See also: Colaxes nitidiventris] - possible congener
Diagnoses of genera
of South East Asia: 51.4 Colourful mimics of ?wasps or ?beetles.
Found on shrubs.
Genus: Marengo. This genus consists of small spiders whose shape and colour pattern suggest they are mimicking some creature. Some authors suggest they mimic ants or even pseudoscorpions, but we remain unconvinced. Typically the cephalothorax is flattish and in plan is longer than wide. It is widest just behind the rear eyes, tapering gradually to a wide truncate front and forms a broadening oval to the rear. The texture varies from a covering of piliferous papillae to a honeycomb of piliferous ridges. The abdomen is flattish and oval, slightly truncate at the front. Males have a complete dorsal scutum. The colour of both carapace and abdomen varies from uniform dark brown in some species to light brown with transverse yellow bands in other species. The front legs are large, sometimes even enormous, compared with the other legs which are of normal size. The front legs are usually folded and jutting sideways. Indeed their shape suggests that it is almost impossible for the front legs to be straightened out. The front tibiae are always enlarged and the tarsi and metatarsi always small, whilst the femora and patellae are often, but not always, enlarged. The front tibiae and metatarsi respectively carry, ventrally, 3 pairs and 2 pairs of short, stout, black spines. The front tibiae also carry ventrally a substantial fringe of black hairs. The front legs are dark, usually brown whilst the other legs are essentially yellow with some black or brown marks. For salticids with swollen front legs, it is curious how often this kind of leg pattern and colouring occurs. Because of some of the variation encountered, Wanless, in his Marengo revision of 1978, began to wonder if all the species that he had considered were in fact congeneric even though they were clearly very closely related.
Distribution: Marengo is a tropical genus known from Africa to Borneo, with most species coming from Sri Lanka. Murphy & Murphy 2000: 311. By courtesy of the Authors' and the Malaysian Nature Society.
Copyright © for the page by J. Proszynski, 2000.