The Family Oxyopidae in South Texas (Araneae: Oxyopidae)
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The genital structures of most spiders are poorly studied in respect to their morphology. Conventional taxonomic practice recommends utilizing light dissecting microscopy as the preferred method of investigation. Because of this, the understanding of genital morphology is incomplete and further studies with more advanced equipment and higher magnifications should be done focusing on these important structures. Features found in both male and female genitalia can help identify new and existing species, as well as generate new data to construct new taxonomic groups. Five species belonging to the Family Oxyopidae: Oxyopes acleistus, O. apollo, O. salticus, O. tridens, and Peucetia viridans, were re-described and photographed utilizing dissecting light and scanning electron microscopy. Images were compared to illustrations in Allen R. Brady’s 1964 “The lynx spiders of North America, North of Mexico (Araneae: Oxyopidae)”. Observations confirm that indeed Brady’s illustrations are equivalent to the dissection and scanning electron microscope photographs. These tools certainly broaden our studies on spider genitalia.