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,