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
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.