Afroneta sarahae,

Frick, Holger & Scharff, Nikolaj, 2018, Description of one new genus and four new species of mynoglenine spiders from Africa (Araneae: Linyphiidae: Mynogleninae), European Journal of Taxonomy 415, pp. 1-27: 20-24

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Afroneta sarahae

sp. nov.

Afroneta sarahae  sp. nov. ACC 8A04A-41EE-489B-B929-3912135333E2

Figs 11D –FView Fig.11, 12–13View Fig. 12View Fig. 13


The presence of serrations on the ventral margin of the paracymbium is seen in only one more species, Afroneta serrata  sp. nov. The shape of the serrations is variable (see Fig. 13B –EView Fig. 13), ranging from many shallow fine denticles to a few deep strong teeth. The tegular mynoglenine process is roundish and smaller compared to what is seen in Afroneta serrata  sp. nov. The radix is situated in the distal half of the cymbium ( Fig. 13FView Fig. 13) and is shorter than in Afroneta serrata  sp. nov. ( Fig. 9CView Fig. 9). The copulatory duct in females is correspondingly shorter ( Fig. 12G –HView Fig. 12) than in Afroneta serrata  sp. nov. ( Fig. 10G –HView Fig. 10) and the dorsal plate with the dorsal plate scape is also narrower in its longitudinal dimension ( Fig. 9DView Fig. 9 vs Fig. 13GView Fig. 13).


The species epithet sarahae  is a name in apposition. It refers to Holger Frick’s partner, Sarah Küffer, who has supported Holger Frick’s passion for spiders for more than a decade.

Type material


KENYA: ♂, Rift Valley Prov., Trans-Nzoia Distr., Mount Elgon National Park, upper course of Kimothon Riv. , 1°5 ′ 53.1 ″ N, 34°37 ′ 13.7 ″ E [WGS84], 3645 m a.s.l., 19 Jan. 2009, N. Yunakov leg., H. Frick det., collection Natural History Museum of Oslo (sample KE005, ZMUN 24056GoogleMaps  ).


KENYA: ♀, same data as for holotype ( ZMUN 24056).GoogleMaps 

Other material examined (1 ♂, 7 ♀♀)

KENYA: 1 ♂, 7 ♀♀, together with holotype, collection Natural History Museum of Oslo (sample KE005, ZMUN 24056).GoogleMaps 


Male (holotype, ZMUN 24056)

SIZE. Total length 1.88. Cephalothorax 1.06 long, 0.76 wide. Sternum 0.59 long (0.54 without labium), 0.53 wide. Abdomen 0.91 long, 0.72 wide. AME diameter 0.04. Femur I 0.79 long, 0.75 times as long as cephalothorax.

COLOUR (preserved specimens, Fig. 11D, FView Fig.11). Cephalothorax and chelicerae brownish, sternum darker and with blackish-grey margin. Legs and pedipalps yellowish white, without annulations. Black rings around eyes. Abdomen dark grey, with white markings. Figure 11D –FView Fig.11 illustrates recently collected material (2009), stored in 96% ethanol. The colour is probably close to the colour of the live animals.

BODY. Cephalothorax with short pale setae in the midline. No fovea ( Fig. 11FView Fig.11). Ocular area without setae between eyes. Clypeus height 4 times AME diameter. Subocular sulci present below ALE, clearly demarcated, longer than wide and narrow ( Fig. 11DView Fig.11). Cephalothorax more elongated and narrower ( Fig. 11E –FView Fig.11) as compared to Afroneta serrata  sp. nov. ( Fig. 11B –CView Fig.11).

CHELICERAE. With 3 large widely spaced prolateral teeth ( Fig. 11DView Fig.11). Without stridulating file. Three small closely spaced retrolateral denticles, positioned between the two first prolateral teeth.

LEGS. All femora with short thin setae dorsally and ventrally. Ventral setae shorter than diameter of femora. Leg formula 1243. Trichobothrium metatarsus I = 0.37 (0.41 on other male specimen in vial). No tibial spines.

PEDIPALP ( Figs 12A –DView Fig. 12, 13A –FView Fig. 13). Patella with long strong macrosetae ( Fig. 12AView Fig. 12). Tibia with two retrolateral and one prolateral trichobothrium ( Fig. 12DView Fig. 12). Cymbium with two prolateral macrosetae ( Fig. 13AView Fig. 13). Paracymbium J-shaped, with unusual distal serrations on ventral margin ( Fig. 13A –FView Fig. 13). It holds two basal setae ( Fig. 13AView Fig. 13) and its distal part is well set off from the cymbium in dorsal view ( Fig. 12DView Fig. 12). Suprategulum narrow and triangular. Tegular mynoglenine process short and roundish ( Figs 12AView Fig. 12, 13AView Fig. 13), smaller than in Afroneta serrata  sp. nov. ( Figs 9AView Fig. 9, 10AView Fig. 10). Radical division small restricted to distal half of alveolus ( Fig. 13FView Fig. 13). Radix drop-like. Embolus with broad base, robust and almost straight and tapering towards the tip ( Figs 12CView Fig. 12, 13CView Fig. 13). Embolic membrane exceeding the embolus and the alveolus only slightly ( Fig. 13FView Fig. 13), less than in Afroneta serrata  sp. nov.

Female (allotype, ZMUN 24056)

SIZE. Total length 2.41 (abdomen strongly bent downwards so total length difficult to measure). Cephalothorax 1.44 long, 0.96 wide. Sternum 0.79 long (0.71 without labium), 0.63 wide. Abdomen 1.32 long, 0.91 wide. AME diameter 0.06. Femur I 1.00 long, 0.71 times as long as cephalothorax.

COLOUR (preserved specimen, Fig. 11EView Fig.11). As holotype.

BODY. Sternum shield –shaped. Clypeus height 3.5 times AME diameter.

CHELICERAE. With 3 large widely spaced prolateral teeth. Retrolateral denticles not visible. Chelicerae without stridulating file.

LEGS. Spination of legs like male. Leg formula 1243. Trichobothrium metatarsus I = 0.47.

EPIGYNUM AND VULVA ( Figs 12E –HView Fig. 12, 13G –HView Fig. 13). The epigyne has a dorsal plate scape that is moderately developed and neither extends much ventrally nor posteriorly ( Fig. 12E –FView Fig. 12). The copulatory ducts expand anteriorly as far as the receptacula and are separated from each other by less than their diameter ( Fig. 12G –HView Fig. 12). The receptacula are round.


Only know from Mount Elgon, Kenya, at altitudes of 3700 m a.s.l.

Life history

Little is known about the biology of this species. Specimens have been collected in the alpine belt above the forest zone.


Oak Hill Park Museum