Messua (spider)

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Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Salticidae
Subfamily: Dendryphantinae
Genus: Messua
Peckham & Peckham, 1896
Type species
Messua desidiosa
Peckham & Peckham, 1896

see text

11 species

Messua is a spider genus of the Salticidae family (jumping spiders).


The genus name is derived from Messua, a female character from Rudyard Kipling's Jungle Book. Other salticid genera with names of Kipling's characters are Akela, Bagheera and Nagaina.


The genus was first described in 1896 by American arachnologists George and Elizabeth Peckham based on the type species Messua desidiosa.[1]

The genus Messua was synonymized with Zygoballus by Eugène Simon in 1903. After examining the type specimen for Messua desidiosa, Simon commented that it was "much less divergent from typical Zygoballus than [the Peckhams'] description would indicate."[2] This was reversed by Wayne Maddison in 1996, and Messua restored as a valid genus. Maddison also transferred several species that had previously been placed in Metaphidippus into Messua.[3]



  1. ^ Peckham, George; Peckham, Elizabeth (1896). "Spiders of the family Attidae from Central America and Mexico" (PDF). Occasional Papers of the Natural History Society of Wisconsin. 3 (1): 1–101. 
  2. ^ Simon, Eugène (1897–1903). Histoire Naturelle des Araignées (in French) (2nd ed.). Paris. p. 863. 
  3. ^ Maddison, Wayne P. (1996). "Pelegrina Franganillo and other jumping spiders formerly placed in the genus Metaphidippus (Araneae: Salticidae)". Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology. Harvard University. 154: 215–368.