Stenosfemuraia parva González-Sponga, 1998

Huber, Bernhard A. & Arias, Quintin, 2017, Revision of the Venezuelan spider genus Stenosfemuraia González-Sponga, with new generic and specific synonymies (Araneae, Pholcidae), Zootaxa 4341 (4), pp. 495-508: 497-500

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Stenosfemuraia parva González-Sponga, 1998


Stenosfemuraia parva González-Sponga, 1998 

Figs 2–14View FIGURES 2 – 8View FIGURES 9 – 14, 41–44View FIGURES 41 – 52

Stenosfemuraia parva González-Sponga, 1998: 22  , figs 11–20 (♂♀).

Diagnosis. Males are easily distinguished from known congeners by armature of male chelicerae ( Fig. 11View FIGURES 9 – 14; two distinct pairs of frontal apophyses; see also fig. 14 in González-Sponga 1998); from S. pilosa  also by shape of procursus ( Figs 43–44View FIGURES 41 – 52; slender in dorsal view, without subdistal side branch, with simple tip; possibly indistinguishable from S. cuadrata  ) and by less thick femora (~0.19–0.21 versus 0.29–0.34); females differ from congeners by sclerotized lateral elements of epigynal plate ( Figs 6View FIGURES 2 – 8, 13View FIGURES 9 – 14; absent in S. pilosa  ; transversal orientation in S. cuadrata  ; see also fig. 20 in González-Sponga 1998).

Type material. VENEZUELA: Capital District: 1♂ 4♀ types (see Notes below), MIZA (GS 185), “Carretera El Junquito—Carajaca” [10.445°N, 67.147°W], 2.v.1981 (A.R. Delgado de González, J.A. González D., M.A. González-Sponga), all examined by BAH.

Other material examined. VENEZUELA: Capital District: 6♂ 9♀ 6 juvs, ZFMK (Ar 18251), Parque Nacional El Ávila (10.529°N, 66.857°W), ~ 1700 m a.s.l., under dead leaves on ground, 25.xi.2002 (B.A. Huber)GoogleMaps  ; 3♀, ZFMK (Ar 18252), same data but at 2100 m a.s.l. (10.535°N, 66.854°W)GoogleMaps  .

Vargas: 3♂ separated from vial with types of S. cuadrata  , MIZA (GS 1164 part), Hacienda El Limón, Municipio Carayaca, 950 m [~10.532°N, 67.119°W; see Notes under redescription of S. cuadrata  below], 12.viii.1989 – 4.v.1991 (A.R. Delgado de González, M.A. González-Sponga).

Redescription. Male ( ZFMK Ar 18251). MEASUREMENTS. Total body length 2.9, carapace width 1.25. Distance PME-PME 85 µm, diameter PME 100 µm, distance PME-ALE 60 µm, distance AME-AME 20 µm, diameter AME 25 µm. Sternum width/length: 0.75/0.50. Leg 1: 13.7 (3.5 + 0.4 + 3.4 + 5.2 + 1.2), tibia 2: 2.4, tibia 3: 1.9, tibia 4: 2.3; tibia 1 L/d: 36. Femora 1–4 width (at half length): 0.19, 0.20, 0.21, 0.20.

COLOR (in ethanol). Carapace ochre-yellow with light brown pattern (radiating lines connecting median and lateral areas; Fig. 2View FIGURES 2 – 8); ocular area and clypeus light brown; sternum light brown; legs ochre-yellow to light brown, without dark or light rings; abdomen greenish gray, dorsally and laterally densely covered with dark bluish internal marks, ventrally with brown plate in front of gonopore and short bluish mark behind gonopore.

BODY. Habitus as in Figs 2–3View FIGURES 2 – 8; ocular area raised; carapace elevated, with deep median furrow; clypeus and sternum unmodified.

CHELICERAE. With two pairs of distinctive frontal apophyses ( Fig. 11View FIGURES 9 – 14).

PALPS. As in Figs 9–10View FIGURES 9 – 14; coxa with retrolatero-ventral apophysis; trochanter barely modified; femur with retrolatero-ventral process proximally and large ventral apophysis distally; procursus very simple, slender in dorsal view, without subdistal side branch ( Figs 43–44View FIGURES 41 – 52); bulb with two dorsal processes, distal apophysis curved, relatively short and thick ( Figs 41–42View FIGURES 41 – 52).

LEGS. Without spines; with curved hairs on tibiae and metatarsi 1–3, few vertical hairs; retrolateral trichobothrium on tibia 1 at 7.5%; prolateral trichobothrium present on tibia 1; tarsus 1 with ~20 pseudosegments, distally fairly distinct.

Male (variation). Tibia 1 in 8 other males: 3.4–3.7 (mean 3.5). Internal abdominal marks less distinct in types.

Female. In general similar to male but carapace less elevated ( Figs 4–5View FIGURES 2 – 8), legs without curved hairs (curved hairs are also absent in juveniles, including penultimate instar males). Tibia 1 in 14 females: 2.2–2.8 (mean 2.5). Epigynum as in Figs 6–7View FIGURES 2 – 8, 12–13View FIGURES 9 – 14; large protruding weakly sclerotized area in front of indistinct epigynal plate (in some females plate barely visible), with pair of dark lateral sclerites in parallel orientation, posterior margin with indistinct median process; posterior plate simple. Internal genitalia as in Figs 8View FIGURES 2 – 8 and 14View FIGURES 9 – 14, with pair of contiguous pore-plates, membranous median sac, and anteriorly diverging sclerites/‘wings’.

Natural history. In El Ávila National Park, specimens were found in high numbers under suitably curved leaves from forest litter. They vibrated rapidly when disturbed. Males and females were often found together. González-Sponga (1998) specifically mentions Cecropia  leaves.

Distribution. Known from medium to high elevation forests (950–2100 m a.s.l.) in Capital District and Vargas state, Venezuela ( Fig. 1View FIGURE 1).

Notes. González-Sponga (1998) reported 1♂ holotype (“185a”), 1♀ paratype (“185b”), and 4♂ 4♀ paratypes without specific collection number. Only one vial was found at MIZA, labeled “185” and containing the 1♂ 4♀ specimens listed above. The label says “Carretera El Junquito—Carajaca, DF” (which differs slightly from the locality as published in the original description: “desviación a Carayaca de la carretera El Junquito-Colonia Tovar, D.F.) and “ 2-v-81 ” (which agrees with one of the two dates in the original description: 2.v.1981 and 29.i.1990). We suspect that these are part of the paratypes and that the ♂ holotype and the other 4♂ 1♀ paratypes are lost or misplaced. Since we are not able to say if the holotype is lost/misplaced or if a holotype was never physically separated, and since we do not see a need to create a neotype, we treat the type specimens unspecifically as “types”.

While the conspecificity of all studied males with the male illustrated in the original description appears beyond doubt (very distinctive cheliceral armature, see above), the 4♀ in the type vial seem to belong to three species. Two of them agree with the figure in the original description and with specimens collected together with S. parva  males in El Ávila National Park; these are considered conspecific with the male holotype. The other 2♀ may belong to undescribed species of Stenosfemuraia  .

González-Sponga (1998) gives the distribution of S. parva  as “Galipán, P.N. El Avila, D.F.”. This does not agree with the type locality. Galipán [San Antonio de Galipán] is a town within the limits of El Ávila National Park and lies about 30 km ENE of the type locality. We do not have an explanation for this contradiction. In any case, the newly collected material above shows that S. parva  does indeed occur in El Ávila National Park.

Some measurements in González-Sponga (1998) are clearly wrong, e.g. ocular area width (1.4; should be 0.4) or male metatarsus 1 length (3.9; should be 5.9).


Museo del Instituto de Zoologia Agricola Francisco Fernandez Yepez


Biologische Anstalt Helgoland Marine Station


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig














Stenosfemuraia parva González-Sponga, 1998

Huber, Bernhard A. & Arias, Quintin 2017

Stenosfemuraia parva González-Sponga, 1998 : 22

Gonzalez-Sponga 1998: 22