Depreissia is a little known genus comprising two hymenopteran-mimicking species, one found in Central Africa and one in the north of Borneo. The male of D. decipiens is redescribed, the female is described for the first time. The carapace is elongated, dorsally flattened and rhombus-shaped, the rear of the thorax laterally depressed and transformed, with a pair of deep pits; the pedicel is almost as long as the abdomen. The male palp is unusual, characterized by the transverse deeply split membranous tegulum separating a ventral part which bears a sclerotized tegular apophysis and a large dagger-like retrodirected median apophysis. The female epigyne consists of one pair of large adjacent spermathecae and very long copulatory ducts arising posteriorly and rising laterally alongside the spermathecae continuing in several vertical and horizontal coils over the anterior surface. Relationships within the Salticidae are discussed and an affinity with the Cocalodinae is suggested. Arguments are provided for a hypothesis that D. decipiens is not antmimicking as was previously believed, but is a mimic of polistinine wasps. The species was found in the canopy in the Kinabalu area only, in primary and old secondary rainforest at 200–700 m.a.s.l. Overlap of canopy-dwelling spider species with those in the understorey are discussed and examples of species richness and endemism in the canopy are highlighted. Canopy fogging is a very efficient method of collecting for most arthropods. The canopy fauna adds an extra dimension to the known biodiversity of the tropical rainforest. In southeast Asia, canopy research has been neglected, inhibiting evaluation of comparative results of this canopy project with that from other regions. More use of fogging as a collecting method would greatly improve insight into the actual species richness and species distribution in general.

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Staff publications

Deeleman-Reinhold, C. L., Miller, J., & Floren, A. (2016). Depreissia decipiens, an enigmatic canopy spider from Borneo revisited (Araneae, Salticidae), with remarks on the distribution and diversity of canopy spiders in Sabah, Borneo. ZooKeys, 549, 1–17. doi:10.3897/zookeys.549.6171