Martensopoda, Jäger, Peter, 2006

Jäger, Peter, 2006, Martensopoda gen. nov. from southern Indian mountain ranges, the first genus of huntsman spiders with a cymbial spur (Araneae: Sparassidae: Heteropodinae), Zootaxa 1325, pp. 335-345 : 336-338

publication ID 10.5281/zenodo.174020


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gen. nov.

Martensopoda View in CoL gen. nov.

Type species. Martensopoda transversa sp. nov.

Diagnosis. Small Heteropodinae (body length 4.7–7.5 mm) without lateral spines on metatarsi I­II. Male cymbium retrobasally with bent spur, embolus with loop running transversally to plane of alveolus. Females with spirally coiled copulatory openings similar to those in Spariolenus Simon 1880 , differing from the latter in having a pit in the posterior part of the median septum. Internal duct system with broad lateral loops and subsequent narrow ducts, the latter running parallel or slightly converging close to the median line.

Etymology. The genus name is a word consisting of the family name of Prof. Dr Jochen Martens and the last part of the genus name Heteropoda ; it is feminine in gender. It pays tribute to Prof. Martens and his scientific contributions to the Arachnology and the zoogeography of Asian mountain ranges (especially Himalaya). Moreover, I express my personal thanks towards Prof. Martens for supervising and guiding me in my first years of taxonomic and systematic research.

Description. Male cymbium with prolateral bulge (PB), giving a unique general appearance ( Figs 2, 5 View FIGURES 1 – 8 ). Embolus with filiform apophysis, the latter arising on the ventrally bent part of the embolus ( Fig. 5 View FIGURES 1 – 8 ). Tip of embolic apophysis serrated ( Fig. 6 View FIGURES 1 – 8 ). Conductor strongly reduced (C in Fig. 5 View FIGURES 1 – 8 ). Subtegulum visible in prolateral half of bulb ( Fig. 1 View FIGURES 1 – 8 ); this fact and the extraordinary conformation of the embolus resulting from a rotation of the whole bulb of about 90° in a retrolateral direction (ventrally). RTA long and not divided into two parts as in other genera of Heteropodinae, its tip widened in retrolateral view ( Figs 2–3 View FIGURES 1 – 8 ). Female epiygne with anteriorly and posteriorly diverging septum and posterior median pocket (PP in Fig. 9 View FIGURES 9 – 12 ). Epigynal field roundish to transversally oval, without anterior bands ( Figs 9 View FIGURES 9 – 12 , 13 View FIGURES 13 – 21 ). Internal duct system with a lateral coil similar to that in Barylestis spp. One part of the duct system, functionally situated behind the first windings and the fertilisation ducts, running parallel along the median line ( Figs 10 View FIGURES 9 – 12 , 14–15 View FIGURES 13 – 21 ).

Eye size ratios typical for Heteropodinae: lateral larger than median eyes, particular posterior eyes only slightly larger than anterior eyes. DS length / DS width = 1.1 (1.0, n=1); DS width / anterior width of DS = 1.7–1.9.

Cheliceral teeth variable: basic pattern for Heteropodinae 3 anterior, 4 posterior teeth; Martensopoda gen. nov.: 2–4 anterior, 3–5 posterior teeth ( Figs 19, 21 View FIGURES 13 – 21 ). Posterior margin of chelicerae between teeth and fang with one long curved bristle, apparently typical within Heteropodinae (cf. Levy 1989: fig. 130). Female palpus claw with 6–8 teeth; shape of palpal and leg claw typical for Heteropodinae ( Figs 22–23 View FIGURES 22 – 26. 22 – 25 ). Leg length pattern (2413) fits scheme found by Jäger (2001) for other Heteropodinae (2413 for specimens <5mm DS length, 2143> 5mm DS length). Legs showing general trend for reducing spines: femur (retrolateral), tibiae I–II (prolateral), tibiae IV (retrolateral). Patella spination variable: 000–001. Metatarsus III additionally to metatarsus IV with additional distal median ventral spine; metatarsus III variable: 2014, 2024, 2025. Trochanters with ventral notch. Trilobate membrane with median hook and lateral projection of similar size ( Fig. 7 View FIGURES 1 – 8 ).

Generally light coloured to pale spiders. Dorsal shield of prosoma and sternum with dark, partly faint markings, eyes with distinct dark patches ( Figs 8 View FIGURES 1 – 8 , 24–30 View FIGURES 22 – 26. 22 – 25 View FIGURES 27 – 30. 27 – 28 ). Chelicerae with longitudinal stripes typical for Heteropodinae ( Figs 8 View FIGURES 1 – 8 , 24, 26 View FIGURES 22 – 26. 22 – 25 ).

Distribution. Known only from South India (Tamil Nadu State: Palni Hills; Kerala State: Cardamon Hills).

Species included. Martensopoda transversa sp. nov., Martensopoda minuscula ( Reimoser 1934) comb. nov.

Relationships. Although some resemblance with the genus Spariolenus from Northern India and Oman exists, i.e., male conductor reduced, spirally coiled copulatory openings and median septum not clearly recognisable (fused?) in females, a sister relationship cannot be proposed unambiguously. From the copulatory organs, especially of the male, it seems that copulation posture and mechanics should be clearly different from the basic pattern in the subfamily. This concerns the use of the unique cymbial spur but also the transversally oriented embolus loop. This singularity justifies in my opinion the erection of a new genus. Considering the small size of the two known species of Martensopoda gen. nov., the mountainous habitats, where they were found, and the overall high diversity of soil living arthropods in such habitats, it might be worth searching in similar regions for further undescribed and potential sister taxa of Martensopoda gen. nov.











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