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Benjamin S.P.,Sri Lanka Institute of Fundamental Studies | Benjamin S.P.,Alexander Koenig Research Museum of Zoology
Journal of Natural History | Year: 2017

Distributional and taxonomic data are provided for six species of crab spiders of the genus Epidius Thorell, 1877 of which five species, E. coloratus sp. nov., E. elongatus sp. nov. (male), E. floreni sp. nov. (male/female), E. longimanus sp. nov. (male/female) and E. mahavira sp. nov. (male/female), are newly described. Evidence is provided to demonstrate that Pothaeus Thorell, 1895 (type species Pothaeus armatu is a junior synonym of Epidius. Epidius bazarus is shown to be a junior synonym of E. armatus comb. nov. http://zoobank.org/urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:15B56D3E-69FB-46CD-8AFE-34919B844D14 © 2017 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

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 | 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
Journal of Arachnology | Year: 2011

For over 100 years, Eugne Simon's system of pholcid classification has been used with only minor modifications. Phylogenetic research over the last decade has shown that some fundamental changes are necessary if the formal system is to reflect putative evolutionary relationships. Based on cladistic analyses of morphological and molecular data and on qualitative character assessment, the family is here divided into five subfamilies: Ninetinae, Arteminae, Modisiminae, Smeringopinae, and Pholcinae. All currently valid genera are placed in a cladogram. Even though the evidence supporting some of the nodes and assignments is weak, the cladogram generates numerous testable hypotheses and provides an improved framework for the mapping of 'new' characters like those from sperm ultrastructure and chromosome analysis. © 2011 The American Arachnological Society.

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.

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.

In an ongoing mega-transect project that aims at analyzing pholcid spider diversity and distribution in the Atlantic Forest of Brazil, many species appear restricted to small geographic ranges. Of the 84 species collected between 2003 and 2011 at 17 sites between Bahia and Santa Catarina, 51 species (61%) were found at only one locality. The present paper focuses on such species in the genus Mesabolivar, and compares diversity and distribution patterns of this genus within and outside the Atlantic Forest. The percentage of species known from single localities is higher in the Atlantic Forest (34 of 52 species; 65%) than outside the Atlantic Forest (10 of 25; 40%). Distribution rages of species in the Atlantic Forest are significantly smaller than of species outside the Atlantic Forest (mean maximum distances between localities: 184 versus 541 km; medians: 10 km versus 220 km). The following species are newly described (arranged from north to south), each currently known from the respective type locality only: M. caipora; M. kathrinae; M. bonita; M. pau (Bahia); M. monteverde; M. perezi (Espírito Santo); M. giupponii; M. goitaca; M. sai (Rio de Janeiro); M. tamoio; M. unicornis; M. gabettae; M. inornatus (São Paulo); M. itapoa (Santa Catarina). Copyright © 2015 Magnolia Press.

Huber B.A.,Alexander Koenig Research Museum of Zoology | Fischer N.,Alexander Koenig Research Museum of Zoology | Astrin J.J.,Alexander Koenig Research Museum of Zoology
Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society | Year: 2010

This study describes the remarkable radiation of Modisimus on Hispaniola. During two short trips to the island, more species have been collected than are known from any comparable area on the mainland. We redescribe three of the four previously known Hispaniolan species, and describe 22 new species. Most Haitian species are local endemics, either of the severely threatened forests in one of the two national parks (La Visite National Park and Macaya Biosphere Reserve) or of their surrounding areas. Phylogenetic analysis indicates that most of these species together represent a species group that is restricted to the paleogeographically distinct southern 'paleoisland', and that is otherwise known neither from Hispaniola nor from any other island. Two mitochondrial markers, 16S and cytochrome oxidase I (COI), were sequenced in 21 species to test for their performance as barcoding genes within this group of partly closely related species. Both markers unambiguously corroborated the morphospecies, with small but distinct gaps between the intra- and interspecific genetic distances. The absence of Modisimus in South America argues against colonization of the West Indies over a 'landspan' connecting South America to the Greater Antilles. Overwater dispersal is supported by two lines of evidence (unusual radiation and reduced higher-level diversity), but further data (especially time estimates for the separation of mainland and island taxa) are needed to evaluate the third major model, continent-island vicariance as a result of plate tectonics. The species diversity of the genus, combined with the presence of habitat specialists, suggests that this system may have the potential to complement the classic studies on adaptive radiation in Caribbean Anolis lizards. © 2010 The Linnean Society of London.

Huber B.A.,Alexander Koenig Research Museum of Zoology | Colmenares P.A.,National Institute of Amazonian Research | Ramirez M.J.,Museo Argentino de Ciencias Naturales Bernardino Rivadavia
Zootaxa | Year: 2014

Between 1998 and 2011, the Venezuelan arachnologist Manuel àngel González-Sponga (GS) published a series of taxonomic papers devoted to the Pholcidae of Venezuela. Of his 22 new genera, 20 were monotypic when described, suggesting a high percentage of synonyms. We studied his descriptions and as far as accessible his type specimens and propose the following new generic synonymies: Autana GS, 2011 = Mesabolivar GS, 1998; Ayomania GS, 2005 and Venezuela Koçak & Kemal, 2008 (new replacement names for Falconia GS, 2003) = Mecolaesthus Simon, 1893; Carbonaria GS, 2009 = Mecolaesthus Simon, 1893; Caruaya GS, 2011 = Mesabolivar GS, 1998; Coroia GS, 2005 = Artema Walckenaer, 1837; Maimire GS, 2009 = Mecolaesthus Simon, 1893; Moraia GS, 2011 = Mecolaesthus Simon, 1893; Nasuta GS, 2009 = Mecolaesthus Simon, 1893; Portena GS, 2011 = Metagonia Simon, 1893; Rioparaguanus GS, 2005 = Mesabolivar GS, 1998; Tonoro GS, 2009 = Litoporus Simon, 1893; Sanluisi GS, 2003 = Mecolaesthus Simon, 1893. Three of the type species are also specific synonyms: Autana autanensis GS, 2011 = Mesabolivar aurantiacus (Mello-Leitão, 1930); Coroia magna GS, 2005 = Artema atlanta Walckenaer, 1837; Tonoro multispinae GS, 2009 = Litoporus uncatus (Simon, 1893). Six species that González-Sponga described under Blechroscelis (a genus previously synonymized with Priscula Simon, 1893) are all synonyms of Mesabolivar eberhardi Huber, 2000 (B. acuoso GS, 2011; B. araguanus GS, 2011; B. blechroscelis GS, 2011; B. copeyensis GS, 2011; B. cordillerano GS, 2011; B. andinensis GS, 2011). In addition, and unrelated to González-Sponga's work, we synonymize the Central Asian monotypic genus Ceratopholcus Spassky, 1934 with Crossopriza Simon, 1893; we synonymize the Chinese species Pholcus acerosus Peng & Zhang, 2011 with Pholcus fragillimus Strand, 1907 and remove the Malaysian monotypic genus Mystes Bristowe, 1938, previously thought to be the only East Asian representative of the subfamily Ninetinae, to the family Filistatidae. © 2014 Magnolia Press.

Huber B.A.,Alexander Koenig Research Museum of Zoology
Zootaxa | Year: 2012

The genus Smeringopus Simon, 1890 is revised, with redescriptions of most previously known species and descriptions of 36 new species. With now 55 species, Smeringopus becomes the most species-rich pholcid genus in Africa. Smeringopus is largely restricted to central, southern, and eastern Africa, where it includes some of the largest and most conspicuous pholcid spiders in the region. A first cladistic analysis of Smeringopus, including outgroup representatives of all other genera of Smeringopinae, strongly suggests that the central and western African Smeringopina Kraus, 1957 is the sister taxon of Smeringopus. Smeringopus is here divided into twelve operational species groups, most of which are characterized by putative synapomorphies and by specific geographic distributions. Three species are newly synonymized with S. pallidus (Blackwall, 1858): S. excavatus (Simon, 1877); S. pholcicus Strand, 1907; and S. buehleri Schenkel, 1944. Smeringopus madagascariensis Millot, 1946 is newly synonymized with S. carli Lessert, 1915. Crossopriza cylindrogaster Simon, 1907 is transferred to Smeringopus. The following new species are described: S. badplaas; S. blyde; S. bujongolo; S. butare; S. bwindi; S. chibububo; S. chogoria; S. dehoop; S. dundo; S. florisbad; S. hanglip; S. harare; S. isangi; S. kalomo; S. katanga; S. koppies; S. lotzi; S. lubondai; S. luki; S. lydenberg; S. mayombe; S. mgahinga; S. mlilwane; S. moxico; S. mpanga; S. ndumo; S. ngangao; S. oromia; S. principe; S. ruhiza; S. saruanle; S. sederberg; S. tombua; S. turkana; S. ubicki; S. uisib. Copyright © 2012 Magnolia Press.

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