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Opisthoncus tenuipes?

Fact Box
Opisthoncus tenuipes?
(ID derived from a paper by Gardzinska and Zabka but this spider may actually be an undescribed species: see below)
Body length:
female: 5 mm
male: about 4.5 mm
This salticid may be found wandering on green leaves, bark or any other surfaces above ground level, probably using its colour scheme to provide camouflage
This spider is too small to be dangerous to humans
Opisthoncus tenuipes?
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Leg shapes
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Fissident tooth
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Underneath female
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Female epigynum

The identity of the spider presented on this page is uncertain. It clearly is a fissident species, which means it has a tooth on each chelicera that branches into two cusps (points) and of the salticid genera that are accepted as having this arrangement and the general appearance of the above spider the most likely genus is Opisthoncus.

The species name is less certain. The most recent revision of the genus Opisthoncus appears to be the 2013 paper by Gardzinska and Zabka in which there are many colour photos of Australian Opisthoncus species. Unfortunately, they are all of preserved museum specimens which lack the normal colour patterns and surface markings of living specimens. They have also suffered significant damage during storage. In this paper the authors say that "it is likely that Opisthoncus tenuipes and Opisthoncus abnormis represent a single species. However, because of lacking the male type of O. abnormis, this has to be verified on new material." More recent publications seem to be stating that O. tenuipes and O. abnormis are indeed the same species but the World Spider Catalog in July 2017 still lists them as separate species. In this website the latter view is also being maintained because in the Gardzinska/Zabka paper there are clear photos of the cheliceral tooth on each of the two species and they are noticeably different. The fissident tooth that can be seen in one of the above photos seems a better match for that on O. abnormis than the one on O. tenuipes but, conversely, the dorsal markings appear to be more like those of O. tenuipes than the ones on O. abnormis.

Spider(s) with a very similar appearance: None.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 5 July 2017.