Spiders have become an important model to study the evolution of sociality, but a lack of their detailed natural history and taxonomy hinders broader comparative studies. Group-living crab spiders (Thomisidae) provide an excellent contrast to other social spiders since they lack a communal capture web, which was thought to be a critical factor in the evolution of sociality. Only three non-webbuilding crab-spider species are known to be subsocial or social, all of which belong to the genus Diaea Thorell, 1869. The aim of this study is to describe the social lifestyle of Xysticus bimaculatus L. Koch, 1867 for the first time. Furthermore, we present a detailed re-description of this species and discuss its taxonomic implications. Like other subsocial crab spiders, X. bimaculatus builds nests from tree leaves. Nests contain up to 38 spiders and sometimes several adult females, indicating the species may be at a transitory stage between subsociality and permanent sociality.
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- Female care
- Social spider