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the web of life in southern Africa

Hamataliwa (dome-headed lynx spiders)

Life > Eukaryotes > Opisthokonta > Metazoa (animals) > Bilateria > Ecdysozoa > Panarthropoda > Tritocerebra > Arthropoda > Arachnomorpha > Cheliceriformes > Chelicerata > Euchelicerata > Arachnida > Araneae > Araneomorpha > Family: Oxyopidae (lynx spiders)

Not much is written abut the genus Hamataliwa. They are small to medium spiders (4-10mm) with a squat body resembling some genera of the Thomisidae (crab spiders). The cephalic area is broad, as opposed to the more pointed heads of the other genera, with the typical ocular eye arrangement. The first two pairs of legs are not enlarged, thus separating it from the Thomisidae. The leg spines appear to be more acute and not as erect as the typical Oxyopids and often having lateral setaceous fringes giving the legs a hairy appearance. The legs recede in size from the first, the longest, to the hind legs the smallest, normally the 3rd pair is shortest. The carapace is dark brown to maroonish with the legs similarly coloured. The abdomen is oval, sometimes truncated. The abdomen of some species has a dorsal protuberance resembling a thorn or broken twig. Hamataliwa utilizes Thomisid tactics by waiting on a branch or on bark, often mimicking a knot, bud or thorn, then ambushes passing insects. They appear not to jump (or only rarely) while some species are reported to be terrestrial.

Text by Norman Larsen .