With no previous experience of the species, I was hoping for clear confirmation that male theonoe minutissima does not normally have a scutum or sclerotized book lung cover from someone who has collected same. Its not mentioned in the literature so I thought it unlikely.
The photograph as ever is for illustrative purposes, my set-up/skill isn't good enough to provide the clarity I would like, but in this case the orange anterior end of the abdomen is a hard material. I did wonder if I had made a mistake in my determination but can find nothing in either Theridiidae or Linyphiidae with this kind of scutum in any of the literature available to me, and the genitalia, size and general habitus all match Theonoe minutussima *and* there was a female present same situation.
The possibility of it something external had occured to me, but its symmetrical and tight to the abdomen, so I think not.
Specimen was sieved from slightly damp leaf and pine litter in mixed woodland.
I will send you the specimen if you like - I have other material that requires confirmation and/or I would value your opinion on.
Best Regards, Matt Prince