Hamataliwa Grisea

Admission time here: I used to think that jumping spiders were the epitome of cuteness, but that was before I met my first lynx spider. This is Hamataliwa grisea, a tiny (1cm) lynx spider which suffers from a scandalous lack of common name. Bugguide.net contributors have called it a “bark lynx spider” and “not a jumper”, but the contributor of the picture that made me fall in love with this species called it the “pussycat lynx spider”, and can you blame that person OMG.

Lynx spiders, in general, hunt much like jumping spiders do: ambush hunters which hunt by sight. They all share the same eye configuration: a hexagonal configuration of six similarly-sized eyes around the top of the prosoma (head, more or less), and then two tiny ones facing forward (they look like nostrils in the photo above). They also all share that peculiar, flat face, caused by the big, fat chelicerae, which makes them look like somewhat puzzled, grumpy old men.

Lynx spiders, as a whole, are more social than other spiders, which generally means that they don’t actively hunt each other for food, but at least one species is so social they live in colonies with communal feeding and cooperative brood care.

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