Systenita prasina Simon, 1893

Huber, Bernhard A. & Villarreal, Osvaldo, 2020, On Venezuelan pholcid spiders (Araneae, Pholcidae), European Journal of Taxonomy 718, pp. 1-317: 281-300

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Systenita prasina Simon, 1893


Systenita prasina Simon, 1893  

Figs 1008–1020, 1021–1022, 1065

Systenita prasina Simon, 1893a: 318   .

Systenita prasina   – Simon 1893b: 479–483. — Brignoli 1975: 36, fig. 2g. — Huber 1997d: 608, figs 28a–d, 29a–f. — González-Sponga 2010: 23, pl. 6, figs 1–9.


Systenita prasina   – Caporiacco 1955: 299, fig. 8 (see Huber 1997d).


Brignoli’s (1975) drawing of the palp of this species was probably prepared from a type specimen in MNHN. He did not  specify the origin of his specimen(s).

González-Sponga’s (2010) material was reexamined and is correctly identified: 1 ♂, 1 ♀, MIZA 105656 (MAGS 1347), La Guaira, “carretera El Junquito – Carayaca” (file card), “El Junquito – vía Carayaca” (publication) [approximately 10.445° N, 67.147° W], 11 Jan. 1992 (A.R. Delgado, M.A. González S.).


Easily distinguished from similar pale six-eyed pholcids ( Mecolaesthus fallax Huber   sp. nov., Metagonia   spp.) by distinctive armature of male chelicerae ( Huber 1997d: figs 29e–f; two large clubshaped hairs on each side), by very slender procursus partly lodged in groove of large bulbal process ( Huber 1997d: fig. 29b), and by epigynum and female internal genitalia (Figs 1012–1020; small light brown sclerite, tiny globular pore plates attached to median sclerite).

Type material

VENEZUELA   – Aragua • ♂ lectotype (designated in Huber 1997d), 8 ♂♂, 16 ♀♀ paralectotypes and 7 juvs, MNHN (Ar 10527), Eugène Simon collection number 11023, Colonia Tovar [approximately 10.41° N, 67.29° W], Jan.–Feb. 1888 (E. Simon); examined (see Huber 1997d). GoogleMaps  

New records

VENEZUELA   – Aragua • 9 ♂♂, 15 ♀♀, ZFMK (Ar 22137–38), and 2 ♂♂, 2 ♀♀, 3 juvs in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Ven02/100-11), forest above Colonia Tovar (10.414° N, 67.301° W), ~ 2100 m a.s.l., 26 Nov. 2002 (B.A. Huber) GoogleMaps   9 ♂♂, 11 ♀♀, ZFMK (Ar 22139–40), and 1 ♂, 5 ♀♀ in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Ven18-152), same locality, 2140 m a.s.l., 8 Nov. 2018 (B.A. Huber, O. Villarreal M.) GoogleMaps   9 ♂♂, 7 ♀♀, ZFMK (Ar 22141–43), and 1 ♂, 2 ♀♀, 1 juv. in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Ven02/100-45), near Colonia Tovar, forest at Cerro Picacho (= Pico Codazzi) (10.408° N, 67.308° W), ~ 2200 m a.s.l., 27 Nov. 2002 (B.A. Huber). – La Guaira GoogleMaps   1 ♂, 2 ♀♀, ZFMK (Ar 22144), between Colonia Tovar and El Junquito (10.4230° N, 67.2381° W), 1960 m a.s.l., 10 Nov. 2018 (B.A. Huber, O. Villarreal M.). – Miranda GoogleMaps   15 ♂♂, 14 ♀♀, ZFMK (Ar 22145–46), El Ávila National Park , between Sabas Nieves and La Silla (10.529° N, 66.854° W), ~ 2100 m a.s.l., 25 Nov. 2002 (B.A. Huber) GoogleMaps   21 ♂♂, 6 ♀♀, 2 juvs, ZFMK (Ar 22147–48), and 3 ♂♂, 1 ♀ in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Ven18-143), same locality (10.5288° N, 66.8546° W), 1850 m a.s.l., 7 Nov. 2018 (B.A. Huber, O. Villarreal M.) GoogleMaps   2 ♀♀, 1 juv., MIZA 105805 View Materials ( MAGS 561), El Ávila National Park, El Paraíso [10.530° N, 66.819° W], ~ 1500 m a.s.l., 16 Aug. 1981 (J.A. González D.) GoogleMaps   .

Redescription (amendments, see Huber 1997d)


Habitus as in Figs 1008–1009. Eye measurements (male from Colonia Tovar): distance PME–PME 210 µm; diameter PME 80 µm; distance PME–ALE 70 µm. Carapace monochromous whitish, clypeus variable, from pale grey to light brown to black; legs pale ochre yellow, femora 2 and 3 dorsally proximally with long dark mark, coxae 2 and 3 ventrally with dark mark; patellae and tibia-metatarsus joints dark; abdomen monochromous pale gray to pale bluish. Legs without curved hairs; retrolateral trichobothrium on tibia 1 at 1.5%; prolateral trichobothrium present on tibia 1. Tibia 1 in 56 newly examined males: 6.5–8.1 (mean 7.3).


Colors as in male (Figs 1010–1011), but femora 2 and 3 dorsally without dark mark and coxae 2 and 3 ventrally without dark mark; color of clypeus variable as in male. Tibia 1 in 50 newly examined females: 4.9–6.1 (mean 5.4). Epigynum (Figs 1012–1015) very simple, ventral view variable depending on visibility of internal (often greenish or bluish) structures. Internal genitalia (Figs 1016–1020) with tiny globular pore plates attached to median sclerite.


Known from several localities in the Coastal Ranges (between 1850 and 2200 m a.s.l.) in the Venezuelan states Aragua, La Guaira, and Miranda (Fig. 1065).

Natural history

The spiders were collected from their relatively large webs attached to the undersides of leaves at ~ 1–2 m above the ground. They rested in an inverted position (dorsal side of the abdomen facing the underside of the leaf, frontal side of prosoma facing the forest floor; Figs 1008, 1010) at the apex of the domed web where it was closely attached to the leaf. When disturbed, the spiders moved away and bobbed or vibrated but were easy to catch. Egg sacs were often greenish (Figs 1010–1011).

Figs 1008–1019. Systenita prasina Simon, 1893   . 1008–1011. Live male from Aragua, Colonia Tovar (1008) and male and females with egg sacs from Miranda, El Ávila National Park (1009–1011). 1012– 1019. Epigyna, ventral views and cleared female genitalia, ventral and dorsal views, females from Miranda, El Ávila National Park (1012–1013, 1016–1017; ZFMK Ar 22146) and from Aragua, Colonia Tovar (1014–1015, 1018–1019; ZFMK Ar 22140).

Fig. 1020. Systenita prasina Simon, 1893   ; from Aragua, Colonia Tovar (type locality; ZFMK Ar 22140); cleared female genitalia, dorsal view. Scale line: 0.2 mm.

Figs 1021–1026. Selection of collecting sites. 1021. Aragua, Colonia Tovar, one of Eugène Simon’s main collecting sites in 1888 (background: forest with Mecolaesthus longissimus Simon, 1893   ; Mesabolivar eberhardi Huber, 2000   ; Metagonia conica (Simon, 1893)   ; Priscula venezuelana Simon, 1893   ; Stenosfemuraia   spp.; Systenita prasina Simon, 1893   ). 1022. Miranda, El Ávila National Park [ Litoporus aerius Simon, 1893   ; Mesabolivar eberhardi   ; Metagonia conica   ; Stenosfemuraia parva   González- Sponga, 1998; Systenita prasina   ; Priscula venezuelana   ]. 1023. Falcón, Península de Paraguaná, basis of Cerro Santa Ana ( Modisimus repens Huber   sp. nov.). 1024. Falcón, Península de Paraguaná, highest parts of Cerro Santa Ana [ Pisaboa marcuzzii ( Caporiacco, 1955)   comb. nov.]. 1025. Falcón, Península de Paraguaná, Cueva del Guano [ Anopsicus ana Huber   sp. nov.; Chisosa caquetio Huber, 2019   ; Mesabolivar eberhardi   ; Physocyclus globosus (Taczanowski, 1874)   ]. 1026. Falcón, Curimagua, Cuevas de Acarite ( Priscula acarite Huber   sp. nov.).

Figs 1027–1032. Selection of collecting sites. 1027. Mérida, Mucuy, along Laguna El Suero trail ( Mecolaesthus   spp.; Priscula andinensis González-Sponga, 1999   ; P. ulai González-Sponga, 1999   ). 1028. Mérida, between Mérida and Barinas, ‘site 2’ ( Mecolaesthus yerbatero Huber   sp. nov.). 1029. Trujillo, Laguna Negra [ Canaima loca Huber   sp. nov.; Boconita sayona Huber   sp. nov.; Mecolaesthus   spp.; Metagonia conica (Simon, 1893)   ; Priscula   spp.]. 1030. Delta Amacuro, between El Triunfo and Piacoa ( Blancoa piacoa Huber, 2000   ; Carapoia paraguaensis González-Sponga, 1998   ). 1031. Falcón, Bariro ( Ibotyporanga bariro Huber   sp. nov.). 1032. La Guaira, Catia La Mar [ Chisosa caquetio Huber, 2019   ; Modisimus culicinus (Simon, 1893)   ].

Figs 1033–1035. Distribution maps. 1033. Known distributions of Anopsicus Chamberlin & Ivie, 1938   ; Boconita Huber   gen. nov.; and Blancoa Huber, 2000   in Venezuela   (and neighboring areas); Anopsicus   is species-rich in Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean ( Gertsch 1982); Boconita   gen. nov. and Blancoa   are known only from the localities shown in the map. 1034. Known distribution of Canaima Huber, 2000   ; the map shows all known species. 1035. Known distribution of Chibchea Huber, 2000   in Venezuela   (and neighboring areas); Chibchea   is widespread in the Andes and ranges south to Argentina and Chile ( Huber 2000). TL, type locality.

Figs 1036–1037. Distribution maps. 1036. Known distributions of Chisosa Huber, 2000   and Carapoia González-Sponga, 1998   in Venezuela   (and neighboring areas); Chisosa   is known from two further species in Texas and Bajas California Norte ( Huber 2000). Carapoia   is widespread in South America (Huber 2016, 2018); the only Venezuelan species C. paraguaensis González-Sponga, 1998   ranges further south than shown on the map. 1037. Known distribution of Coryssocnemis Simon, 1893   . The map shows all known species (except for the misplaced Mexican and Brazilian species; see text). TL, type locality.

Figs 1038–1039. Distribution maps. 1038. Known distribution of Artema Walckenaer, 1837   in Venezuela   and neighboring areas; Artema   is in the New World only represented by the introduced pantropical A. atlanta Walckenaer, 1837   ( Aharon et al. 2017). 1039. Known distribution of Crossopriza Simon, 1893   in Venezuela   and neighboring areas. Crossopriza   is in the New World only represented by the introduced pantropical C. lyoni (Blackwall, 1867) ( Huber et al. 1999)   .

Figs 1040–1041. Distribution maps. 1040. Known distribution of Ninetinae   ( Galapa Huber, 2000   ; Ibotyporanga Mello-Leit   ṳo, 1944; Pemona Huber, 2019   ) in Venezuela   (and neighboring areas); Galapa   is also known from Galapagos ( Huber 2000; Baert 2014) and an undescribed species in Costa Rica (B.A. Huber, unpubl. data); Ibotyporanga   is widespread in northern South America (B.A. Huber & L.S. Carvalho, unpubl. data); Pemona   is a monotypic genus known only from the locality shown. 1041. Known distribution of Litoporus Simon, 1893   in Venezuela   (and neighboring areas); Litoporus   is widespread in northern South America ( Huber 2000; B.A. Huber & L.S. Carvalho, unpubl. data). TL, type locality.

Figs 1042–1044. Known distributions of the Mecolaesthus cornutus   group (1042) and the M. grandis   group (1043–1044). Both species groups are known from Venezuela   only.

Figs 1045–1046. Known distribution of Mecolaesthus Simon, 1893   (except cornutus   and grandis   groups) in Venezuela   (and neighboring areas). Outside of the map area, the genus includes only five further described species in the Lesser Antilles (3), Colombia (1), and Brazil (1). TL, type locality.

Figs 1047–1048. Known distributions of Mesabolivar aurantiacus   (Mello-Leitṳo, 1930) and M. eberhardi Huber, 2000   in Venezuela   (and neighboring areas). Both species are widespread in northern South America (Huber 2018), but none of them seems to reach Panama or the Lesser Antilles. TL, type locality. Figs 1049–1050. Known distribution of Mesabolivar González-Sponga, 1998   [except M. aurantiacus   (Mello-Leitṳo, 1930) and M. eberhardi Huber, 2000   ] in Venezuela   (and neighboring areas). M. cyaneus (Taczanowski, 1874)   has a wider distribution than shown in the map, covering the entire Guyana Region (Huber 2018); some Guyana localities published in Huber (2000) may be located within the map but their exact coordinates are not  known to us. TL, type locality.

Figs 1051–1052. Known distribution of the Metagonia delicata   group in Venezuela   (and neighboring areas).This group ranges from Mexico to northern Argentina; M. beni Huber, 2000   and M. mariguitarensis ( González-Sponga, 1998)   have wider distributions than shown in the maps: they are widespread in the Amazon Region ( Huber 2000; B.A. Huber, unpublished data). TL, type locality.

Figs 1053–1054. Known distribution of the Metagonia rica   group in Venezuela   (and neighboring areas). This group is species-rich in Mexico and Central America and reaches into northern South America. TL, type locality.

Figs 1055–1056. Known distribution of Micropholcus Deeleman-Reinhold & Prinsen, 1987   in Venezuela   (and neighboring areas); Micropholcus fauroti (Simon, 1887)   is an introduced pantropical species (Huber et al. 2017); indigenous representatives of Micropholcus   are widespread in Brazil and the Caribbean ( Huber 2000; Huber et al. 2005, 2014b) but in Venezuela   represented only by M. evaluna (Huber, Pérez González & Baptista, 2005)   . TL, type locality.

Figs 1057–1059. Distribution maps. 1057–1058. Known distribution of Modisimus Simon, 1893   in Venezuela   (and neighboring areas). Modisimus   is species-rich in Mexico, Central America, and the Caribbean, but poorly represented in South America. 1059. Known distribution of Physocyclus Simon, 1893   in Venezuela   ; Physocyclus   is in South America represented only by the introduced pantropical P. globosus (Taczanowski, 1874)   ; the map does not  show records from neighboring areas. TL, type locality.

Figs 1060–1062. Known distribution of Priscula Simon, 1893   in Venezuela   (and neighboring areas). The genus ranges south along the Andes to Argentina and with one species east into Guyana ( Huber 2000). TL, type locality.

Figs 1063–1065. Distribution maps. 1063. Known distribution of Pisaboa Huber, 2000   in Venezuela   ; further species of Pisaboa   have been described from Peru and Bolivia ( Huber 2000). 1064. Known distribution of Stenosfemuraia González-Sponga, 1998   ; the genus is restricted to the area shown. 1065. Known distribution of the monotypic genus Systenita Simon, 1893   . TL, type locality.


France, Paris, Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle


Germany, Bonn, Zoologische Forschungsinstitut und Museum "Alexander Koenig"


Museum National d'Histoire Naturelle


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig














Systenita prasina Simon, 1893

Huber, Bernhard A. & Villarreal, Osvaldo 2020

Systenita prasina

Caporiacco L. di 1955: 299

Systenita prasina

Simon E. 1893: 318

Systenita prasina

Gonzalez-Sponga M. A. 2010: 23
Huber B. A. 1997: 608
Brignoli P. M. 1975: 36
Simon E. 1893: 479