Afroneta serrata,

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: 16-20

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Afroneta serrata

sp. nov.

Afroneta serrata  sp. nov.

Figs 9–10View Fig. 9View Fig. 10, 11A –CView Fig.11


In males, the presence of serrations on the ventral margin of the paracymbium is diagnostic. However, the shape of the serrations is variable (see Fig. 9A –BView Fig. 9), ranging from many shallow fine denticles to a few deep strong teeth. The tegular mynoglenine process tapers towards the tip and is well set off from the tegulum ( Figs 9AView Fig. 9, 10A –BView Fig. 10). Females have a small dorsal plate scape and copulatory ducts that exceed the receptacula anteriorly.


The species epithet serrata  refers to the serrated paracymbium of the males. The gender is feminine. This species was discovered by Holm, who also suggested the specimen to use as holotype, but the species was never published. The material of this species is listed in an unpublished catalogue from the Zoological Museum at the Uppsala University ( Wallin 1990) as Afroneta serrata  MS.

Type material


KENYA: ♂, Mount Elgon, Koitobboss, Alpine belt , “Sålln., moss m.m. på marken” (sifted moss etc., on the ground), 1°08 ′ N, 34°36 ′ E, 4200 m a.s.l., 11 May 1948, Å. Holm leg. and det., collection Holm UZM No. 142 ( UPSZMC 67569).GoogleMaps 


KENYA: ♀, same data as for holotype ( UPSZMC 67569).GoogleMaps 

Other material examined (2 ♂♂)

KENYA: 2 ♂♂, Mount Elgon, crater, southern part, Alpine belt , “sålln. gräs vid Senecio  ” (sifted grass at Senecio  ), 1°07′ N, 34°34 ′ E, 3980 m a.s.l., 14 May 1948, Å. Holm leg. and det., collection Holm UZM No. 62/147 ( UPSZMC 67570).GoogleMaps 


Male (holotype, UPSZMC 67569)

SIZE. Total length 1.98. Cephalothorax 1.13 long, 0.81 wide. Sternum 0.71 long (0.60 without labium), 0.56 wide. Abdomen 1.08 long, 0.66 wide. AME diameter 0.04. Femur I 0.70 long, 1.01 times as long as cephalothorax.

COLOUR (preserved specimens, Fig. 11A, CView Fig.11). Cephalothorax and chelicerae brownish, sternum darker and with blackish-grey margin. Legs and pedipalps yellowish white, without annulations. Black rings around eyes ( Fig. 11AView Fig.11). Abdomen grey, with white markings. Figure 11AView Fig.11 illustrates old material (1948) stored in 75% ethanol.

BODY. Cephalothorax with short pale setae in the midline. No fovea ( Fig. 11CView Fig.11). Ocular area with several short thin setae between eyes. Clypeus height 4.6 times AME diameter. Subocular sulci present below ALE, clearly demarcated, longer than wide and narrow ( Fig. 11AView Fig.11).

CHELICERAE. With 3 large widely spaced prolateral teeth ( Fig. 11AView Fig.11). No 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 several times longer than diameter of femora. Leg formula 1243. Trichobothrium metatarsus I = 0.49. Tibial spine formula 2222.

PEDIPALP ( Figs 9A –CView Fig. 9, 10A –DView Fig. 10, 11AView Fig.11). Patella with long strong macro setae ( Fig. 10AView Fig. 10). Tibia with two retrolateral and one prolateral trichobothrium ( Figs 9AView Fig. 9, 10DView Fig. 10). Cymbium with two prolateral macrosetae ( Fig. 9CView Fig. 9). Paracymbium J-shaped, with unusual distal serrations on ventral margin ( Fig. 9A –BView Fig. 9). It bears two setae basally ( Fig. 9AView Fig. 9) and its distal part is well set off from the cymbium in dorsal view ( Fig. 10DView Fig. 10). Suprategulum narrow, triangular. Tegular mynoglenine process elongated, well set off from the tegulum ( Figs 9A –BView Fig. 9, 10A –BView Fig. 10). Radix drop-like. Embolus with broad base, robust and almost straight and tapering towards the tip ( Figs 9CView Fig. 9, 10CView Fig. 10). Embolic membrane exceeding the embolus and the alveolus ( Fig. 9CView Fig. 9).

Female (allotype, UPSZMC 67569)

SIZE. Total length 3.03. Cephalothorax 1.45 long, 1.07 wide. Sternum 0.84 long (0.75 without labium), 0.67 wide. Abdomen 1.79 long, 1.17 wide. AME diameter 0.05. Femur I 0.94 long, 1.54 times as long as cephalothorax.

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

BODY. Sternum shield –shaped. Clypeus height 4.6 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 = 0.44.

EPIGYNUM AND VULVA ( Figs 9D –EView Fig. 9, 10E –FView Fig. 10). The epigyne has a dorsal plate scape that is moderately developed and neither extends much ventrally nor posteriorly ( Fig. 10E –FView Fig. 10). The copulatory ducts exceed beyond the receptacula anteriorly and are seperated from each other by less than their diameter ( Fig. 10G –HView Fig. 10). The receptacula are round.


Only know from Mount Elgon, Kenya, at altitudes between 3980 and 4200 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. According to Holm it was taken from moss and grass on the ground in an area with Senecio  L.