Pholcus rawiriae Huber

Bernhard A. Huber, Philippe Le Gall & Jacques Francois Mavoungou, 2014, Pholcid spiders from the Lower Guinean region of Central Africa: an overview, with descriptions of seven new species (Araneae, Pholcidae), European Journal of Taxonomy 81, pp. 1-46: 32-35

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Pholcus rawiriae Huber

sp. nov.

Pholcus rawiriae Huber  , sp. nov.

Figs 14-15View Figs 10 - 18, 28View Figs 27 - 28, 75-83View Figs 75-79View Figs 80-83


Easily distinguished from known congeners by morphology of male palp (large trochanter apophysis; ventral femur apophyses; procursus with distal hinged sclerite strongly bent towards prolateral; bent embolus with spine-like processes; shape of appendix; Figs 80-81View Figs 80-83); from putative close relatives ( bamboutos  and circularis  species groups) also by distinctive pattern on carapace ( Fig. 75View Figs 75 - 79; transversal band on carapace; compare with figs. 892-918 in Huber 2011b), and by female external and internal genitalia (narrow sclerotized rim and distinctive shape of ‘valve’; long pore plates; Figs 76View Figs 75 - 79, 83View Figs 80-83).


Named for Gabonese novelist Angèle Ntyugwetondo Rawiri (1954–2010).

Type material

Holotype ♂, in ZFMK ( Ar 11951)GoogleMaps  .

Type locality

GABON, Ogooué-Ivindo, near Mohoba  Mozeye (0°16.8’N, 13°20.9’E), 510 m a.s.l., forest along road, 17 Aug. 2011 (B.A. & S.R. Huber).

Other material examined

GABON: Ogooué-Ivindo: 2 ♀♀ in ZFMK ( Ar 11951), same data as and together with holotypeGoogleMaps  . 2 ♂♂, 3 ♀♀ in ZFMK ( Ar 11952), Monts de Belinga  , forest near Mayebout (1°06.7’N, 13°06.6’E), 500 m a.s.l., 13-14 Aug. 2011 (B.A. & S.R. Huber)GoogleMaps  ; 2 ♀♀ in pure ethanol, in ZFMK ( Gab 199), same dataGoogleMaps  . Estuaire: 1 ♀, 3 juvs in pure ethanol, in ZFMK ( Gab 191), Monts de Cristal, between Tchimbélé and Kinguélé (0°33.8’N, 10°18.8’E), 520 m a.s.l., forest near river, 10 Aug. 2011 (B.A. & S.R. Huber)GoogleMaps  .


Male (holotype)

MEASUREMENTS. Total body length 5.0, carapace width 1.4. Leg 1: 39.1 (9.6 + 0.5 + 9.3 + 17.5 + 2.2), tibia 2: 6.4, tibia 3: 4.2, tibia 4: 6.0; tibia 1 L/d: 62. Distance PME-PME 365 µm, diameter PME 140 µm, distance PME-ALE 45 µm, diameter AME 90 µm, distance AME-AME 70 µm.

COLOR. Carapace ochre-yellow with distinctive dark pattern, clypeus not darkened, sternum with darker brown margins; legs with distinct dark rings on femora subdistally, patellae plus tibiae proximally, tibiae subdistally, and metatarsi proximally, tips of femora and tibiae lighter; abdomen dorsally and laterally with internal black marks.

BODY. Habitus as in Fig. 75View Figs 75 - 79; ocular area slightly elevated, each triad on short hump directed laterally; carapace without median furrow; clypeus unmodified; sternum wider than long (0.92/0.70), unmodified. Chelicerae as in Fig. 82View Figs 80-83, with pair of small lateral processes proximally, directed slightly towards posterior, pair of low frontal humps, and pair of distal frontal apophyses provided with two modified hairs each; without stridulatory ridges.

PALPS. As in Figs 77-81View Figs 75-79View Figs 80-83, coxa unmodified, trochanter with very large ventral apophysis, weakly sclerotized and distally curved towards prolateral, femur with one small and one larger distinctive ventral projection, procursus with distinctive hinged process distally strongly curved towards prolateral; bulb with long proximal sclerite, strongly bent embolus provided with several spine-like processes and distal fringes, without uncus, appendix with weakly sclerotized basal process.

LEGS. Without spines and curved hairs, few vertical hairs; retrolateral trichobothrium on tibia 1 at 4%; prolateral trichobothrium absent on tibia 1, present on other tibiae; tarsus 1 with>20 pseudosegments, only distally fairly distinct.

VARIATION. Not seen. Tibiae 1 missing in other males.


In general similar to male; tibia 1 in 5 females: 6.6-8.1 (mean 7.2). Epigynum with narrow sclerotized rim posteriorly, median ‘knob’, anterior area weakly sclerotized, ‘valve’ visible through cuticle ( Fig. 76View Figs 75 - 79); internal genitalia as in Fig. 83View Figs 80-83.

Natural history

Most specimens were found at tree trunks, with their bodies and legs tightly pressed against the bark and thus barely visible ( Figs 14-15View Figs 10 - 18).


Known from three localities in northern Gabon ( Fig. 28View Figs 27 - 28).


Germany, Bonn, Zoologische Forschungsinstitut und Museum "Alexander Koenig"