One big piece of news from Lambir is that we found more Hispo. I previously posted, with great excitement, the news that Edy had found a Hispo female in Mulu. I'm pretty certain it represents a species new to science, but even more exciting, it is the first adult hisponine anyone has found east of India. Well, at Lambir she found the male of the species, the first male hisponine known outside of Africa and Indian Ocean islands. Here's the male -- it looks pretty much like the female.

Male of a Hispo species, new to science

Male of a Hispo species, new to science

Fred Wanless, the last to publish studies of Hispo, noted that the Asian species are quite distinct from the African ones, but since no male specimens were known from Asia, he couldn't make any firm conclusions. Structures specific to males are especially helpful in determining spider relationships. Associated structures in females are harder to study and interpret, and so are not as well understood. Now that we have found a male from Asia, we can finally understand the Asian Hispo species and whether they might in fact be an evolutionary lineage distinct from the African Hispo.

But, it didn't stop there. I found a second species, apparently the species known from Sumatra, Hispo alboguttata. The Sumatran specimen is immature, as, alas, are the two specimens I found. One is photographed here. She's a beauty.

Immature specimen, probably Hispo alboguttata

Immature specimen, probably Hispo alboguttata

Both Edy's species and Hispo alboguttata were found on tree trunks. We looked at many tree trunks, but found only these few specimens. Even though we found no adults of H. alboguttata, it's still invaluable to have these fresh specimens for study. And now, we think we have broken the mystique of Asian Hispo. With our observations on location and habitat, we think it will now be possible for other biologists to find more.

Previously in this series:

Spiders in Borneo: Introduction

Spiders in Borneo: Undiscovered biodiversity

Spiders in Borneo: The guests of honor: Salticidae

Spiders in Borneo: Team Salticid

Spiders in Borneo: Mulu National Park

Spiders in Borneo: Dreaming about salticid spiders

Spiders in Borneo: Jumping spiders in the forest

Spiders in Borneo: Beating around the bushes

Spiders in Borneo: Spiders in leaf litter

Spiders in Borneo: A Vertical Life

Spiders in Borneo: Leeches and eyeballs

Spiders in Borneo: Breaking News!

Spiders in Borneo: Falling from above

Spiders in Borneo: What I carry

Spiders in Borneo: Entangled and pierced

Spiders in Borneo: Scattered literature

Spiders in Borneo: Mulu wrap-up

Spiders in Borneo: Lambir Hills

Spiders in Borneo: Replaying the Tape of Life

Text and images © W. Maddison, under a Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 license (CC-BY)