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spider - Syspira - female

spider - Syspira - Female
Desert Edge, Riverside County, California, USA
January 17, 2010
Size: around 12 mm
Found under a board in the desert.

Images of this individual: tag all
spider - Syspira - female spider - Syspira - female spider - Syspira - female

Moved from Spiders.

What do you think of Syspira?
Of the miturgidae family. There's 4 species in Cali.

I just came to that same conclusion. It seems very likely. I need to check Steve Lew's site, and I'm hoping to hear from Marshal Hedin.

Steve Lew's Site lists
?hilaryae, longipes & tigrina for Riverside Co. I'm not sure what the question mark means, but that species isn't listed on the World Spider Catalog. Also longipes is only listed as Mexico on the World Spider Catalog.

Syspira, etc.
Steve Lew sounds familiar and I probably have the site bookmarked but can't find it right now. Is that the New Mexico site? According to the Nearctic Spider Database, these four species are listed:
S. eclectica
S. analytica
S. pallida
S. tigrina
(this one is the type species)

I found a few old publications (via the Biodiversity Heritage Library) that also spoke of S. longipes as from Mexico. I think it is still a current name, but is maybe restricted to Mexico (not sure, but it seems like it)? There was a short article about two Syspira spp in the AAS March 2009 #78 newsletter. The Mexican researchers spoke about how S. longipes and S. tigrina were both living in the Baja Californian deserts in Mexico. So at least that shows they are two separate species, rather than synonyms or something.

Also, in SONA it says that in 1975, Olmstead wrote an unpublished thesis in which he recognized 3 species, including a new one, and synonymizes and transfers some of the nominal species. It doesn't say what exactly he did, and I'm still trying to find the thesis. The title and all the info is below if you wanna try. :)

I think reading Chamberlin's 1924 publication and any of Olmstead's work on the genus is what we need to do (as well as see what Marshal says). I guess Chamberlin & Olmstead were the main researchers of Syspira.

Link to Chamberlin, 1924: --where analytica, eclectica, and synthetica are described. Although, S. synthetica is listed as a Mexican species in the World Spider Catalog.

And this would be the jackpot:
Olmstead, J.V. 1975. A revision of the spider genus Syspira (Araneida: Clubionidae). Unpublished Masters Thesis, California State University, Long Beach, pp. i-vii, 1-89.
...but so far, no luck in retrieving it. Maybe Kevin will know how, he's a pro at that sort of thing. But as a safety net, I emailed the SDNHM Research Library to see if they could help. And I couldn't find anywhere that mentioned that "?hilaryae" perhaps the answer will be in the Olmstead thesis, if we can ever find it.

Wow, this comment turned out to be long. But this is one of the genera that have yet to be divided into species on BG, so I feel the time was well spent. :)

Jim Berrian has a copy of Olmstead's thesis
Jim Berrian from the San Diego Natural History Museum has a copy of the thesis. He said I could go to his office to pick up a photocopy or he could mail me a copy. Since I'm pretty far from San Diego, it's going to have to be mail. Not sure how long that's going to take.

In part of the email he wrote, "It seems Olmstead sank a number of Chamberlin's species of Syspira, especially those in Baja, and grouped them into a few species. The paper does have line drawings with genitalic and other characters useful for identifying members of this genus."

That got me to thinking, though...we currently have 8 Syspira submissions, none of which show the genitalia! So I don't know what we're going to do with the thesis once we have it, lol... but I still want it, at least for my own records. And perhaps there will be some stuff to add to the info page for the future.

My 1975 thesis
My daughter told me she found this thread onnthe Internet. I had sent a copy of my thesis to Vincent Roth in the ’90's. I thought he would include it in the project he was working on at the time,mbut it was never completed before his passing. Both Vince and Willis were very helpful to me when I was working on my thesis. I still have the original thesis and drawings in my file and can make copies available should you need one. Please let me know if you need more information.
I've been living in the Carlsbad area of So Cal and working as an entomologist and agricultural pest control adviser for the past 32 years.

I was gone for many months and didn't see the notification for this one until tonight... thank you for contacting us! How exciting!

I did end up getting a copy of your thesis mailed to me last year, courtesy of Jim Berrian at the SDNHM, who photocopied it for me.

I'm afraid that a copy done of my copy would not turn out (the ink is really light and barely even visible in some places), so if anyone else does want a copy of this thesis, perhaps contacting Jack Olmstead himself would be best (since he has offered to make copies). I didn't see any contact info on his contact page here, though. (From google, learned that he is president of Plant-Tek, Inc. in California, perhaps contact can be made there?)

Dear Mr. Olmstead -- Jack,
Dear Mr. Olmstead -- Jack,

Thanks for taking the time to make contact here -- what a real pleasure. Yes, I am sure that we would like a copy. I'd be happy to scan it and convert to PDF file, but perhaps someone closer (I'm in Germany) would want to do this instead?

Thanks again, for posting.

I have a scanner
if that helps.

Maybe there will be something in the 'other characters' that will be useful.

I wrote to Janet K. at the LA County Museum of Nat'l History to see if she could help us.

Looking at Chamberlin, he suggests it seems that the two Lower Calif. species described by Simon should have medial anterior eyes that are larger than the laterals. That doesn't seem to be the case here, does it?


It's a little hard to tell, but they appear to be the same size.

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