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Mastigusa arietina  (Thorell, 1871)
≤ 1900   1901-1979   1980-2005   2006 ≤
Description: Small/mediumsized pinkish-brown spider with faint chevrons. The male palp has giant lamellae which curve back over the cephalothorax. Size: Female 3-3.5 mm; male 3-3.5 mm.

Genus: Mastigusa Menge, 1854. Characters of genus:

This genus contains three species of which two are closely related and may just be two races of the same species. For the time being they are considered the same species here and in this case the oldest valid name is arietina. The two species or races differ only in the arrangement and size of the eyes. The genus has had a chequered career, both in relation the name and family to sort under. For the time being the genus is assigned to Dictynidae but this may very well change in the future. Both species are associated with ant nests wherein they breed, on the condition that the nests are not too compact.



Family: Hahniidae Bertkau, 1878 (Lesser Cobweb Spiders). Characters of family: The members of Hahniidae belong to the group of entelegyne ecribellate spider families having 8 eyes and 3 tarsal claws. The eyes are equal-sized and arranged in 2 rows of 4 with both eye rows slightly procurved. The most important character for this family is the transversely arranged row of spinners being clearly visible with a lens. The outermost (posterior) pair of spinners is long and two-segmented. The carapace is longer than wide and narrowed in head region. Sometimes there are indistinct striae radiating from the short fovea and in front of this the head region often shows reticulations. The carapace is very glossy in many species due to lack of hairs except for some forward directed ones in the midline of the head region. Lateral side of chelicerae with stridulating ridges, these are more strongly developed in males. The labium is wider than long. The legs are short but nevertheless they are fast runners. There are few spines and the trichobothria are arranged in a row as in the Agelenidae in which family some genera of Hahniidae used to belong. The female palp is furnished with a claw, which is usually toothless. The abdomen is oval and often uniformly coloured in shades of brown with some lighter coloured species having clear chevrons while these are being more indistinct in darker species. The tracheal spiracle is situated one-third to halfway from the spinners to the epigastric fold. The epigyne is flat and small. Often curved ducts and spermathecae are visible and the overall impression is rather characteristic for the family despite great variation in the shape of epigynes between species. The male palp is furnished with both a patellar and a tibial apophysis and the shape of both are important characters when identifying species under the stereomicroscope.
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