Most of the 182 species in the spider family Desidae (saltwater spiders) are found in Australia and the South Pacific (Platnick 2013). In North America north of Mexico, there is one native species and one species originally from Australia. The small and inconspicuous spiders of the native species, Paratheuma insulana, are intertidal and found in coral rubble in southern Florida (Florida Keys) and the Caribbean; they have also been reported from oyster beds at low tide along the Gulf coast of northern Florida. These spiders remain in their silken retreats during high tide and emerge at night during low tide to hunt (no web is built). The introduced species, Badumna longinqua (formerly known as Ixeuticus martius), is a large dark spider that in North America is found in and around buildings in coastal California and Oregon (Ubick 2005; Simó et al. 2011). It spins conspicuous, messy webs (including a silken retreat) and is capable of delivering a painful, if not medically serious, bite (Isbister and Gray 2004) (Bradley 2013). The only other Nearctic representative of this family is the nocturnal Paratheuma interaesta, from around the Sea of Cortez (Gulf of California) in Sonora, Mexico, which lives along rocky shores and builds retreats in empty barnacle shells (Roth and Brown 1975; Ubick 2005). Ubick briefly reviewed the confusing taxonomic history of some of the spiders now placed in the Desidae (Ubick 2005 and references therein).
- Roth, V.D. and W.L. Brown. 1975. A new genus of Mexican intertidal zone spider (Desidae) with biological and behavioral notes. American Museum Novitates No. 2568.
- Beatty, J.A. and J.M. Berry. 1988. The spider genus Paratheuma (Araneae, Desidae). Journal of Arachnology 16: 47-54.
- Beatty, J.A. and J.M. Berry. 1989. Four new species of Paratheuma (Araneae, Desidae) from the Pacific. Journal of Arachnology 16: 339-347.
- Bradley, R.A. 2013. Common Spiders of North America. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Isbister, G.K. and M.R. Gray. 2004. Black house spiders are unlikely culprits in necrotic arachnidism: a prospective study. Internal Medicine Journal 34: 287-289.
- Platnick, N. I. 2013. The world spider catalog, version 14.0. American Museum of Natural History, online at http://research.amnh.org/entomology/spiders/catalog/index.html
- Platnick, N.I. 1977. Notes on the spider genus Paratheuma Bryant (Arachnida: Araneae). Journal of Arachnology 3: 199-201.
- Simó, M., Á. Laborda, C. Jorge, J. Carlos Guerrero, M. Alves Diasa and M. Castro. 2011. Introduction, distribution and habitats of the invasive spider Badumna longinqua (L. Koch, 1867) (Araneae: Desidae) in Uruguay, with notes on its world dispersion. Journal of Natural History 45 (27-28): 1637-1648.
- Ubick, D. 2005. Desidae. Pp. 93-94 in D. Ubick, P. Paquin, P.E. Cushing, and V. Roth (eds.) Spiders of North America: an Identification Manual. American Arachnological Society.
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