Synonyms and other taxonomic changes
Diaea livens Simon, 1876
Misumena pictilis Banks, 1896
Misumessus pictilis Banks, 1904
Misumessus munieri Coolidge, 1909
Misumenops munieri Petrunkevitch, 1911
Misumenops pictilis Petrunkevitch, 1911
Cephalothorax and legs mostly pale green.
There are 8 eyes in two rows of 4. Each eye is black and lies on a slightly-raised tubercle which is pale yellow-to-whitish. Eyes of posterior row equally-spaced and in a straight line; anterior row of 4 eyes shorter & laterally recurved, with outer tubercles largest. The median 4 eyes have smaller, equal, tubercles and form a "near rectangle" that is slightly longer than wide and a bit narrowed anteriorly.
Third and fourth legs less than half the length of the front legs.
Abdomen typically with base color yellow and/or ivory with varied markings in red and black.
Coastal areas of California from Napa & Sonoma counties south to San Diego Co. and into (northern?) Baja California (cf. Schick(1965), see also R. J. Adams' comment here
). Also known from southern & central Europe to Iran, where it is a very rarely found species.
Associated with coastal woodlands or forests containing oaks, in particular Coast Live Oak (Quercus agrifolia).
Schick(1965) considered this the most beautiful of the California crab spiders...but he noted the colors fade for specimens stored in alcohol.
Presently only two species of Diaea
are recognized in the Nearctic: D. livens
is recorded from California only; and D. seminole
is recorded from Florida only (cf. 4th entry here
). California members of D. livens
were initially described as Misumena pictilis
in 1896, based on material from Palo Alto, CA (south of San Francisco). Over time these CA spiders were gradually understood (via synonymies) to constitute a single fairly variable species under the name D. pictilis
. Much later, in 1984, specimens from a wide range of localities in southern & central Europe were also recognized as D. pictilis
by Buchar & Thaler. Then in 1997, Thaler placed D. pictilis
as a synonym under Diaea livens
, the latter originally described in 1876 by Simon
from material collected in southeastern France. Since the 1980's the species has become known from scattered localities in many countries from southern and central Europe east to Iran (see map here
), but is nevertheless characterized as "very rarely found". Presuming this synonymy is sound, it suggests D. livens
was likely introduced into California from Europe.
Banks, N. (1896). New Californian spiders. Journal of The New York Entomological Society 4: 88-91. (Full Text
Banks, N. (1904). Some Arachnida from California. Proceedings of the California Academy of Sciences 3: 331-377. (Full Text
Buchar J. & Thaler K. (1984): Eine zweite Diaea-Art in Mitteleuropa: Diaea pictilis (Araneida, Thomisidae). Věst. čs. Společ. zool.48:1–8.
Coolidge, K. R. (1909). A new thomisid. Entomological News 20: 243-244. (Full Text
Gertsch, W. J. (1934). Notes on American crab spiders (Thomisidae). American Museum Novitates 707: 1-25. (Full Text
Gertsch, W. J. (1939). A revision of the typical crab spiders (Misumeninae) of America north of Mexico. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 76: 277-442. (Full Text
Petrunkevitch, A. (1911). A synonymic index-catalogue of spiders of North, Central and South America with all adjacent islands, Greenland, Bermuda, West Indies, Terra del Fuego, Galapagos, etc. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 29: 1-791. (Full Text
Schick, R. X. (1965). The crab spiders of California (Araneae, Thomisidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 129: 1-180. (Full Text
Simon, E. (1876). Description d'araignées nouvelles de France. Annales de la Société Entomologique de France (5) 6(Bull.): 180-183.
Thaler, K. (1997). Beiträge zur Spinnenfauna von Nordtirol - 4. Dionycha (Anyphaenidae, Clubionide, Heteropodidae, Liocranidae, Philodromidae, Salticidae, Thomisidae, Zoridae). Veröffentlichungen des Museum Ferdinandeum in Innsbruck 77: 233-285.
Urones, C. (2000). El género Diaea Thorell, 1869 (Araneae, Thomisidae) en la Península Ibérica. Boletín de la Asociación Española de Entomología 24: 85-96. (Full Text
Zamani, A., Mirshamsi, O., Dolejš, P., Marusik, Y. M., Esyunin, S. L., Hula, V. & Ponel, P. (2017c). New data on the spider fauna of Iran (Arachnida: Araneae), part IV. Acta Arachnologica 66(2): 55-71. (Full Text