Maghreba aurouxi ( Barrientos, 2019 ) Huber, 2022

Huber, Bernhard A., 2022, Revisions of Holocnemus and Crossopriza: the spotted-leg clade of Smeringopinae (Araneae, Pholcidae), European Journal of Taxonomy 795 (1), pp. 1-241 : 86-94

publication ID 10.5852/ejt.2022.795.1663

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scientific name

Maghreba aurouxi ( Barrientos, 2019 )

gen. et comb. nov.

Maghreba aurouxi ( Barrientos, 2019) View in CoL gen. et comb. nov.

Figs 163B View Fig , 260–262 View Figs 257–264 , 285–304 View Figs 285–289 View Figs 290–298 View Figs 299–304 , 319–330 View Figs 313–321. 313–318 View Figs 322–330

Holocnemus aurouxi Barrientos View in CoL in Barrientos et al. 2019: 5, figs 2–5, 13a–b (♂).


Easily distinguished from known congeners by dorsal arc of internal female genitalia with pair of distinct posterior protrusions ( Fig. 303 View Figs 299–304 ); from the geographically neighboring M. nkob gen. et sp. nov. also by procursus with long and straight ventral sclerite and longer dorsally-directed tip ( Fig. 292 View Figs 290–298 ), distal (main) bulbal sclerite with two small ventral teeth of equal size and strongly protruding dorsal process ( Figs 293–296 View Figs 290–298 ), epigynum short, triangular to semi-circular ( Figs 299–301 View Figs 299–304 ); from the morphologically very similar M. amezyan gen. et sp. nov. also by smaller size (e.g., carapace width <1.5 vs>1.5; palpal tibia length: <0.95 vs>0.95); from the morphologically very similar M. kahfa gen. et sp. nov. also by stronger legs (male tibia 1 L/d 60 vs 80) and larger eyes (AME diameter 65 µm vs 40 µm).

Type material

Holotype (not examined, see Remark below) MOROCCO – L’Oriental • ♂; Figuig, Beni Bassia, Ifri Lala Jama; 32.252° N, 3.159° W; 1105 m a.s.l.; 1 Jun. 2001; F. Fadrique and O. Escolá leg.; Museo de Zoología de Barcelona 2001-0424 (= Museu de Ciències Naturals de Barcelona ) GoogleMaps .


I could not examine the type specimen because a loan request was denied (B. Caballero, pers. com. 19 Feb. 2021). However, Jorge Mederos kindly prepared photographs of the distinctive features and these were compared with newly collected specimens from three localities; see variation below.

Material examined

MOROCCO – Drâa-Tafilalet • 7 ♂♂, 10 ♀♀ (partly used for SEM); SE of Zebzat; 32.625° N, 4.540° W; 1675 m a.s.l.; 20 Sep. 2018; B.A. Huber leg.; in small cave above road, near ground; ZFMK Ar 22385, Ar 22386 GoogleMaps 1 ♂, 3 ♀♀ (in pure ethanol); same collection data as for preceding; ZFMK Mor 98 GoogleMaps 2 ♂♂; Boudenib, Kef Aziza ; 31.94° N, 3.60° W; 9 Jan. 2000; C. Hernando leg.; CRBA 3638 GoogleMaps 2 ♀♀; same collection data as for preceding; CRBA 3639 GoogleMaps 1 ♀; same collection data as for preceding; CRBA 3736 GoogleMaps .

Assigned tentatively (see Distribution below)

MOROCCO – Souss-Massa • 2 ♂♂, 1 ♀; between Irherm and Tiferki at R106; 30.1406° N, 8.3337° W; 1745 m a.s.l.; 16 Sep. 2018; B.A. Huber leg.; in small cave-like shelter made of large rocks; ZFMK Ar 22387 GoogleMaps 1 ♂ (in pure ethanol); same collection data as for preceding; ZFMK Mor87 GoogleMaps .


Male (ZFMK Ar 22385)

MEASUREMENTS. Total length 2.8, carapace width 1.2. Distance PME–PME 130 µm; diameter PME 85 × 105 µm; distance PME–ALE 25 µm; diameter AME 65 µm; distance AME–AME 20 µm. Leg 1: 26.4 (7.6 + 0.5 + 7.3 + 9.2 + 1.8), tibia 2: 4.8, tibia 3: 3.7, tibia 4: 4.2; tibia 1 L/d: 61; femora 1–4 diameters: 0.19, 0.17, 0.17, 0.17.

COLOR (in ethanol). Carapace pale ochre to whitish, medially slightly darker; clypeus not darkened; sternum ochre with darker radial marks; legs pale ochre-yellow, without darker rings, with black lines on femora and tibiae ( Figs 288–289 View Figs 285–289 ); abdomen pale gray, with few small dark marks dorsally, many whitish marks; ventrally with diffuse dark marks anterior of gonopore and around spinnerets; with only two small dark marks between gonopore and spinnerets.

BODY. Habitus as in Figs 260–261 View Figs 257–264 . Ocular area slightly raised. Deep thoracic pit and pair of shallow furrows diverging from pit toward posterior margin (cf. Fig. 319 View Figs 313–321. 313–318 ). Clypeus unmodified, rim not more sclerotized than in female. Sternum wider than long (0.85/0.60), unmodified. Abdomen posteriorly rounded, high but not elongated beyond spinnerets.

CHELICERAE. Very similar to M. stifadma gen. et sp. nov. (cf. Figs 233–234 View Figs 227–236 ), with pair of frontal lateral apophyses, each with one large modified cone-shaped hair ( Fig. 323 View Figs 322–330 ); distance between tips of modified hairs: 380 µm; with very low proximal frontal protrusion; lateral stridulatory ridges fine ( Fig. 324 View Figs 322–330 ; distances between ridges 3.0–3.5 µm), poorly visible in dissecting microscope.

PALPS. As is Figs 285–287 View Figs 285–289 ; coxa with distinct retrolateral-ventral process (arrow in Fig. 287 View Figs 285–289 ); trochanter barely modified (low ventral rounded hump); femur not curved towards dorsal, distally widened and with very low rounded ventral protrusion, proximally with prolateral stridulatory pick (modified hair), without retrolateral transversal line, with distinct retrolateral-ventral proximal process and distinct dorsal process; femur-patella joints slightly shifted toward prolateral side; tibia relatively long and slender, tibia-tarsus joints shifted toward retrolateral side; tarsus without macrotrichia; tarsal organ capsulate ( Fig. 327 View Figs 322–330 ); procursus ( Figs 290–292 View Figs 290–298 ) with some dorsal hairs slightly curved upwards; on prolateral side with proximal ridge followed by distinct hump at half length, both hairless; distally with very low ventral flap; procursus tip with strong ventral sclerite and semitransparent process, main branch strongly curved towards dorsal, with semitransparent hair-like process and wide tip divided by retrolateral ridge; genital bulb ( Figs 293–296 View Figs 290–298 ) basal sclerite with dorsal apophysis; distal (main) sclerite large, with deep retrolateral pocket, strong dorsal process without teeth, ventral part with two teeth of similar sizes, sperm duct opening in membranous area on prolateral side (arrow in Fig. 322 View Figs 322–330 ).

LEGS. Femur 1 with single row of ~27 ventral spines; without curved hairs; with slightly higher than usual density of short vertical hairs prolaterally on all tibiae; retrolateral trichobothrium of tibia 1 at 4%; prolateral trichobothrium absent on tibia 1, present on other leg tibiae; tarsal pseudosegments irregular and indistinct except ~3–5 distally; tarsal organs capsulate, sometimes with weakly undulating rim ( Fig. 328 View Figs 322–330 ).

Male (variation)

Tibia 1 in seven males from SE of Zebzat: 6.9–7.9 (mean 7.4); abdomen pattern slightly variable, some males with slightly more dark marks dorsally, with more ‘complete’ ventral pattern behind gonopore (three parallel bands). Males from between Irherm and Tiferki differ very slightly from those from SE of Zebzat: tip of procursus narrower; ventral teeth of distal bulbal sclerite slightly smaller and closer together; dorsal process on distal bulbal sclerite slightly narrower and longer in lateral views; tibia 1 in these two males: 7.1, 7.3. The holotype seems identical to the males from SE of Zebzat regarding the procursus, but more similar to the males from between Irherm and Tiferki with respect to the bulb. The two males from Boudenib are in very poor condition but their palps appear identical to those from between Irherm and Tiferki; tibia 1 in one of these males: 8.3 (missing in second male). Gonopore with 4–6 epiandrous spigots, sometimes asymmetric (2+3; Figs 320–321 View Figs 313–321. 313–318 ).


In general similar to male ( Fig. 262 View Figs 257–264 ) but without spines on legs; with very indistinct stridulatory apparatus between prosoma and abdomen: barely visible whitish processes on carapace (arrow in Fig. 319 View Figs 313–321. 313–318 ) and light brown areas frontally on abdomen; without cheliceral stridulatory ridges but with rugose area proximally ( Fig. 325 View Figs 322–330 ). Tibia 1 in 11 females from SE of Zebzat: 5.9–8.2 (mean 7.1); in female from Irherm and Tiferki: 6.5. Epigynum as in Figs 299–301 View Figs 299–304 and 330 View Figs 322–330 , main epigynal plate wider than long, triangular to semicircular, weakly protruding, with pair of very low processes; with pair of indistinct round pockets (distance ~310 µm); posterior plate short and wide, simple; indistinct plate in front of epigynum, not elevated. Internal genitalia ( Figs 297–298 View Figs 290–298 , 302–304 View Figs 299–304 ) with elongated pore plates in transversal position, widening medially; dorsal arc medially heavily sclerotized with distinctive posterior processes, ventral arc apparently without ventral pocket.

The females from Boudenib are larger and have much longer legs (tibia 1: 9.6, 10.1; missing in third female), and the epigynal humps are barely visible, but they share the distinctive posterior processes of the internal dorsal arc (one female cleared).

Natural history

All specimens were collected in caves or small cave-like shelters. Near Zebzat, the spiders were abundant in a shallow cave, with their domed webs close to the ground. They were hanging in their webs rather than sitting on the rock surface. Between Irherm and Tiferki, the spiders were only found in a small cave-like shelter of large rocks, while M. saghro gen. et sp. nov. occupied a more epigean microhabitat, i.e., spaces among and under rocks.


The type locality and two further localities are in the eastern Moroccan Atlas ( Fig. 163B View Fig ). The specimens from between Irherm and Tiferki are from almost 500 km further west and therefore assigned tentatively.


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig














Maghreba aurouxi ( Barrientos, 2019 )

Huber, Bernhard A. 2022

Holocnemus aurouxi

Barrientos J. A. & Branas N. & Mederos J. 2019: 5
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