemed like Jeff Hollenbeck knew some things about them. Perhaps he will comment on this or you could nudge it his way somehow? I typed everything I knew about them in my comment, so I won't be of much help besides that.

Judgement call
I think if we are all in agreement, it would seem safe to move it to family. If we were willing to take that leap, then it looks like there is only Badumna longinqua and Paratheuma insulana, P. makai (Hawaii only). So if we can figure out what Paratheuma insulana looks like....

Found genera info...
I checked one of my books (1) and found the following information for separating Paratheuma from Badumna.

In Paratheuma: "Cribellum absent, but with broad colulus; ALS widely separated; AME smaller than other eyes; male palpus with arched embolus; female epigynum with two depressions, lacking teeth".

In Badumna: "Cribellum present, ALS contiguous; AME larger than other eyes; male palpus with sinuous embolus; female epigynumwith single depression and 2 lateral teeth".

There are diagrams of most of the things described above which would probably help people visualize the different aspects better (it helped me!). I don't know if anyone would like me to scan them in? Or if that is even allowed?

Citing the same source (1) I found out that B. longiqua is known only from the coastal urban areas of California where it is 'extremely abundant'. It's common in houses, other structures, and shrubbery where it makes cribellate webs. And the Paratheuma genera are wandering spiders and do NOT build webs. All Paratheumaspecies are from intertidal habitats, such as coral rubble on beaches in the Florida Keys and oyster beds at low tide along the Gulf coast of Northern Florida (the insulana sp). The only other Nearctic Paratheuma species is interaesta (from Sonora, Mexico), which builds retreats in abandoned barnacles along rocky shores. Again, I am paraphrasing/quoting this source: (1).

I hope I am not annoying anyone by putting so much in these comments. I am a fairy new BugGuider and I have already made it sort of a habit. Please let me know if this is something I should avoid. I just really believe in 'spreadin the wealth'. :)

Just to upate the status of t
Just to upate the status of this species in North America, according to GB Edwards, it's also known from Hillsborough County, Florida.

There is now . . .
a huge population of them in my yard, adults and many juveniles.

I remember from posts or comments elsewhere on BugGuide that the species name here is misspelled, following a typo in a spider book. The n should be omitted.

I added FL to the inf o page range
but as for the spelling it was actually that we needed to add the n, so the current spelling is correct. Thanks though!

and just the right info. I believe from what I can see in these images that the Anterior Median Eyes are smaller than the Anterior Lateral Eyes. This also fits with the description of no web present and ID being Paratheuma sp, and the only one possible is Paratheuma insulana. Please look closely at the eyes in these images, see if you both agree, and see if you think it matches the description.

Conflicting signs
My original photos, frontal and lateral, show the AME smaller than the ALE (only one of each is visible; legs block the view). But the habitat is wrong for Paratheuma and right for Badumna. Intertidal refers only to the strip between the low-tide and high-tide marks. We're much farther inland than that. The house is 2.175 miles from the shore of San Francisco Bay. I measured on a map. "Coastal urban areas," etc., fits the location quite well.

On first sighting this spider, I thought it might be a jumping spider because its proportions in dorsal view looked about right and because I often find jumpers on the parsley. Looking more closely, I saw that it didn't have exactly the body of a jumper, and it didn't behave like one. Instead of either approaching me or escaping, as jumpers do, it stayed still. It had a couple of things in common with jumpers, though. One was its location. The parsley and carrot in that bed make a miniature forest that contains many small prey animals, such as aphids. Parsley and carrot stems are too floppy to support a stable mesh web. The mesh webs in the yard are built on more-rigid structures. The other thing was the big eyes, which suggested roaming and hunting in the open rather than occupying a web and using the sense of touch to locate prey.

To examine epigynums and other diagnostic anatomical features, I guess you need to keep the specimen. I don't like to interfere with a spider that much.

Well, the eye images aren't very clear, so we may need a better view of them. There is a chance the angle is making certain eyes appear larger. Maybe you can get more shots, and watch them a little more?

If I saw a similar-looking spider again, how would I know it was the same one? There's no web to revisit with confidence that it has the same tenant as before.

Hmm...I'm torn
I agree that the AME are smaller. I'm glad I looked again, since the first time I looked I thought they were bigger. I'm sort of torn though, because the eyes and no web feature hint to Paratheuma...yet the fact that Badumna is SO common specifically (and only) in California pulls me towards that genera. But then again, Alameda County is sort of an intertidal area I guess (although not exactly the beach) so that could also lean towards Paratheuma. I'm not sure about variations from the 'norm' in this family, and I couldn't find any info on that.

B. longiqua
I've decided that IF it were 'last call' for ID (which it's not) and I had to pick one or the other...I think I would still go for Badumna longiqua. The fact that it's just so common in California AND lives in coastal urban areas--> sounds exactly like Alameda County if ya ask me. :)

Very nice
It certainly does look just like the ones in the guide. See

Mesh web weaver
is my first impression. I'm not sure though.

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