[Title Page] [List of Genera] Comparison of Drawings] [Regional Keys to Genera] [Descriptions of New Taxa] [Geographical Distribution] [Color Photographs] [Scanning Microphotographs] See also Catalogue of Salticidae [ Title page] List of Genera - names beginning with: A BC DEFG HIJKL MN OPQ RS TUVWXYZ References: Authors beginning with: A BC DEFG HIJKL MN OPQ RS TUVWXYZ [See also Catalogue: Cosmophasis

Salticidae: Diagnostic Drawings Library

by Jerzy Proszynski 1997

Genus Cosmophasis Simon, 1901

Remark: A composite genus, consisting of several apparently not related taxa

Diagnoses of genera of South East Asia: 51.3 Ant mimics, coloured black, brown or amber. Found on shrubs, on plants and in leaf litter. General remarks: Most, and the best, ant mimicking salticids do not prey on ants but appear to gain protection by living close to ants. These spiders are more or less coloured black, brown or amber depending on the colour of the ants they are mimicking. When running with ants, it is the movements that the spider has to make in order to avoid and keep the ants at an acceptably safe distance that signals the presence of the spider. Other, but not nearly so good, ant mimicking spiders actually prey on ants. It is fascinating and rewarding to watch one of these salticids stalking and killing an ant. Another useful clue to the presence of ant mimicking salticids is when an observer sees what appears to be an ant emerging from a silken cell! [However, a number of species of Cosmophasis is colorful and shining, do not seem to mimic ants - J. Proszynski]

Genus: Cosmophasis (5-7; 4-7), PI. 31.1-2. As a result of studying specimens labelled Cosmophasis in various leading museums, it became apparent to Proszynski that at least two distinct genera are involved. Clearly 'the genus is in dire need of revision. In general the cephalothorax is fairly high with the top flat, the thorax sloping quite steeply and the sides very steeply to the margin. In plan the carapace is a broad oval, longer than wide. The abdomen is oval with the anterior somewhat truncate. The legs are longish, slender and moderately spiny. Patterns vary considerably. The carapace of the type species C. thalassina is said to be covered with a mixture of greenish-bronze and copper squamose hairs and some black transverse bands. The abdomen is covered with black-bronze hairs with a white collar at the front that continues beyond halfway along each side. There are some white transverse marks anteriorly. The legs are brownish with more or less black annulations, and carry white and bronze squamose hairs. Although not a particularly good ant mimic, we have observed one blackish, stout species from the Cosmophasis complex living near and preying on ants. To watch the spider stalking and killing its prey is an arachnological spectacular.
Distribution: The present Cosmophasis complex ranges through the tropics from Africa to Australia and some Pacific islands.Murphy & Murphy 2000: 304. By courtesy of the Authors' and the Malaysian Nature Society.

Copyright © for the page by J. Proszynski, 1999. ================================================================

C1. Cosmophasis weyersi (Simon, 1899) Sumatra C. w.: Proszynski 1984c: 154 ( ). C. w.: Proszynski 1985: 77, f. 30-31 ( , probably Siler). C1. Cosmophasis sp Davies, Zabka, 1989 Australia C. sp. Mascord 1970: t. 9, f. 34 ( ) Saitis - "Peacock Spider" Main 1976: t. f. 24 ( ) C. m.: Jackson 1987: (response to silk pheromones) C. sp Davies, Zabka 1989: 246, 247, t. 48 ( , presumably = C. thalassina).