I have a problem.
The problem is that regardless of the wealth of information available on the internet, that available on Afrotropical invertebrates is rather more of a poverty. This isn't quite so troublesome for more universally popular animals such as butterflies, but where it comes to just about anything else, I seem incapable of getting beyond family without assistance.
Spiders are proving particularly troubling - and, jumping spiders being particularly diverse, they are especially so. And so I turn here...
Uncertain as to whether any progress is likely, I'd sooner not fill up the forum with threads on unidentifiable spiders, so until I learn the chances of a firmer identification, I'm going to upload in threads per family (if I can)
First: This bears a resemblance to imaged of Thyena inflata, but I don't know whether this is a particularly distinctive species, so a resemblance may be meaningless. Chongwe District, Lusaka Province. August 2011
Second: No idea, but it looks like I miniature Toy Pom. Chongwe again, August 2011.
Third: Possibly Menemerus? Chongwe in August, yet again (a pattern develops). I did (rarely) take images of alternate angles.
Fourth: No idea again. Still Chongwe. September 2011.
Fifth: Still no idea, but this time Lusaka city, in October 2011. I also have an image showing the face of this one, if it helps.
6: Chongwe District, August again.
7: Chongwe District, September 2011. Tiny one (most have been 4-7mm, length without legs, this one probably 3. Has a passing resemblance to Heliophanus.
8: Chongwe, September 2011.
9: Indoors, Chongwe in September. Quite a biggie - pushing 8mm. Photo quite poor, so progress not really expected on this one.
10: Another indoor one, seen from September to November 2011, still Chongwe. Largest of all (possibly 11mm without legs)Going to suggest Holcolaetis?
Last one, Chongwe District, September 2011.
I think your shots are great and I am a huge fan of Jumping Spiders. I think that although it may be extremely frustrating you will have to catch the clever little blighters in a clear container that will enable you to photograph them (perhaps over a 1mm scale like graph paper) all in similar well lit conditions. This way you can get shots of the cephalothorax, abdomen and underside too.
Best wishes and good luck. Lewis
I suspected that the limited views might hamper any identification. I had tried to get more angles, but as you note, they are clever little things and tend to keep themselves looking at you or - if that's impossible - leave.
I shall try plastic containers next time I'm abroad, or if and when the local ones (UK) decide that it's warm enough to exist.
Thanks for that,
For the sake of completeness, over two years later, there are a few updates to be made to this post:
1 - Thyene, possibly Thyene inflata. Possibly.
2 - Rhene sp.
3 - remains unidentified
4 - could be Phintella
5 - seems to be Phintella aequipes
6 - should be Thyene ogdeni
7 - could be Heliophanus
8 remains completely unidentified. But possibly close to Thyene
9 - probably Holcolaetis, of which it seems close to H. vellerea.
10 - also Holcolaetis, looks like H. zuluensis, but without closer examination could equally be H. xerampelina.
11 - Brancus mustelus
I'm glad you found ID's for most of your photos. I recently created a website for South African Salticidae : www.jumpingspiders.co.za
Perhaps it can be of help in the future. :-)
Vida van der Walt
Sorry Will, I've just seen that you already know about my website and that you have signed the guestbook (if you are the person that signed as William van Niekerk)
Thank you for the lovely comments. :-)
All the best
I had already found your wonderful website, and that was my giddy comment; it's an incredible and beautiful website, and I hope it doesn't sound weird that I'm very honoured to know that you actually read my post
If it's not presuming, this little spider was common around Lusaka over the Christmas period; it looks like Asemonea to me (based on your images and Proszynski's pages, but although it seemed very consistent in this colouring, I can't find any descriptions of Asemonea which tally, and cuprea - the closest by geography and sharing some features of its description - isn't similar enough to seem likely. Could you tell me if I'm completely barking up the wrong tree?
Thanks again for your website, and for taking the time to post here.
I'm not an expert but your beautiful spider definitely looks like an Asemonea sp. to me. Unfortunately I can't help with the species. I have however found that it is sometimes difficult to ID species from descriptions (apparently the spiders lose some of their colour when placed in alcohol and by the time the taxonomists describe a species the colours may be different from when the spider was alive). There could also be colour variation within the same species. I once caught a light, lime green Asemonea and when I wanted to photograph it a couple of days later, the colours of the spider had changed completely (see the male Asemonea clara on my website).
Wish I could be of more help.
I'm very glad that you enjoy and use my website.
All the best.