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'Maratus' scutulatus

Fact Box
'Maratus' scutulatus
(The generic name of this spider is presently uncertain. An earlier name was Lycidas but this has now been superseded: see below)
Body length:
female: 7 mm
male: 5 mm
On the bark of trees but also on green leaves and other surfaces
A bite may cause local pain/inflammation or even mild illness and mostly occurs when the spider is trapped in clothing
'Maratus' species
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Colour variations
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Another female
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The male
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Male, front view

This species has had several names in the past, including Sigytes scutulata (RM). In October 2016 the website which has taken over the Proszynski salticid catalogue, showed it as Lycidas scutulatus and in June 2017 the World Spider Catalog listed it as 'Maratus' scutulatus, having now deleted all Lycidas entries.

Quite a few expert arachnologists have been arguing for decades as to the correct name for the salticid that was originally called Ergane scutulata in 1881 but later became Lycidas scutulatus then later still 'Maratus' scutulatus. Now in 2017 it is being suggested that this species is actually a version of Hypoblemum albovittatum although the World Spider Catalog does not yet show this suggested name change. It is true that the spider that used to be called Lycidas scutulatus does have much in common with the genus Hypoblemum, including the banding of the legs and an orange fringe around the eyes (on the males only). So maybe it is appropriate to change its generic name to Hypoblemum. However, the male shown in the above photos is definitely not the same as the male of Hypoblemum albovittatum. The legs of the male of this spider and H. albovittatum are banded but those of the females are not. In addition, the male and the H. albovittatum male have an orange fringe around the eyes that is missing on the females. However, while the abdominal markings of both the male and the last female shown above have the same abdominal pattern it is very different from that on H. albovittatum. It should also be noted that the male and female specimens supplied for this page by Beth Shaw were both photographed at the same time and were only about 10 cm apart so they are unquestionably the male and female of the same species.

Spider(s) with a similar appearance: None.

Email Ron Atkinson for more information.    Last updated 1 November 2017.