Category Archives: Arachnids

Misumenops rapaensis Berland

Austral Crab Spider (Misumenops rapaensis)

This species is obviously the only native species within the crab spider family, that is known to occur on the Austral Islands, where it is endemic to. As far as it is known, this species occurs on the islands of Rapa, Raivavae, Rurutu and Tubuai, where it can be found at all elevations and in nearly all suitable habitats.

Compared with other species of the family, the Austral Crab Spider isn’t much variable in coloration.

It is quite possible, that the several island populations represent distinct species, furthermore the placement of the species within the genus Misumenops seems to be doubtful.


Photo: Antonio Machado; by courtesy of Antonio Machado

Misumenops temihana Garb

Temehani Crab Spider (Misumenops temihana)

This crab spider species lives on the Temehani plateau on the island of Ra’iatea, where it lurks for its prey in the cover of vegetation, well camouflaged by its green coloration.

The species was scientifically described in the year 2006 and named after its typus location, which was erroneously named by the author as Temihana plateau.

The Temehani Crab Spider can also be found on Mt. Turi on the island of Huahine, Ra’iatea’s neighbor.



[1] Jessica E. Garb: A new species of thomisid spider from the Society Islands with a description of the male of Misumenops melloleitaoi (Araneae, Thomisidae). Journal of Arachnology 34: 357-367. 2006



Photo: Anne Duplouy

(under creative commons license (3.0))

Theridion albocinctum Urquhart

White-spotted Theridion Tangle Web Spider (Theridion albocinctum)

This species from New Zealand was described in the year 1892.

It should not be mistaken for Theridion albocinctum Lucas, which is an old synonym for the widely distributed Little White-spotted Malmignatte (Steatoda albomaculata (De Geer)), a species that doesn’t occur in the Polynesian Region.

Pahoroides aucklandica Fitzgerald & Sirvid

Auckland Pahoroides Spider (Pahoroides aucklandica)

The Auckland Pahoroides Spider was scientifically described in the year 2011.

The new species occurs exclusively in the Auckland region (including the island of Tiritiri Matangi) in the northern part of New Zealand’s North Island.



[1] Brian M. Fitzgerald; Philip J. Sirvid: A revision of the genus Pahoroides (Araneae: Synotaxidae). Tuhinga 22: 1-17. 2011



Photo: S. E. Thorpe

(public domain)


edited: 22.01.2017

Argyrodes samoensis O. Pickard-Cambridge

Samoan Dewtrop Spider (Argyrodes samoensis)


Samoa: ‘Upolu
Society Islands: Mo’orea, Tahiti

local names: –


The Samoan Dewtrop Spider was described in 1880.

The species occurs from New Caledonia and Vanuatu in Melanesia to western – and central Polynesia, where it is known from Niue, Samoa, the Society Islands and Tonga.


Photo: Anne Duplouy 

(under creative commons license (3.0))


edited: 14.12.2018

Pahoroides confusa Fitzgerald & Sirvid

Confused Pahoroides Spider (Pahoroides confusa)

This species, from New Zealand’s North Island, was described in the year 2011.

The species epithet refers to the inclusion of this species in the original description of another species, the Whangarei Pahoroides Spider (Pahoroides whangarei Forster).

Both species share the same habitat, whereby the Confused Pahoroides Spider seems to require more moisture conditions than the other species.



[1] Brian M. Fitzgerald; Philip J. Sirvid: A revision of the genus Pahoroides (Araneae: Synotaxidae). Tuhinga 22: 1-17. 2011



Photo: Te Papa Tongarewa

(under creative commons license (3.0))


edited: 22.01.2017

Tetragnatha marquesiana Berland

Marquesan Long-jawed Spider (Tetragnatha marquesiana)

The five, currently known, species of Long-jawed Spider species from the Marquesas are closely related to each other and descent from a common ancestor.

All Long-jawed Spider populations from the different island groups can each be traced back to independent colonization events from the nearest mainland, thus the species from the Hawai’i Islands descent from North and those from the Marquesas probably from Central America. The species group from the Society Islands, however, seems to be closest related to the species from Australasia.

Before the year 2003 the Marquesan Long-jawed Spider was considered the only species in its genus native to the Marquesas, it was already described in the year 1935.

In contrast to the species described later, the Marquesan Long-jawed Spider seems to occur on several islands, as it is known from Nuku Hiva, Ua Huka as well as Ua Pou. It is quite abundant in the higher areas of the islands, where it builds its webs mostly in the mossy crevices in the lower parts of the trees. [1][2]



[1] R. G. Gillespie: Biogeography of spiders on remote oceanic islands of the Pacific: archipelagoes as stepping stones? Journal of Biogeography 29: 655-662. 2002
[2] R. G. Gillespie: Marquesan spiders of the genus Tetragnatha (Araneae, Tetragnathidae). The Journal of Arachnology 31: 62-77. 2003


edited: 01.03.2016

Orsonwelles torosus (Simon)

Waimea Sheet Weaver (Orsonwelles torosus)

The Waimea Sheet Weaver is known only from a single, female specimen, that was collected in the 1890’s years by the famous R. C. L. Perkins, a British entomologist, noted for his work on the invertebrate fauna of the Hawaiian Islands.

This sole specimen is labelled only with the place name ‘Waimea’, a name that can be found on several of the Hawaiian Islands, however, it is very likely that the spider came from the Waimea region on the island of Kaua’i.

The Waimea Sheet Weaver was never found again, and is now considered most likely extinct.


Specimens, that were collected on the neighbor islands of Hawai’i, Maui, Moloka’i, and O’ahu, and which formerly were assigned to this species, were subsequently recognized and described as distinct species.



[1] Gustavo Hormiga: Orsonwelles, a new genus of giant linyphiid spiders (Araneae) from the Hawaiian Islands. Invertebrate Systematics 16. 369-448. 2002



Depiction from: ‘Fauna Hawaiiensis; being the Land-Fauna of the Hawaiian Islands. by various Authors, 1899-1913. Cambridge [Eng.]: The University Press 1913’