Ansienulina mirabilis , Wanda Wesołowska, 2015

Wanda Wesołowska, 2015, Ansienulina, a new genus of jumping spiders from tropical Africa (Araneae: Salticidae: Thiratoscirtinae), African Invertebrates 56 (2), pp. 477-482: 478-479

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Ansienulina mirabilis

sp. n.

Ansienulina mirabilis  sp. n.

Figs 1–14

Etymology: The specific name is Latin meaning “odd”, and refers to the unusual structure of the male genitalia.

Diagnosis:A distinctive species, characterised by the structure of the copulatory organs. The male has the pedipalps with an unusual cymbium, which is curved to its dorsal surface, and a long embolus embracing the tip of the bulb from the dorsal side. The female is distinguished by the weakly sclerotised epigyne with spirally convoluted seminal ducts.


Dimensions (♂♀). Cephalothorax: length 1.5–1.7 / 1.7–2.1, width 1.1–1.3 / 1.3–1.5, height 0.9 –1.0/ 0.8–0.9. Abdomen: 1.3–1.5 / 1.8–2.1, width 0.8–0.9 / 1.3–1.5. Eye field: length 0.7–0.8 / 0.8–0.9, anterior width 1.1–1.2 / 1.3–1.4, posterior width 1.0– 1.1 / 1.1–1.2. Male.

Very small spiders, general appearance as in Fig. 1. Carapace high, highest at posterior lateral eyes, with steep posterior thoracic slope ( Fig. 2). Coloration dark yellow to light brown, with lighter median streak on thoracic part, but many specimens bleached in alcohol, with very light, almost white body. Fovea visible, sulciform. Eye field brownish grey, distance between anterior lateral eyes longer than between posteriors. Anterior median eyes large, encircled by small scale-like light hairs ( Fig. 3), blackish rings surrounding eyes (except anterior medians), posterior lateral eyes convex. Fine colourless hairs on eye field, a few longer bristles near eyes. Clypeus very low, chelicerae with two teeth on promargin, single retromarginal tooth, cheliceral fang short. Mouthparts yellow. Sternum convex.Abdomen oval, narrower than carapace, grey, with light-yellow median serrate streak and two light belts laterally ( Fig. 1). Sides marked with grey ( Fig. 2), venter light with dark patches at base of spinnerets ( Fig. 4). Spinnerets whitish. Legs yellow, only lateral surfaces of femora I and distal end of all patellae tinged with grey. Spines long, brown. Femora of all legs with 1 - 1-3 spines dorsally. Tibia I with four pairs of long ventral spines and two shorter ones on prolateral surface; metatarsus I with two pairs of long ventral spines and two shorter ones prolaterally ( Fig. 7). Tibia II with single spine on both lateral surfaces, 4 pairs ventrally; metatarsus II with single spine on both lateral surfaces, 2 pairs ventrally and apical pair dorsally. Legs III and IVtibia with single spine on both lateral sides, 2 pairs ventrally; metatarsus with single spine on both lateral sides, 6 apical spines. Pedipalps light brown, basal segments dirty yellow. Cymbium narrow, especially in its apical half, with rounded retrolateral lobe at base ( Fig. 11). Tip of cymbium with retrolateral retortion ( Fig. 9) and strongly bent to its dorsal surface ( Figs 8, 10). Bulb oval, slightly reclinate from axis of palp; embolus very long and thin, whip-shaped ( Fig. 9). Tibia with triangular dorsal apophysis and second rounded apophysis, placed retrolaterally ( Figs 10, 11).


Slightly larger than male, similar in shape and coloration. Carapace orange-brownish (in majority of specimens bleached). Abdomen uniformly greyish beige, legs light. A few thin, short hairs on body. Prolateral spine on palpal tarsus ( Fig. 12). Epigyne very weakly sclerotised ( Fig. 13). Seminal ducts long and thin, forming spiral composed of three loops, spermathecae oval ( Fig. 14).

Holotype ♂: KENYA: Kiseni, Kakamega Forest , 00° 17 'N 34 ° 51 'E, 1600 m, 1969, leg. A. Holm ( MEUU)GoogleMaps  . Paratypes: together with holotype, 1 ♂ ( MEUU); NAMIBIA [SOUTH WEST AFRICA]: without precise locality, British Museum expedition, iii. 1972, leg. P.H. Hammond, pitfall trapping, 1 ♂ ( NHM)  . ANGOLA: 9 km NW from Dundo, Luachimo R., Chitato gallery forest, 07° 22 'S 20 ° 50 'E, 500 m, x. 1947, leg. A. de Barros Machado, 3 ♂ 12 ♀ ( NHM, Ang. 180.6)GoogleMaps  ; same label data as previous but ix.1947, 1♀ ( NHM, Ang. 44.8)GoogleMaps  ; same label data as previous but v.1948, 1♂ ( NHM, Ang. 823.2)  ; 5 km S from Dundo, Mussungue R., ix. 1947, gallery forest, in litter, 1 ♂ ( NHM, Ang. 211.12)  ; same label data as previous but ix.1946, 1♂ 1 ♀ ( NHM, Ang. 27.8)  .

Other material examined: KENYA: Kiseni, Kakamega, Forest Station , 1550 m, 27.i. 1979, leg. A. Holm, two male palps, without spider ( MEUU)  .

Remarks: Individuals from Kenya are darker than the others, which is probably the effect of the montane microclimate at these sites.

Probably the same or a very similar species (without any details) was illustrated by Simon (1903, fig. 861 i) and erroneously labelled as Eustiromastix major  (cf. reprint of his drawing, Fig. 15 herein, with Fig. 10). Members of the genus Eustiromastix Simon, 1902  are distributed only in the Neotropics. Already Galiano (1979) in her revision highlighted this mistake by Simon.

Distribution: Specimens of this species were collected in northeast Angola and western Kenya. They are also found in Namibia, but the precise locality was never recorded. Habitat: All individuals were found in forest litter. The species probably lives on the ground in tree-covered areas.




United Kingdom, London, The Natural History Museum [formerly British Museum (Natural History)]