Marpissa formosa (Banks, 1892) - Jumping Spider
In his revision of the Marpissinae, Barnes laments the fact that Eugène Simon (a French arachnologist and taxonomist 1848-1924) and the Americans George and Elizabeth Peckham
created a vast number of salticid genera based largely on the structure of the carapace and seemingly without regard to the genitalia. While I am not qualified to judge one taxonomist's criticism of others, from an historical perspective the Peckhams' work forms the foundation of salticid studies in North America. Between 1883 and 1909, when they published their Revision of the Attidae of North America, the couple co-authored over 20 papers on jumping spiders. In their 1888 Attidae the Peckhams acknowledge Hentz's primary importance among earlier workers. The Peckhams' copy of Hentz's collected works is one of the few surviving documents with their original field notes. Jass suggests the Hentz volume was their primary source despite the near total absence of palp and epigynum drawings. Comparing the two works (Hentz, 1875 and Peckhams, 1909) the wonder to me is not that the Peckhams created some problems for future taxonomists but that they were able to transform Hentz's relatively short descriptions into their own detailed accounts that include synonomies and physical descriptions as well as a variety of well executed illustrations (most by J.H. Emerton) and records for the majority of North American salticids.
Peckhams, 1888, 1909; Jass, 2009; Richman, 2008
Massachusetts - First State / County Records
- ♦ - Marpissa formosa - Massachusetts - Barnes, 1958: 5
- ♦ *T. Murray - M. f. - Essex (Salisbury), ♀ May 2011, ♂ September 2011 - BugGuide nodes 512104 & 576449
- ♦ Connecticut - Kaston, 1948, no records
- *I was able to video both of these spiders thanks to Tom Murray. See "Video" tab here.
Barnes, 1958. North American Jumping Spiders of the Sub-family Marpissinae (Araneae,Salticidae). American Museum Novitates: 1867: 1-50.