Pholcus andulau

Berhard A. Huber, Booppa Petchard, Charles Leh Moi Ung, Joseph K. H. Koh & Amir R. M. Ghazali, 2016, The Southeast Asian Pholcus halabala species group (Araneae, Pholcidae): new data from field observations and ultrastructure, European Journal of Taxonomy 190, pp. 1-55: 47

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Pholcus andulau


Pholcus andulau  species group

This species group is newly proposed to include one species previously included in the Ph. halabala  group ( Ph. andulau Huber, 2011  ) and the newly described Ph. lambir Huber  , sp. nov. They share three putative synapomorphies: (1) the unique, partly sclerotized embolus with strong sclerotized pointed processes ( Figs 200 View Figure , 209–212View Figs 205 – 210View Figs 211 – 218); (2) pointed male cheliceral apophyses directed toward each other and without modified hairs ( Figs 202 View Figure , 214 View Figure ); and (3) large unsclerotized ‘knob’ on female external genitalia directed toward anterior ( Figs 203 View Figure , 213 View Figure ). The two species are also otherwise very similar (females are indistinguishable in the field; Ph. lambir  sp. nov. males have a darker ocular area than Ph. andulau  males) and restricted to a limited geographic area in northern Borneo ( Fig. 153 View Figure ). Preliminary molecular data (A. Valdez-Mondragón, B.A. Huber & D. Dimitrov unpublished data) suggest a close relationship with the Panjange nigrifrons  group (which is also restricted to Borneo), but we know of no putative morphological synapomorphy that would support this relationship. However, general habitus and coloration are almost identical, and the same is true of web structure and microhabitat: in both groups, the spiders build domed webs among the vegetation, with the apex of the sheet connected to the underside of a leaf. In addition, they hang in their webs under the leaf rather than having their bodies pressed against the leaf, and in both groups, cecidomyiid flies were often seen in large numbers hanging in the spider webs. When disturbed, Pholcus andulau  and Ph. lambir  sp. nov. vibrate vigorously. Egg-sacs are carried in front of the body ( Figs 194, 196 View Figure ), as in typical pholcids.