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Black Webspinner - Oligotoma nigra - male

Black Webspinner - Oligotoma nigra - Male
Encino, Los Angeles County, California, USA
September 3, 2005
Size: 1/2 inch
Came to my porch-light at night. Illuminated by a portable fluorescent light.

I believe this (and the one in my other image) to be Oligotoma nigra in the family Oligotomidae. The reasoning behind my ID is as follows:

According to this checklist, there are only 3 species in California. These are the same species covered in this 1957 article, which states:

"Males of nigra are easily recognized because they are winged, relatively large, and rather uniformly brownish or blackish in color. Any winged male embiopteron taken at light in California is almost certain to be nigra. The only other male embiids in California are those of the much smaller and rarer Chelicerca rubra. Such males can be immediately distinguished by their bright reddish body with contrastingly blackish head and abdominal terminalia. Males of rubra have never been collected at light."

Webspinner females don't have wings or come to lights at night(or travel much at all), so this has to be a male. Also according to the above article, the other species, Haploembia solieri, is represented in California only by parthenogenetic females.

that clinches it
...I would say. I made some Guide pages and moved your photos to the species page.

I would agree.
Hey, the first time I saw one of these I thought it was a winged termite:-)

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