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Damoetas nitidus (L. Koch, 1880) Shining Damoetas

Damoetas is one of the more obscure genera of spiders in the ant mimicking containing also Ligonipes, Rhombonotus, and Myrmarachne. Damoetas nitidus is a small spider, the body length of female about 3mm, rarely 4mm, the male 2.5-3mm. This spider has an abdomen longer than the cephalothorax, relatively short legs without any damatically swollen sections or clumps of fringing hairs, and the middle row of eyes can be closer to the front row of eyes than the rear row. They are small (up to 4mm) and very ant-like in shape and movement. They do not seem to jump at all. The males, according to Zabka and Davies, have curved chelicerae. The name nitidus means shining brightly. This may refer to the pair of bright white stripes across the abdomen of the female. This species also seems To have yellow palps. Damoetas nitidus was originally described by L. Koch as Scirtetes nitidus in 1879 but the generic name had already been used for a mammal so it had to be changed. This species appears restricted to Australia though other Damoetas spp. are found in Indonesia and elsewhere (Zabka, Prˇszyński) and a cluster of species appears to be found in the Queensland wet tropics (Rix, pers. comm.)

Male adult, body length 2mm, facing 05-01-10


Damoetus
Photo: Robert Whyte

Female adult from directly above


Damoetas
Photo: Robert Whyte

Female adult from above, facing


Damoetus nitidus
Photo: Robert Whyte

Female adult, from above, facing up 18-02-10


Damoetus nitidus
Photo: Robert Whyte

 

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