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Huber B.A.,Alexander Koenig Research Museum of Zoology
Zootaxa | Year: 2013

The genus Smeringopina Kraus, 1957 is revised, with redescriptions of the nine previously known species and descriptions of 35 new species. Smeringopina is largely restricted to the tropical forests of West and Central Africa. It includes both large species that build their domed sheet-webs in protected spaces near the ground, and small (probably derived) litter-dwelling species. With leg spans up to 18 cm the former group includes some of the largest pholcids known. A first cladistic analysis of Smeringopina, based on 68 morphological (including SEM) characters, suggests several well-defined species groups but also identifies some problematic species whose phylogenetic position needs further study. The 'Dahomey- Gap' separates two small western clades (the guineensis species group and two species of the ankasa group) from all other species. The following new species are described: S. ankasa; S. attuleh; S. bamenda; S. bayaka; S. belinga; S. bioko; S. bomfobiri; S. bwiti; S. chaillu; S. djidji; S. ebolowa; S. essotah; S. etome; S. fang; S. fon; S. ibadan; S. iboga; S. kala; S. kikongo; S. kinguele; S. kribi; S. lekoni; S. luki; S. mayebout; S. mbouda; S. mohoba; S. moudouma; S. ndjole; S. ngungu; S. nyasoso; S. ogooue; S. sahoue; S. simintang; S. tchimbele; S. tebe. Copyright © 2013 Magnolia Press.

Huber B.A.,Alexander Koenig Research Museum of Zoology
Journal of Arachnology | Year: 2014

Based on percentages of undescribed species collected during intensive recent sampling campaigns in South America, tropical Africa, and the Caribbean, the current global total number of pholcid species is estimated to range from about 4,000 to 5,000. With the current rate of descriptions of about 570 pholcid species per decade, this suggests that a global inventory of the family could be completed within a few decades. However, I argue that a complete (or near-complete) inventory is neither realistic nor necessary and that knowing the majority of species of a particular group will answer most questions on that taxon's biology, while being a manageable task. At current rates of description, the majority of pholcid species might be known within 10-20 years. © The American Arachnological Society.

Huber B.A.,Alexander Koenig Research Museum of Zoology | Rheims C.A.,Instituto Butantan
Journal of Natural History | Year: 2011

This study is based on an effort to collect all pholcid spider species at six localities in the Serra do Mar region of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. All but one locality produced 11-15 species. This is compared with published and unpublished species counts worldwide, showing that only six other localities are known to contain more than 10 species. From the 39 species collected at the Atlantic Forest sites, 22 are new, and 24 were found at only one site each. The two extreme (northern and southern) localities did not share any species, suggesting a high level of endemism and immense unknown species diversity. The dominant genera are Metagonia, Mesabolivar and Tupigea, with the last genus being endemic to the Atlantic Forest. The second part provides new general information on Tupigea, describes four new species (Tupigea angelim, T. penedo, T. ale, T. guapia), provides descriptions of the previously unknown females of T. teresopolis and T. maza, and presents the first scanning electron micrographs of T. cantareira. © 2011 Taylor & Francis.

Huber B.A.,Alexander Koenig Research Museum of Zoology | Dimitrov D.,University of Oslo
Zoologischer Anzeiger | Year: 2014

Like most animals with internal fertilization, spiders tend to have species-specific genitalia, allowing closely related species to be identified by their reproductive morphology more easily than by non-genital characters. This implies that genitalia evolve on average more rapidly than non-genital morphological traits. Here we describe two putative species of Pholcidae from Taiwan (. Pholcus pingtung, n. sp.; Pholcus chengpoi, n. sp.) that differ conspicuously in their microhabitat (rocks vs. leaves), coloration, color pattern, and body proportions, but have almost indistinguishable genitalia and cytochrome oxidase I (co1) sequences. The two species have identical yet highly unusual male cheliceral modifications, strongly arguing for sister species. Despite the almost identical genitalia and co1 sequences, we treat the two 'morphs' as species for three reasons: (1) they are easily distinguished by several characters; no intermediate specimens were found; (2) subtle yet consistent differences in genital (uncus) shape support the idea of reproductively isolated entities beyond the more conspicuous non-genital differences; (3) each locality provided both types of microhabitat but only one of the two species, arguing against environmental plasticity or polymorphism. We conclude that probably a very recent expansion into a novel microhabitat has led to speciation and rapid ecological and non-genital differentiation, with insufficient time to accumulate significant genital and genetic differences. © 2014 Elsevier GmbH.

Benjamin S.P.,Sri Lanka Institute of Fundamental Studies | Benjamin S.P.,Alexander Koenig Research Museum of Zoology
Journal of Natural History | Year: 2015

All nominal species of ant-mimicking jumping spiders of the genus Myrmarachne from Sri Lanka are redescribed, based on type and newly collected material. Three new species are described: Myrmarachne aurantiaca sp. nov., M. dishani sp. nov. and M. morningside sp. nov. Panachraesta Simon, 1900 is shown to be a junior synonym of Myrmarachne MacLeay, 1839, syn. nov. The following species are synonymized: Myrmarachne orientales Tikader, 1973 = Myrmarachne melanocephala MacLeay, 1839 syn. nov., Myrmarachne paivae Narayen, 1915 and Myrmarachne bengalensis Tikader, 1973 = Myrmarachne prava (Karsch, 1880) syn. nov., Myrmarachne hanoii Zabka, 1985 = Myrmarachne pumilio (Karsch, 1880) syn. nov., Myrmarachne maratha Tikader, 1973 = Myrmarachne robusta (Peckham & Peckham, 1892). One new combination is proposed: Myrmarachne paludosa (Simon, 1900) comb. nov. Myrmarachne ramunni Narayan, 1915 is recorded for the first time in Sri Lanka. A total of 12 valid species are now known from the island; six of them are endemic. http://zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:B723C180-996B-471D-B920-4D08E7A8CD53 © 2015 Taylor & Francis.

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