Equuleus (Latin equuleus = easel) is a white/yellowish-white blot of the dorsal scutum roughly in the shape of an easel present in many species of Cosmetidae, belonging to genus Taito and other presumably related genera such as Vononoides Roewer 1912 and Eucynortella (Kury & Barros, 2014)[1]

The shapes of the equuleus in most species are reminiscent of the shapes of the alien attackers in Namco and Taito videogames or the inkblots of the psychological Rorschach test.

Taito spaceinvaders - macho - INPA 1206 (2)

Taito spaceinvaders.

The basic shape is formed by an arch (‘body’) superimposed on the groove which marks the posterior border of area I + a pair of posterior ‘legs’ (projections extending to area II) and a pair of anterior ‘arms’ (projections extending to carapace). These arms and legs have diverse degrees of development and may appear isolated from each other and from the main body of the blot, detached from the main body of the easel, with left and right sides fused or narrowed forming horns. Even with all this reported variation, the basic structure of the easel is easily recognizable as is interpreted as a primary homology and a possible synapomorphy for Taito plus some other cosmetid genera by Kury & Barros (2014).


  1. Kury, A.B. & Barros, CM. (2014) A new genus and eight new species of Amazonian cosmetines (Opiliones, Laniatores, Cosmetidae). Zoological Studies, 53: 1-46.