Formalities of the Plexippina

A bit of formality: The traditional taxonomic classification has families, genera, and species. Sometimes, a family is divided into subfamilies, and the subfamilies into tribes. Within the jumping spider tribe Plexippini, there are even subtribes, one of which is the Plexippina. This species-rich group is ubiquitous in Eurasia and Africa.

The Plexippina deserve a bit of formality, as the males of one of the most familiar species, Plexippus paykulli, wears a sharp tuxedo of black and white. In Singapore we found plenty of other species of plexippines, most with more relaxed — or outrageous — attire. Among the most outrageous is the very large jelly-green Artabrus:

Adult male Artabrus, a large green member of the Plexippini.

I had never seen a living Artabrus before, and I was thrilled. Contrasting against its greenness were two orange-and-black species of Pancorius:

Two orange-and-black Pancorius species

A big and a little Evarcha from Pulau Ubin were of special interest for the colour vision study, as we suspect some African Evarcha can distinguish red:

Two species of Evarcha, to the same scale, both males.

In the Americas we have only two native species of Plexippini, both Evarcha, and so it’s quite a treat to see so much plexippine diversity. Here are a few of the other plexippines we found in Singapore.

A sampling of plexippines from Singapore

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