Currently viewing the category: "Flatties"
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Subject:  I see these everywhere
Geographic location of the bug:  Southern Florida
Date: 05/07/2019
Your letter to the bugman:  I keep seeing these all over near my house and outside. Can’t identify it. Please help
How you want your letter signed:  Cory

Flattie

Dear Cory,
Spiders in the genus
Selenops are frequently called Flatties, and here is a BugGuide image for comparison.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject:  Found this beauty in my hotel room!
Geographic location of the bug:  Phoenix
Date: 01/14/2019
Time: 07:35 PM EDT
Your letter to the bugman:  I was laying on my bed in my hotel room looking at the ceiling and suddenly realized I was staring at a pretty good sized spider. I called maintenance for a ladder and the guy showed up with a stick and a wad of duct tape inside out on the end of it. I said I wanted it captured alive so we could release it and he promptly handed me the ladder and a trash can. After some coaxing I managed to get it in the can and released it across the street. It’s January in Phoenix, cool weather (65 by day, 40s by night, but since it was inside that might not matter as much). As you can see it has stripes, and it was almost perfectly flat against the ceiling. My guess is fishing spider but wondering what you think. Thanks for your help in advance!
How you want your letter signed:  Erich Walsh

Flattie

Dear Erich,
We have not awarded the Bug Humanitarian Award in some time, but discovering this Spider in a hotel room, calling maintenance and then capturing and releasing the Spider across the street certainly qualifies you as a bug humanitarian.  Your description that “it was almost perfectly flat against the ceiling” is acknowledged by the common name Flattie for Spiders in the family Selenopodidae, genus
Selenops, which can be viewed on BugGuide.  According to BugGuide: “This genus is found throughout the tropics and subtropics worldwide and can be found in southern parts of the U.S. In Sarah Crews’ 2011 paper, it is noted that there are quite a few unsorted specimens from all over the southwest (so it is best not to take the following ranges as concrete).”  Confusing this Flattie for a Fishing Spider is understandable.

Daniel,
Thank you so much for the identification and the bug humanitarian award! That’s good fun and feels great. You deserve an award more than I do though for being a public advocate for nature and helping people be a part of that.
All the best!
Erich
What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

Subject: Is this flattie(?) really Selenops?
Location: Down Rio Chucunaque from Yaviza, Darien, Panama
April 14, 2017 6:33 am
I found this flat spider “squashed” against a small tree trunk in the Darien Gap in Panama. It seems to be the same as or related to the ones in the news a couple years ago that can glide from a treetop back to the trunk, which those articles called Selenops. The spider was 3-4 cm long with legs, and when I finally disturbed it, it scampered nimbly around the tree.
This was in dense forest
Signature: Peter H

Flattie

Dear Peter,
Selenops is a genus in the family Selenopidae, commonly called Flatties, that is also found in North America and is represented on BugGuide where it states:  “Selenops is from Greek selene (σεληνη)- ‘moon’ + ops (ωψ)- ‘eye, face’. Latreille translated it into French as ‘yeux en croissant’ which means ‘eyes in a crescent'” and though there is no diagram on BugGuide, the eyes on your individual do appear in a crescent form.  Additionally the morphology of your individual is very similar to the images posted to BugGuide.  The pedipalps on your individual lead us to believe it is a male Flattie.  Its camouflage is quite remarkable and we can’t believe you actually spotted it in a “dense forest.”  Flatties are hunting spiders that do not build webs.

Flattie

Flattie

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination

flattie!
Location: key largo, fl
December 4, 2011 8:51 pm
Hey guys! Here’s a cool flattie spider hanging out on my bathroom wall. I live in key largo and I was wondering if I could get more specific species info from you 🙂
Signature: wheezy

Flattie

Dear wheezy,
Thanks so much for sending us your photo.  From what we have been able to glean from BugGuide, Flatties are in the family Selenopidae, and new world species seem to all be classified in the genus
Selenops.  According to BugGuide, there are:  “7 species in BugGuide’s range (North America north of Mexico), but many species in Central America that can be possible imports.”  We are unable to provide you with an accurate species identification at the moment.

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Spiders
Location: Masai Mara, Kenya
December 22, 2010 5:01 am
Hi Bugman,
As you mentioned you don’t get many entries from East Africa, here are a few close-ups of the spiders I live with.
Picture 1: A ”Flattie” or ”Wall Spider” from the Family Selenopidae. Selenops spp.

Keep an eye out for more. I’ve got tonnes!
Signature: Zarek

Flattie from Kenya

Hi again Zarek,
We in no way want to discourage you from sending additional images to post to What’s That Bug?, but this particular email contains images of details of the heads of three different spider species, which means we need to divide it into three different posts, each with a truncated version of your email comments.  We are well aware that the eye pattern configuration is a critical identification key to many spiders, but we feel that our readership would benefit much more if this posting contained a shot of the entire spider for comparison as well as a “headshot” detail image.  Our readership would also appreciate a bit more narrative on the individuals, including the circumstances surrounding the sighting and any unusual observations you may have made.  Flatties are awesome spiders that get their common name because they have such a low profile and they and squeeze between tight crevices.  Flatties are nocturnal hunting spiders that do not build a web to snare their prey.  BugGuide has images of some North American species.

Hi Daniel,
I’m sorry. I didn’t even think about the difficulty you would have categorizing each image separately.  Didn’t mean to create extra work for you!
This particular flattie was one of the first spiders that got me properly interested in spiders.  He would sit on the floor next to me while I was sitting on the toilet (too much information??) and just seemed to be watching me.  He had obviously lost a few legs (as is evident in the photo) and so couldn’t move quite as quickly as others of his kind usually can.
As you say, they are usually nocturnal, but I usually saw this guy out in broad daylight.
Since then, I’ve come across many other flatties around my tent, but never had a good opportunity to get another good picture of one with all its legs still attached.

What's That Bug? does not endorse extermination