Diagnoses of genera
of South East Asia: Cryptic salticids, mottled brown or grey,
stealthy and not seen to jump. on tree trunks and mossy rocks in rainforest.
General remarks: Salticids in this group tend to be very cryptic and
live in rainforest habitats although some specimens have been collected in
gardens near rainforest. Those, such as some Spartaeus species, live
on tree trunks and are difficult to spot. These can often be induce give themselves
away by the collector moving his hand over an area close to the tree trun
(a technique often used by entomologists). This long-legged spider does not
jump but moves smoothly and quickly to another position - and even then can
be difficult to spot. Large trees with buttresses, rather than those with
plain rounded bases, seem to be preferred. A colony Neobrettus was
found among dead fronds on a banana free. The first impression gained was
one was looking at a rotting frond with small patches of grey mould starting
to grow. In life, grey hairs on these small salticids stand up on end much
as one sees in certain style of modern hair style. However, it is more likely
that the spider is actually mimicking a particularly unsavoury caterpillar.
Not a great deal is known about the biology of this unusual group. No doubt,
more information would be both rewarding to the observer and much appreciated
by arachnologists in general.
Genus: Cyrba. Cyrba is a small, widespread, old world genus. Three species are recorded from our area but, in his Cyrba revision of 1984, Wanless pointed out that two of them, C. armillata and C szechenyii, did not belong in Cyrba. There remains the widespread species C. ocellata. The top of the cephalothorax is slightly convex with the thorax falling off steeply near the posterior edge. In plan it is longer than wide with the sides almost parallel and the rear edge nearly semicircular. In colour it is brown suffused with black and has a thin band of white hairs along the margin as well as at places on the sides and thoracic slope. The abdomen is elongate oval, slightly rounded at the front and slightly pointed near the spinnerets. It is yellow-brown in colour suffused and mottled black, with patches of white hairs on the shoulders, in the middle, near the spinnerets and on the sides. The legs are moderately long, slender and carrying numerous strong spines. The femora are blackish with black hairs and the other segments yellow-brown suffused with black.Distribution: The range of Cyrba ocellata stretches from East Africa through central and south east Asia to Australia. The well known C. algerina also has a wide range which runs from the Canary Islands through the Mediterranean region to the Himalayas. The other species are located in Africa and Madagascar. Murphy & Murphy 2000: 324-325. By courtesy of the Authors' and the Malaysian Nature Society.
Copyright © for the page by J. Proszynski, 1999.