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N. linsdalei female - Mallos - female

N. linsdalei female - Mallos - Female
Stulsaft Park, Redwood City, San Mateo County, California, USA
July 24, 2010
Size: 3 mm
I beat this adult female dictynid from an oak tree. Fairly sure this is N. linsdalei - the markings and epigyne match pretty well and I've collected a male in the same way at the same location.

Images of this individual: tag all
N. linsdalei female - Mallos - female N. linsdalei female - Mallos - female N. linsdalei female - Mallos - female N. linsdalei female - Mallos - female Mallos female - Mallos - female Mallos female - Mallos - female

Moved from Mallos pearcei.

It's strange to be coming back again to this specimen, but I've now collected more spiders of this genus and recently got some help from John Rosenfeld with a Mallos pallidus male. I added two photos of the epigynum and cribellum today.

I think this female is likely M. pallidus and not M. pearcei for a few reasons: 1. The cribellum appears to be divided (last image) - pallidus is the only California species with a divided cribellum - mians and pearcei both have undivided cribella (plural?). 2. M. pearcei was only reported from San Diego County in Bond and Opell while M. pallidus is widespread and found in coastal lowlands, like this spider. 3. Although the epigynum doesn't particularly look like fig. 81 is Bond and Opell, it does look like reasonably close to plate 9, figure 3 in Chamberlin and Gertsch 1958.

I should note that the lighting for my scope has improved recently - I don't think I really was able to see or image the divided cribellum in the past...

Moved from Mallos.

Moved from Mesh Web Weavers.

From Rod Crawford
I've never actually seen a Nigma "in the flesh," but this epigynum certainly doesn't match the published figures of linsdalei. It looks like a Mallos to me; possibly Mallos mians Chamberlin.

The two females here & here with no epigynum photo can't be identified by me, but they look very different from the Mallos. I would have guessed Dictyna/Emblyna.

The male is correctly identified, as far as I can tell.

Thank you -
to Lynette, Rod and Kevin. My apologies if I got a bit irascible - I still think this could have been brought to my attention in a different way, but I can't argue with the results. If my local expert has anything to add, I will put the info. here.

From Darrell Ubick -
"I've collected Nigma linsdalei on several occasions and it has a pointed abdomen which is greenish with white (guanine) patches in life. Your spiders have a posteriorly more rounded abdomen and all like Mallos". Given that I've apparently mis-identified these spiders several times, I'm now a little gun-shy - it sounds like we could move to the Mallos genus page for now, right?

Mallos pearcei
Did you see Rod Crawford's comment above? Mallos pearcei

Sorry Kevin -
trying to squeeze this in at work - lots of comments on this page now - but I do see his final commment (below not above).

Yeah, I noticed that with a comment from Lynette earlier -- I must be the only person in the world who still reads chronologically from top to bottom. :-)

Ach, you should hear/see me when I'm feeling irascible (just ask my wife).


BTW, the Bond & Opell paper is directly accessible here:

The distribution information is interesting -- Bond & Opell gave "Sand Diego county" as its distribution. Ken, you don't still have this/these specimens, do you?

Thanks for the link -
and yes, I don't dispose of any specimens ever, if they're mature anyway. I'd be hesitant to send them anywhere, but would be happy to attempt better photomicrographs of any desired features, if that would help confirm Rod's ID, etc.

Oh yeah
Oh yeah, I think you're (Rod's) on to something. Typical -- another one of those "western species" that is almost unknown to me.

Now, where do we find...
Bond, J. E. & B. D. Opell, 1997. Systematics of the spider genera Mallos and Mexitlia (Araneae, Dictynidae). Zool. J. Linn. Soc. 119: 389-445.

Take a look at Chamberlin & G
Take a look at the description in Chamberlin & Gertsch 1958. I'll place my wager on M. mians.

From Rod Crawford
Thanks to Kevin's comment for reminding me of the Bond & Opell paper. I was being lazy and only looking in Chamberlin & Gertsch. Based on B&O, it would be Mallos pearcei, female not illustrated by C&G.

Moved from Nigma linsdalei.

Hmm -
are you not seeing translucent green in these photos? Did you check the epigynum? The description from the 1958 paper on the family page for the female certainly doesn't suggest an entirely green spider. While it's possible you're correct, I would greatly prefer if you sent me an email or get help from Rod before moving these photos.

No problem,
However, I think it's best to move the photos first (since the images are in question) then move them back when we can be certain. It's a good idea to email Rod. I'll give that a shot.

Also, I don't see the translucent green like I do in the other spiders we have placed on the species page. I was reading SONA this morning and one of the key features mentioned is carapace with pale marginal blotches. I don't see that on any of yours.

I also emailed a local expert here -
again, you might be correct - I tried my best to identify numerous local spiders, often on my own, and I'm bound to have made some errors. However, I disagree that it's best to move the photos first - these photos have been here for TWO YEARS - a few more weeks won't do any damage, and your comments have already tagged the images as suspect. I'm afraid I find this heavy-handed - please just email me next time.

sorry you feel that way, I can assure you it's not personal. It's my normal practice to move suspect photos back to the level we're certain of (unless the spider is one of the ones that can't be separated by field markings.. meaning unless it can look exactly like the other species and we don't know how to separate them).

I've been reading through the 1958 reference (sadly most epigyne drawings are so dark they aren't much use - at least on the one I opened) so hopefully Rod or Kevin will know more. Since SONA specifically mentions that this spider is translucent green when alive, I'm also going to assume that it looks different and would be described differently under alcohol.

Nigma linsdalei ?
I don't see how these can be right. My references all say this spider is translucent green. I'm moving these all back out to family level for now.

The other images I've seen do show a transluscent green spider, but the original description doesn't mention either. The authoers write "whole spider whitish" and "legs clothed with gray hairs... abdomen yellowish behind, with an irregular pattern of milky white spots showing through the integument, occasionally with a conspicuous red or black central spot, and clothed sparsely with gray hairs."

Unfortunately their drawings are not so great; there is a resemblance, but I suppose the next step is to work through the key and also to check the common species to see if there is a closer match to the epigynum...

What else do you have Lynette?

On page 100 SONA lists Nigma as - Carapace with pale marginal blotches (not marginal bands). Then in the small writing where it lists the range it says Note - in life this spider is translucent green and often with a red or black spot on the abdomen. There is an odd reference showing images of both male & female here. It's looking like the carapace blotches may only show on the female?

Looking at all the images I have of Nigma, it does seem more Dictyna-like and less so Nigma-like. But it's too late tonight for me to look any further.


Thanks Kevin
Also note that I just posted Rod's comment above.

Did you also look at the ante
Did you also look at the anterior view of the chelicerae? Nice find (and photos)!


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