Heriaeus Simon, 1875

Niekerk, P. van & Dippenaar-Schoeman, A. S., 2013, A revision of the crab spider genus Heriaeus Simon, 1875 (Araneae: Thomisidae) in the Afrotropical Region, African Invertebrates 54 (2), pp. 447-447 : 448-451

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https://doi.org/ 10.5733/afin.054.0213



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scientific name

Heriaeus Simon, 1875


Genus Heriaeus Simon, 1875 View in CoL View at ENA

Heriaeus: Simon 1875: 203 View in CoL ; Lessert 1919: 137; Lawrence 1942: 159; Levy 1973: 135; Loerbroks 1983: 95; Ono 1988: 170.

Type species: Thomisus hirtus Latreille, 1819 , designated by ICZN (1988).

When describing Heriaeus, Simon (1875) included three species in the genus but did not designate a type species. Twenty years later, Simon (1895) designated Thomisus hirsutus Walckenaer, 1826 as the type species but it turned out to be a junior synonym of T. hirtus Latreille, 1819 . Simon (1918) then designated a new type for Heriaeus , H. oblongus Simon, 1918 . However, after Loerbroks (1983) had revised the genus, a recommendation was made by Kraus and Loerbroks to recognize Thomisus hirtus as the type species of Heriaeus (ICZN 1988) .

Diagnosis: Heriaeu s is characterized by the body and legs covered with erect setae and long hairs ( Fig. 1 View Figs 1–9 ); the eyes are borne on small tubercles, with LE tubercles larger than those of the ME; both eye rows are recurved; the abdomen is round to oval with indistinct markings; the male palp with VTA short, digitiform; RTA elongated, with distal tooth ( Fig. 14 View Figs 14–21 ); ITA sometimes present ( Fig. 36 View Figs 30–36 ); the embolus is variable in length; female with epigynal area raised, dome-shaped area with hood ( Fig. 16 View Figs 14–21 ). No distinct sexual dimorphism between sexes, except males smaller in size with relatively longer legs.


Body size: Females 3.2–6.0 mm, males 2.5–3.8 mm.

Colour: Live specimens creamish white to greyish white, in some species carapace and legs pale green and abdomen with pink tint; body colour fades in alcohol to cream or yellow-brown; body setae vary from white to almost translucent ( Fig. 1 View Figs 1–9 ) to dark ( Fig. 6 View Figs 1–9 ); species with white setae usually with darker setae scattered in-between, especially on abdomen; base of white setae frequently darker, giving body a spotted appearance ( Fig. 10 View Figs 10–13 ); carapace in all species with two broad brown longitudinal stripes stretching from eye region to posterior border ( Fig. 2 View Figs 1–9 ), except H. madagascar sp. n., with median broad stripe; these stripes vary from very distinct to faded; in species with less distinct brown stripes, two white irregular V-shaped markings usually present ( Fig. 9 View Figs 1–9 ); clypeus of some species with white markings or a white line; chelicerae frequently with dark bands anteriorly; eye region white or brown with eye tubercles greyish white; abdomen cream to yellow-brown, mottled with white, brown or blackish brown, some with a white pattern of longitudinal and cross lines; variably shaped brown markings on abdomen, leg segments, palpi and sternum.

Setae: Carapace covered in long, erect setae; eye region with strong, long setae; clypeal edge with six long erect setae, except H. madagascar sp. n. with only four. Abdomen strongly pilose, dorsum usually covered with dense long setae, in some species interspersed with a number of dark setae in a fixed pattern in posterior half ( Fig. 9 View Figs 1–9 ); shape of setae varies from club-shaped ( Fig. 2 View Figs 1–9 ) to long with blunt tips ( Fig. 6 View Figs 1–9 ) to short, medium or long and spiniform with acute tips ( Fig. 1 View Figs 1–9 ); abdomen laterally and ventrally with shorter setae and hairs.

Carapace: Longer than wide; anteriorly obtuse, narrower in eye region, posteriorly with slight declivity ( Fig. 11 View Figs 10–13 ); fovea indistinct; clypeus narrow; sternum shield-shaped, longer than wide, with brown or transparent hairs along edge; mouthparts with endites long with rounded tips, longer than wide; labium and endites with scattered short hairs or setae; cheliceral furrow edentate; dorsal surfaces of chelicerae with variable number of short, thick, erect setae. Eyes: Both rows recurved; PER less recurved than AER; eyes on small raised tubercles, LE tubercles twice as high as those of ME tubercles; PME closer together than to PLE; LE 1.5–2.0× the size of ME; AME usually smaller than PME; MOQ trapezoid, narrower anteriorly than posteriorly, or equal.

Abdomen: Round-oval; anteriorly obtuse; ventro-laterally with longitudinal striae ( Fig. 6 View Figs 1–9 ); venter smooth centrally, with short fine hairs; spinnerets short, conical, anterior and posterior spinnerets same length.

Legs: Formula I–II–IV–III; legs I and II of males twice as long or longer than hind legs ( Fig. 5 View Figs 1–9 ); legs long with numerous hairs, setae and strong spines; femora I dorsally bearing strong setae in both sexes; also on femora II of males; females with variable number (3–5 pairs) of strong paired spines on ventral surface of tibiae and metatarsi I and II; tibiae, metatarsi and tarsi I and II with a fringe of long fine hairs in H. crassispinus ( Fig. 5 View Figs 1–9 ); tarsi with two claws and reduced claw tufts.

Female palp: Tibia and tarsus bearing short dark setae, more abundant and stronger on dorsal surfaces; tarsus slender.

Female genitalia: Epigyne simple; genital area may be slightly sclerotized, raised and dome-shaped, with hood and epigynal opening of various shapes; two small posterior sclerotized marks close to each other indicate position of internal fertilization ducts; copulatory duct and spermathecae long and tubular ( Fig. 25 View Figs 22–29 ) or S-shaped ( Fig. 21 View Figs 14–21 ).

Male palp: VTA short, two-lobed, or digitiform and curved; RTA longer, elongated, with protuberance(s) and with short or long distal tooth ( Fig. 23 View Figs 22–29 ); ITA present in H. madagascar sp. n. ( Fig. 36 View Figs 30–36 ); cymbium rounded, longer than wide; bulb circular, without apophysis; embolus short or long, winding once or less around tegulum; embolus tip darkly sclerotized, slender or broad, straight or with U-shaped curve, often resting in a shallow cavity against cymbium.

Distribution:Afrotropical, Oriental and Palaearctic regions. In the Afrotropics it is newly recorded for Botswana, Burundi, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Ethiopia, Madagascar, Malawi, Mozambique, Namibia, Rwanda, Senegal, Swaziland, Tanzania, Yemen, Zaire and Zimbabwe.

Natural history: Little is known about general behaviour of the spiders. Specimens have been collected from shrubs, trees and grass, mainly from the Forest, Savanna, Grassland and Fynbos biomes using beating, sweeping, hand collection and fogging. They have also been sampled with pitfall traps from the soil surface. A few specimens were collected in agro-ecosystems such as cotton and strawberries.












Heriaeus Simon, 1875

Niekerk, P. van & Dippenaar-Schoeman, A. S. 2013

Heriaeus: Simon 1875: 203

ONO, H. 1988: 170
LOERBROKS, A. 1983: 95
LEVY, G. 1973: 135
LAWRENCE, R. F. 1942: 159
LESSERT, R. DE 1919: 137
SIMON, E. 1875: 203
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