Pantopsalis listeri (White, 1849)

Taylor, Christopher K., 2013, Further notes on New Zealand Enantiobuninae (Opiliones, Neopilionidae), with the description of a new genus and two new species, ZooKeys 263, pp. 59-73: 66

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Pantopsalis listeri (White, 1849)


Pantopsalis listeri (White, 1849)  Figure 3

Phalangium listeri  White 1849: 6 (reprinted 1850: 52).

Pantopsalis listeri  ( White 1849): Simon 1879: 73, Taylor 2004: 61 (as nomen dubium; further citations provided by Taylor 2004).

Megalopsalis luna  Forster 1944: 190, pl. 66 Figs 1-3 syn. n.

Pantopsalis luna  ( Forster 1944): Taylor 2004: 70-71, Fig. 9.


1 ♂, 'Ile du Milieu, Filhol, 1875-75' (MNHP no. 134).

Other specimens examined.

1 ♂, same data as neotype; 3 ♂, New Zealand, WD. Waiho Gorge, Sth Westland, 21 July 1927 (MONZ); photographs of live males provided by Simon Pollard (Canterbury Museum, Christchurch).


As described by Simon (1879), with the following additions: Dorsum of opisthosoma with pale silvery, narrow, transverse stripes on posterior margins of segments (Fig. 3b). Segment II of chelicera inflated in neotype, slender in remaining specimens. Glans of penis without dorsal keel ( Taylor 2004: Fig. 9).


The original type specimen(s) of Phalangium listeri  are lost; they have not been located in the collection of the Museum of Natural History, London (J. Beccaloni, pers. com.) or of the Muséum national d’Histoire naturelle, Paris (M. Judson, pers. com.) It was therefore treated as a nomen dubium by Taylor (2004). A redescription of Pantopsalis listeri  was provided by Simon (1879), who made it the type species of his new genus Pantopsalis  .

Since the publication of Taylor (2004), I have had the opportunity to examine two of the specimens used by Simon (1879) in his redescription of this species. Their state of preservation is not ideal (they appear to have been subject to desiccation at some point in the past) and the genitalia have become distorted. Nevertheless, I was able to confirm the absence of a dorsal keel on the glans, demonstrating that Pantopsalis listeri  could not be conspecific with Pantopsalis albipalpis  , Pantopsalis coronata  or Pantopsalis phocator  among other South Island Pantopsalis  species. External characters (described by Simon 1879), such as the unarmed ocularium with denticles restricted to the anterior propeltidium on the dorsal prosomal plate, are also consistent with male specimens referred to Pantopsalis luna  ( Forster 1944) by Taylor (2004) (pers. obs.), and it is my judgement that that species is a junior synonym of Pantopsalis listeri  sensu Simon (1879). The opisthosoma has collapsed in both MNHP specimens, so Simon’s (1879) failure to note the transverse striping present in this species may be an artefact of preservation and does not oppose the synonymy.

White’s (1849) original description of Pantopsalis listeri  does not provide a more detailed type locality than 'New Zealand’, but Judson (1997) suggested the Bay of Islands, North Island, as the likely type locality for Chelifer pallipes  White 1849 (now Philomaoria pallipes  ), described in the same paper. If this was also the case for Pantopsalis listeri  , then Simon’s (1879) specimens would be unlikely to represent the same species as White’s original type(s). Simon (1879) did not explicitly indicate how he identified his specimens as Pantopsalis listeri  ; as no other New Zealand enantiobunine had yet been described, Simon was probably simply unaware that more than one phalangioid species with enlarged chelicerae existed there. Nevertheless, one of the MNHP specimens (Fig. 3a) is here designated as neotype of Phalangium listeri  . White’s original description was exceedingly rudimentary, giving basic characters of the chelicerae only, and inadequate for determining which of the genera Pantopsalis  , Forsteropsalis  or Mangatangi  was being examined. Simon’s more detailed redescription was at least implicitly used as the basis for identification of Pantopsalis  by all subsequent authors ( Pocock 1903a, b, Hogg 1910, 1920, Roewer 1923, Taylor 2004). Nomenclatural stability is best served by fixing Pantopsalis listeri  's identity as the species examined by Simon.