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Extraordinary Salticid - dorsal - Habronattus coecatus - male

Extraordinary Salticid - dorsal - Habronattus coecatus - Male
Austin, Travis County, Texas, USA
August 27, 2010
Size: 4.5mm
Check out the anterior shots of leg III in subsequent photos. What an extraordinary creature!

Can we ID this without my bottling him? Should be distinctive enough.

Found on landscape lumber in my front yard.

Images of this individual: tag all
Extraordinary Salticid - dorsal - Habronattus coecatus - male Extraordinary Salticid - side - Habronattus coecatus - male Extraordinary Salticid - portrait - Habronattus coecatus - male Extraordinary Salticid - ventral - Habronattus coecatus - male

Moved from Jumping Spiders.

Did you ever get a copy of th
Did you ever get a copy of the paper?

No, I'm going on kaldari's in
No, I'm going on kaldari's info. I'm told that it's a book not available in PDF.

Okay. (It sounded like you ha
Okay. (It sounded like you had a source.)

According to the authority...
According to Griswold's revision, which is the most authoritative source regarding Habronattus, the species Habronattus coecatus can be distinguished from similar species by the following diagnosis:

"Males of this species may be recognized in having the clypeus covered with red scales abruptly delimited at the sides below ALE by black, the chelicerae dark to black with a dense patch of white scales at the base, and the apex of femur III an acute point."

Also the species is recorded by Griswold from Austin. Hope that helps.

Do you have Griswold 1987 in PDF?
Hey Ryan, do you have a copy of Griswold 1987 in PDF? I have another Habronattus I'm trying to key. If it's too big to email, I've got a way for you to upload it. Otherwise I'll attempt to track it down via the university. Feel free to email me at Thanks!

I've posted the new Habronatt
I've posted the new Habronattus. I was unable to locate a PDF copy via the UT online resources. UT has a single copy of Griswold 1987, but it's checked out. I'd sure like to know who has it.

I'll hopefully have a copy by
I'll hopefully have a copy by the 25th. It's 300+ pages, I think.

I've looked all over for this and finally had a friend copy portions from a university library. Congratulations Kevin!

Your solution sounds much the same as mine, except in this case, I'm the friend. It's still under copyright, but very much out of print! I'll let you know how things turn out.

I noticed that the author pro
I noticed that the author provides PDFs for most of his papers, but not this one. I wonder if that's just a file size issue and not so much because he wants to restrict the copyright.

Thanks kaldari. It's fantast
Thanks kaldari. It's fantastic that Griswold found field-observable characters to use for identification. Thanks for posting the quote.

Joe - It sure is extraordinary! Check out . . .
Habronattus coecatus - especially Gayle and Jeanell Stricklands image sequence HERE and Lyn Atherton's sequence HERE

Thanks Dick. I'm looking thr
Thanks Dick. I'm looking through the Habronattus pages and can't figure out how BugGuide came to ID this spider that way. It may be correct, but which of those photos is tied to a specimen that was scoped or otherwise called by an expert? I'd like some confidence in labeling my photos - BugGuide has been known to make mistakes on occasion. Thanks!

Habronattus coecatus
It's definitely Habronattus coecatus. The species is quite distinct.

I believe you. It would be n
I believe you. It would be nice if BugGuide had a way to convey the authority an image gallery. I won't hav confidence unless one of the following conditions holds:

(1) A world authority on the genus claims it's so, at least for particular images, and this has been stated on the Info page.

(2) It has been scoped by someone who posts photos that others can use to confirm, and I can readily find the scoped specimens.

(3) The species and its near relatives are well documented in photographs and the distinguishing characters have been articulated and tested against specimens. Genus revisions sometimes provide this kind of specificity, and for common species, the characters can be well documented in field guides.

Otherwise all we're doing is creating look-alike classes. That's helpful, but the classes don't necessarily deserve the scientific names as labels.

Good points, Joe, and as John
Good points, Joe, and as John indicates, these are goals towards which we are working.

But, we have to recognize that "we are mostly just amateurs", meaning, not that we are incapable of making satisfactory determinations, but that few of us are professionally equipped for this purpose. At the same time, however, what many of us do bring to BG is a long-term familiarity with the species within our own region and an experience borne of many hours spent perusing the literature and studying the images posted here. It is true that determinations based solely on habitus images cannot generally be considered 100% certain, but in the case of many species, and depending upon one's experience with a species or genus, this can also be said about many microscopic determinations. The arachnological literature offers numerous examples through the years of 'misidentified', though, so we're in good company, one might say.

That said, the opinions offered here are generally useful and almost always cautiously considered before being offered -- we're all working towards the same goals and every set of eyes is welcome.

I do think we can have it bot
I do think we can have it both ways. We just need to distinguish between specimens identified with respect to reliable external resources and specimens identified by comparison to previously identified specimens on BugGuide.

We run into trouble when a person identifies a specimen by comparing it to a photo that was identified by comparison to another photo that was identified by comparison to another photo that was itself identified by external comparison. We'll end up with character drift. I fear that this has happened with some of the Neoscona species, for example.

I understand that there is an effort to place voucher specimens on the Info page, and that helps a lot, but it would be nice if we could select the means of identification for each specimen, so that a simple database search can separately pull up confirmed specimens and specimens requiring extra attention.

Once we have trusted photos for most of species in a genus, we can examine the photos of confirmed specimens and start articulating distinguishing characters that one might look for that taxonomists may not have documented (given their focus on genitals). We can only do this from confirmed specimens, and if we don't distinguish confirmed specimens we can't ever do this.

I think it's important that we have amateurs posting images and attempting to file them, I agree, but we can go so much further by simply indicating how each specimen was identified and having this searchable.

Good list. I'd add a fourth item: pictures of the palps or epigyne for mature specimens. I try and do this with most of the spiders I post, so that anyone can double-check the ID's. I also link the palp and epigyne photos to the species info page. For example:

Here's a confirmed photo of a male H. coecatus for comparision:

and drawings...

Thanks Kevin. Do you have the
Thanks Kevin. Do you have the Griswold paper? If not, I should be able to get it some time this week.

No, I don't, but happy to hav
No, I don't, but happy to have a copy.


Thanks John. I think I'll go
Thanks John. I think I'll go ahead and collect it anyway, so we can have more confidence in the various photo angles I've taken, just in case there's a similar species.

Sounds good! Maybe you can post some palp photos, too.

Moved from ID Request.

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