19 de novembro de 2023

North Carolina trapdoor spiders (Ummidia)

Some information I gleaned in attempting to confirm an ID recently--putting it here for reference:

Ummidia audouini seems to be the widespread species in much of the East, but I just looked at a recent taxonomic revision, and there are some caveats. Males can be keyed, perhaps, with a specimen and close examination. Females, generally cannot be identified to species.
Helpfully, Godwin and Bond (2021) note: "Ummidia audouini can be differentiated from all other co-occurring species in the eastern United States by the presence of a brush on the retrolateral face of tarsus IV and being relatively larger and hairier than other species."
The recently described Ummidia neilgaimani has been noted from the Appalachian region, including in North Carolina. Seems there are other species found in the deep south, with ranges not well known.
BugGuide now lists all records at genus level, a practice that perhaps should be followed in iNaturalist, but I will defer to spider experts on that.
Arachnids of North Carolina lists four species of Ummidia for the state: Ummidia audouini, U. carabivora, U. neilgaimani, and U. rongodwini; plus records unidentified to species.

Posted on 19 de novembro de 2023, 03:40 PM by cotinis cotinis | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário

11 de outubro de 2023

origin of name "Liatris"

I love etymology of plant and insects names, so here goes...

Coffey (1993) and online sources note that the origin of the genus name "Liatris" is obscure. Guessing there was an interchange of "i" and "l" at some point, I might speculate it is from Greek "iatros" = physician. (The plant was long reputed to have therapeutic properties.) Poking around the Internet, I do see mention of a Greek combining form of that root as "-liatros".
" Heliatros means one who not only cuts corns, but who treats them in every regard. Tyliatros means the same in the modern Greek sense and is today used in Athens to signify what the English-speaking people call a chiropodist." (Lewi, 1914)
Edit. A good source on etymology in biology is The Century Dictionary. Its says:
Liatris. [NL (J.C.D. Schreber, 1774); origin unknown]

I've run this by a botanist I know and will see if they have any ideas on further research that could be done.


  • Coffey, History and Folklore of North American Wildflowers (Houghton Mifflin, 1993), pp. 268-9
  • Lewi, The Textbook of Chiropody (1914--Google Books)
  • The Century Dictionary (p. 3431), entry for Liatris--available at http://www.global-language.com/century/
Posted on 11 de outubro de 2023, 05:20 PM by cotinis cotinis | 1 observação | 0 comentários | Deixar um comentário