Castianeira species, a previously undescribed speciesnew species on dime
Castianeira occidens 
Clubionidae (Sac Spiders) 
A colorful and very fast moving spider that is not frequently observed in the arachnid world. This specimen was captured in the picnic area in April 2002. It is a female, we need to find a male. If you are game... keep your eyes peeled and a container handy. So far, this spider has not bitten three of us that have handled it. Of course it was accidental each time we "handled" her, she moved so fast it was hard to keep her corralled. She actually got away from us - twice! We feel fortunate to have found her again - twice! She's very easy to spot in grass.

Message from Margorie Moody: 
While reading the Castianeira literature, I see that the red backed species of this genus are referred to as "Mutillid Wasp mimics", which means that their coloration and quick, darting locomotion may be used to protect them from predators by making them look like the VERY POISONOUS red-backed velvet ants.  If you should spot a critter that looks like Castianeira be sure to look twice before picking it up - make darn sure it is not a velvet ant! Castianeira are not dangerous, however, as in all invertabrates, they will probably bite to protect themselves. 

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