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.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
Specimens with Sequences:29
Specimens with Barcodes:29
Species With Barcodes:4
The intertidal spiders (family Desidae) live in a very unusual location — between the tides. Once thought to be limited to the Southern Hemisphere, members of this family in the genus Paratheuma were discovered in northern Sonora and the Florida Keys during the last half of the 20th Century. The family has been reevaluated in recent years and now includes inland genera and species as well. Members of the genus Paratheuma commonly live in barnacle shells, which they seal up with silk. This allows them to maintain an air bubble during high tide. These intertidal spiders feed on various small arthropods that live in the intertidal zone.
- Badumna Thorell, 1890 (Australasia, USA, Paraguay)
- Canala Gray, 1992 (New Caledonia)
- Cicirra Simon, 1886 (Tasmania)
- Colcarteria Gray, 1992 (Australia)
- Desis Walckenaer, 1837 (Africa, Oceania, Australiaasia, Galapagos)
- Epimecinus Simon, 1908 (Australia, New Caledonia)
- Forsterina Lehtinen, 1967 (Australia, New Caledonia)
- Gasparia Marples, 1956 (New Zealand)
- Gohia Dalmas, 1917 (New Zealand)
- Goyenia Forster, 1970 (New Zealand)
- Hapona Forster, 1970 (New Zealand)
- Helsonia Forster, 1970 (New Zealand)
- Hulua Forster & Wilton, 1973 (New Zealand)
- Laestrygones Urquhart, 1894 (New Zealand, Tasmania)
- Lamina Forster, 1970 (New Zealand)
- Lathyarcha Simon, 1908 (Australia)
- Mangareia Forster, 1970 (New Zealand)
- Matachia Dalmas, 1917 (New Zealand)
- Mesudus Özdikmen, 2007 (New Zealand) - replacement name for Manawa Forster, 1970)
- Myro O. P-Cambridge, 1876 (Tasmania, New Zealand)
- Namandia Lehtinen, 1967 (Tasmania)
- Neomyro Forster & Wilton, 1973 (New Zealand)
- Notomatachia Forster, 1970 (New Zealand)
- Nuisiana Forster & Wilton, 1973 (New Zealand)
- Ommatauxesis Simon, 1903 (Tasmania)
- Otagoa Forster, 1970 (New Zealand)
- Panoa Forster, 1970 (New Zealand)
- Paramatachia Dalmas, 1918 (Australia)
- Paratheuma Bryant, 1940 (USA, Oceania, Korea, Japan)
- Phryganoporus Simon, 1908 (Australia)
- Pitonga Davies, 1984 (Australia)
- Porteria Simon, 1904 (Chile)
- Rapua Forster, 1970 (New Zealand)
- Syrorisa Simon, 1908 (New Caledonia, Australia)
- Taurongia Hogg, 1901 (Australia)
- Toxops Hickman, 1940 (Tasmania)
- Toxopsoides Forster & Wilton, 1973 (New Zealand)
- Tuakana Forster, 1970 (New Zealand)
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