Afroneta flavescens,

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: 9-13

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Afroneta flavescens

sp. nov.

Afroneta flavescens  sp. nov. A17227View Materials ED7

Figs 4–5View Fig. 4View Fig.5, 6A –CView Fig. 6


Males can be recognised by the combination of a simple radical division and the form of the paracymbium ( Fig. 4A –BView Fig. 4). The females have a round, but separated receptaculum ( Fig. 4CView Fig. 4). The copulatory duct is very short facing laterally directly from the copulatory opening into the receptaculum ( Fig. 4DView Fig. 4). The whole body of both sexes is uniformly yellow ( Figs 5A –DView Fig.5, 6A –CView Fig. 6). Both sexes resemble Afroneta bamilekei Bosmans, 1988  , but the spination is very different, e.g., spine formula 0 0 0 0 in A. bamilekei  ( Bosmans 1988; Merrett 2004), 2222 in Afroneta flavescens  sp. nov.


The species epithet flavescens  refers to the yellowish (Latin ‘ flavus ’) colour of the specimens. Holm suggested this name for these specimens in his unfinished manuscript, but never published the data ( Wallin 1990).

Type material


KENYA: ♂, Mount Elgon , 3200 m a.s.l., 01°10 ′ 0 0 ″ N, 34°40 ′ 0 0 ″ E, “sålln., mossa på trädstammar” (sifted moss on trees), 9 Mar. 1938, Å. Holm leg. and det., collection Holm UZM No. 137 ( UPSZMC 67563).



KENYA: ♀, Mount Elgon, Suam valley , 3480 m a.s.l., 01°09 ′ 59 ″ N, 34°35 ′ 59 ″ E, “sålln., mossa in Alckemilla -hed” (sifted moss in Alckemilla- heather), 17 May 1948, Å. Holm leg. and det., collection Holm UZM No. 158 ( UPSZMC 67564).



Male (holotype, UPSZMC 67563)

SIZE. Total length 2.70. Cephalothorax 1.35 long, 0.95 wide. Sternum 0.89 long (0.77 without labium), 0.67 wide. Abdomen 1.41 long, 0.78 wide. AME diameter 0.03. Femur I 1.40 long, 1.04 times as long as cephalothorax.

COLOUR (preserved specimen). Cephalothorax yellowish. Chelicerae, sternum, pedipalps, legs and abdomen yellowish ( Fig. 6 CView Fig. 6). The colour seen in the female ( Fig. 6 AView Fig. 6) also most resembles the true body colour of the male. Black rings around eyes, just like the females ( Fig. 6 AView Fig. 6).

BODY. Cephalothorax with many short setae. Fovea present, elongated, darker brown, faint/shallow ( Fig. 6 CView Fig. 6). Ocular area with several short thin setae between eyes. Clypeus with strong setae below AME. Clypeus height 6.3 times AME diameter. Subocular sulci ( SU) present below AME, long and wide, but not clearly demarcated as in the females ( Fig. 6 AView Fig. 6). Sternum shield –shaped with labium fused to sternum and short narrow extension of sternum between coxae IV (merged to carapace at the end).

CHELICERAE. With 3 large widely spaced prolateral teeth. Stridulating files not visible on chelicerae. Three small widely spaced retrolateral denticles, positioned between the two first prolateral teeth.

LEGS. All femora with two short stout setae dorsally. Leg formula 1243 (legs 1,2 of 4 almost same length). Trichobothrium metatarsus I = 0.59, very hard to see. Tibial spinal formula 2222.

PEDIPALP ( Figs 4 A – BView Fig. 4, 5 A –DView Fig.5). Patella with long strong distal dorsal spine ( Fig. 4 AView Fig. 4). Tibia about as long as cymbium, with two retrolateral and one prolateral trichobothrium ( Figs 4 AView Fig. 4, 5DView Fig.5). Cymbium with two prolateral macrosetae. Paracymbium curved, with two basal macrosetae ( Fig. 4 AView Fig. 4). Tegular mynoglenine process broad triangular, facing distally ( Fig. 4 A –BView Fig. 4). Suprategulum almost straight, finger-like ( Fig. 4AView Fig. 4). Radix drop-like with small straight, robust embolus. According to Merrett (2004), this is also present in Afroneta bamilekei Bosmans, 1988  . Embolic membrane small, only slightly longer than embolus, exceeding the cymbium marginally ( Fig. 4BView Fig. 4).

Female (allotype, UPSZMC 67564)

SIZE. Total length 3.25. Cephalothorax 1.53 long, 0.99 wide. Sternum 0.86 long (0.79 without labium), 0.66 wide. Abdomen 1.86 long, 1.08 wide. AME diameter 0.04. Femur I 1.48, long, 0.97 times as long as cephalothorax.

COLOUR (preserved specimen, Fig. 6BView Fig. 6). As male holotype. The difference in colour in Figures 6B and CView Fig. 6 is a technical relict from the different backgrounds. The yellow in Fig. 6AView Fig. 6 is closest to the real body colour.

BODY. Sternum shield –shaped, like male. Clypeus height 5.75 times AME diameter.

CHELICERAE. Cheliceral teeth ( Fig. 6 AView Fig. 6) and stridulation file as in male. Spination of legs as in male. Leg formula 1243. Trichobothrium metatarsus I = 0.53, very hard to see.

EPIGYNUM. The females have a round, centrally separated receptaculum ( Figs 4CView Fig. 4, 5G – HView Fig.5). The dorsal plate scape is well developed ( Fig. 5E – FView Fig.5). The copulatory duct is very short facing laterally directly from the copulatory opening to the receptaculum and lacking an anteriorly facing copulatory duct ( Figs 4C –DView Fig. 4, 5 G –HView Fig.5).


Only known from Mount Elgon over 3200 m a.s.l.

Life history

Little is known about the biology of this species. Specimens have been collected from moss on trees and in heather above 3200 m.


This species was originally recognized by Holm, who also suggested what specimen to use as holotype, but he never published the new species and a draft manuscript has not been found. The specimens of the new species are already listed in an unpublished report from the Zoological Museum, Uppsala University ( Wallin 1990) as Afroneta flavescens  MS.


Sweden, Lund, Lund University


Harvard University - Arnold Arboretum


"Alexandru Ioan Cuza" University


University of Copenhagen


Oregon State University


Botanischer Garten und Botanisches Museum Berlin-Dahlem, Zentraleinrichtung der Freien Universitaet


University of Helsinki


Field Museum of Natural History, Botany Department


Conservatoire et Jardin botaniques de la Ville de Gen�ve