Stenaelurillus Simon, 1886

Logunov, Dmitri V. & Azarkina, Galina N., 2018, Redefinition and partial revision of the genus Stenaelurillus Simon, 1886 (Arachnida, Araneae, Salticidae), European Journal of Taxonomy 430, pp. 1-126 : 4-15

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Stenaelurillus Simon, 1886


Genus Stenaelurillus Simon, 1886 View in CoL View at ENA

Stenaelurillus Simon, 1886: 351 View in CoL . Type species: Stenaelurillus nigricaudus Simon, 1886 View in CoL ; by subsequent designation by Simon (1903: 669).

Mashonarus Wesołowska & Cumming, 2002: 165 . Type species: Mashonarus guttatus Wesołowska & Cumming, 2002 View in CoL ; by original designation. Syn. nov.

Microheros Wesołowska & Cumming, 1999: 204 . Type species: Microheros termitophagus Wesołowska & Cumming, 1999 View in CoL ; by monotypy. Syn. nov.


Small to medium spiders, ranging in body length from 3.30 to 6.40 mm in males (4.69 ± 0.72, n = 23) and 4.00 to 8.20 mm in females (5.74± 1.16, n = 19). Sexes similar in general body shape. Sexual dimorphism is poorly marked and can be seen in the following characters: males are usually smaller (on average, by some 20% of their body length) and brighter coloured; their Tb, Mt and Tr of legs I can be entirely dark brown or black in some species (e.g., S. jocquei sp. nov., S. fuscatus ; Figs 150 View Figs 146–151 , 300 View Figs 298–308 ) or with dark brown ventral sides (e.g., S. nigricaudus ; Figs 391, 393 View Figs 382–394 ), or all their legs are darker (dark brown to black; e.g., S. modestus Wesołowska, 2014 ; Figs 361–363 View Figs 361–368 ); males of some species have their carapaces covered with dense bunches of long (black, white and iridescent) hairs (e.g., S. hirsutus , S. jocquei sp. nov.; Figs 252 View Figs 252–257 , 299 View Figs 298–308 ); in other species (e.g., S. albopunctatus ) the male endites differ in having visible distal ectal projections (sensu Ramírez 2014; Fig. 46 View Figs 40–48 ) which are absent in females.

CARAPACE. Rather high, with the posterior half of the thorax abruptly declining, almost vertical ( Figs 61 View Figs 57–62 , 118 View Figs 111–118 , 133 View Figs 128–135 , etc.); densely covered with elongated recumbent scales making its colour pattern of two wide, white longitudinal stripes running along the ALE–PLE lines and two white marginal stripes ( Figs 55 View Figs 49–56 , 102 View Figs 99–104 , 115 View Figs 111–118 , etc.); fovea present and situated between PLEs, but sometimes poorly seen because of the dense scale cover; in many species (e.g., in S. bandama sp. nov.) the anterior part of the eye field is covered with short erect bristles, similar to what was described in the aelurilline genus Asianellus Logunov & Heçiak, 1996 as ‘rod-hairs’ (see Logunov & Heçiak 1996: 105, figs 14–16), or in some species (especially in the males) carapace bears dense, mane-like bunches of hairs, sometimes also occupying cheeks ( Figs 164 View Figs 156–164 , 252–255 View Figs 252–257 , 298–300 View Figs 298–308 ).

EYES. In three rows, with large black areas surrounding eyes ( Figs 85, 87 View Figs 84–89 , 118 View Figs 111–118 , etc.); in most species, the anterior eye row is slightly wider in both sexes (by 3–9% in males and 2–4% in females), but females of at least five species (viz., S. albopunctatus , S. jocquei sp. nov., S. darwini Wesołowska & Russell-Smith, 2000 , S. kronestedti and S. modestus ) have the anterior and posterior eye rows equally wide, and yet the anterior eye row is narrower by 3–5% than the posterior one in S. guttiger (in both sexes); the second row midway between ALEs and PLEs; quadrangle length 32–50% of carapace length.

CLYPEUS ( Figs 53 View Figs 49–56 , 89 View Figs 84–89 , 117 View Figs 111–118 , etc.). Vertical, medium to high, ranging between 45–79% of the AME diameter in males and 42–60% in females; clypeal colourful coloration in many species of Stenaelurillus is diagnostic at the species level (e.g., in S. hirsutus , S. lesserti Reimoser, 1934 , S. pilosus , S. striolatus Wesołowska & Russell-Smith, 2011 , etc.; Figs 255 View Figs 252–257 , 413 View Figs 413–416 , 468 View Figs 463–471 ).

CHELICERAE. Medium, vertical and of usual shape, with no projections or other modifications ( Figs 10– 13 View Figs 1–13 ); promargin with two small teeth, usually fused together and sometimes forming a low blade-shaped ridge (e.g., in S. nigricaudus ; Fig. 10 View Figs 1–13 ), retromargin with a small tooth ( Figs 10–12 View Figs 1–13 ).

ENDITES. Subparallel, of usual shape, but in the males of some species (e.g., S. albopunctatus ) with poorly marked but visible distal ectal projections (arrowed in Fig. 13 View Figs 1–13 ); in all species of Stenaelurillus endites with pale yellow to white apices.

LABIUM. Wide-triangular, with the obtuse tip directed forward.

STERNUM. Ovoid, longer than wide ( Figs 56 View Figs 49–56 , 78 View Figs 73–78 , 131 View Figs 128–135 , etc.).

PEDICEL. Short, in live specimens not visible in dorsal view.

ABDOMEN. Elongate ( Figs 55 View Figs 49–56 , 130 View Figs 128–135 , etc.); males with the large dorsal scutum occupying the proximal half/two-thirds of the dorsum ( Figs 45 View Figs 40–48 , 62 View Figs 57–62 , 112 View Figs 111–118 , etc.), the scutum may be invisible under the dense scale cover; colour markings on dorsum simple, either consisting of paired and/or singular white spots ( Figs 176 View Figs 173–179 , 215 View Figs 213–226 , 254 View Figs 252–257 ) or white longitudinal stripes ( Figs 102 View Figs 99–104 , 130 View Figs 128–135 , 350 View Figs 344–351 , 482 View Figs 480–487 ), sometimes with no white colour pattern at all ( Figs 147 View Figs 146–151 , 462 View Figs 454–462 ).

BOOK- LUNG COVERS. Not sclerotized.

SPINNERETS. Medium, 21–36% of the abdominal length; the posterior pair slightly longer than the anterior one ( Figs 134–135 View Figs 128–135 , 462 View Figs 454–462 , 484 View Figs 480–487 ), in some species (e.g., S. albopunctatus , S. furcatus , S. mirabilis , S. strandi ; Figs 45 View Figs 40–48 , 347 View Figs 344–351 , 385 View Figs 382–394 ) the tips of posterior spinnerets or entire posterior spinnerets are contrastingly dark brown, especially in males.

LEGS. Subequally developed ( Figs 49–56 View Figs 49–56 , 111–118 View Figs 111–118 ); male legs I are usually darker than those of females, being entirely dark brown/black or with dark brown/black Tb, Mt and Tr ( Figs 204, 210 View Figs 204–212 , 298–303 View Figs 298–308 ); tarsal claws narrow, with well-developed and numerous teeth ( Figs 14–23 View Figs 14–29 ): 7–20 teeth prolaterally and 5–19 retrolaterally. Leg formula: IV/III,II/I in both sexes, the third and fourth pairs of legs are always longer than the first and second pairs.

TRICHOBOTHRIA. Tr with 2–3 trichobothria in a single row, Mt with 2–4 trichobothria in a single row, Tb with a group of 5–6 trichobothria on its dorso-proximal end (other leg segments were not examined in this regard); trichobothrial proximal and distal plates present ( Figs 1–3, 5–8 View Figs 1–13 ); the proximal plate (= trichobothrial ‘hood’) is finely striated (= fingerprint-like cuticular sculpture), with a medial differentiation and with one–two clearly marked transverse ridges on its distal margin; the margin of the alveolus smooth; the distal plate smooth, with or without a pair of transverse ridges in front of it; bothrial base thin.

TARSAL ORGAN. Of the capsulate type, with an ovoid pore being situated at the top of a low, round, domeshaped elevation and slightly disposed to one end, distally ( Figs 4, 9 View Figs 1–13 ).

LEG SPINATION. All legs with numerous spines, especially on Tb and Mt of legs III–IV; the spine patterns of legs I–II are similar/identical, as are those of legs III–IV; the common spine patterns for most species are as follows: Fm I–II d 0-1-1/2-3/5; Fm III–IV d 0-1-1/2-4/5; Pt I–II pr 0-1-0; Pt III–IV pr and rt 0-1-0; Tb I–II pr 1-1, v 0/1-0/1-2ap; Tb III–IV d 1-0-0, pr and rt 1-1-1-1 or 1-1-1/2, v 1-0-2ap; Mt I–II pr 0/1-1ap, v 2-2ap; Mt III–IV pr and rt 1-0/1-1/2ap; some species have spineless Pt I–II, for instance, S. belihuloya sp. nov., S. brandbergensis comb. nov., S. guttatus comb. nov., and S. pseudoguttatus

sp. nov., of which two ( S. brandbergensis comb. nov. and S. guttatus comb. nov.) were earlier considered in the separate genus Mashonarus .

FEMALE PALP. General form; without an apical claw ( Figs 89 View Figs 84–89 , 128 View Figs 128–135 , 233 View Figs 227–238 ).

MALE PALP. Femora of usual shape but in some species can be densely covered with long hairs and bristles (e.g., in S. lesserti ; see Sebastian et al., 2015: fig. 5A–C) or bears a low but clearly developed laminar crest (e.g., in S. darwini ; see Wesołowska & Russell-Smith, 2000: fig. 273); tibia short and wide, with two/three processes, ventral (VTA), retrolateral (RTA) and dorsal (DTA; e.g., in S. albopunctatus , S. kronestedti ); VTA usually looks like a ventral bulge of the tibia ( Figs 90 View Figs 90–98 , 156 View Figs 156–164 , 165 View Figs 165–172 ) or like the short process (e.g., in S. abramovi Logunov, 2008 or S. fuscus Cao & Li, 2016 ; see Logunov 2008: fig. 1l; Cao et al. 2016: fig. 40A–B), whereas the well-developed DTA can bear a sharp apical spur or bunches/ rows of thick bristles (iridescent, dark brown or black; Figs 41 View Figs 40–48 , 106 View Figs 105–110 , 137 View Figs 136–145 , 318 View Figs 317–323 : DTA); the retrolateral and

dorsal sides of the tibia can be densely covered with thick and long hairs and bristles ( Figs 282 View Figs 280–287 , 293 View Figs 292–297 ); the cymbium is oval, with no apical spines and usually with no processes or projections, except for a few species having the proximo-lateral corner of the cymbium developed into a marked cymbial lateral projection (e.g., S. guttatus comb. nov., S. strandi , S. termitophagus comb. nov.; Figs 166 View Figs 165–172 , 455 View Figs 454–462 , 474 View Figs 472–479 : CLP); the cymbial apex is slightly extended beyond the alveolus and in many species can bear a poorlymarked ventral groove (sensu Ramírez, 2014; arrowed in Figs 193 View Figs 193–203 , 246 View Figs 246–251 ); the basal haematodocha is welldeveloped ( Figs 30, 32–33 View Figs 30–33 : BH); the subtegulum is simple, bean-shaped and visible in an expanded palp only ( Fig. 30 View Figs 30–33 : ST); the tegulum is narrow and elongated, with an obtuse shoulder ( Figs 31 View Figs 30–33 , 39 View Figs 34–39 , 58 View Figs 57–62 , 91 View Figs 90–98 , 377 View Figs 376–381 : T), which can bear a finger-shaped tegular process directed distad (e.g., in S. guttiger , S. nigricaudus , S. strandi , etc.; Figs 64 View Figs 63–72 , 192 View Figs 184–192 , 455 View Figs 454–462 : TP); the distal haematodocha is well-developed ( Figs 30, 32–33 View Figs 30–33 : DH), clearly separating the true tegulum from the salticid radix; the functional tegulum consists of the salticid radix (sensu Logunov 1999; Logunov & Cutler 1999; Logunov & Marusik 2003; Figs 31–32 View Figs 30–33 , 37 View Figs 34–39 : SR), which seems to be fused with a large distal sclerite on unknown origin that in some species (e.g., S. termitophagus comb. nov.) is visible and delimited from the salticid radix by a membranous area (arrowed in Figs 472 View Figs 472–479 ); the salticid radix usually has a pointed or obtuse proximal projection ( Figs 31 View Figs 30–33 , 58 View Figs 57–62 , 166 View Figs 165–172 : PP) and also bears a finger-shaped, bifurcated or pointed distal projection ( Figs 40 View Figs 40–48 , 105 View Figs 105–110 , 120 View Figs 119–127 , 246 View Figs 246–251 : DP), which in some species can be decorated with crest-forming stiff bristles (e.g., in S. lesserti ; Wesołowska 2014a: fig. 2A–D), in other species (e.g., S. abramovi , S. fuscus ; Figs 36–39 View Figs 34–39 , see also Logunov 2008: figs 1–3; Cao et al. 2016: fig. 41B–C) the DP is strong, distinct and movable (see below for further discussion); the embolic division consists of the embolus (E) with the heavy embolic base (EB), which is either fused by its median edge with the distal edge of the salticid radix ( Figs 31 View Figs 30–33 , 376 View Figs 376–381 ) or connected to it by a visible membrane (arrowed in Fig. 40 View Figs 40–48 ); the embolic conformation varies from whipshaped, with the poorly-developed embolic base ( Fig. 457 View Figs 454–462 , 475 View Figs 472–479 ), to needle-, hook- or ribbon-shaped, with a well-developed base ( Figs 33 View Figs 30–33 , 93 View Figs 90–98 , 160 View Figs 156–164 , 378 View Figs 376–381 ).

FEMALE COPULATORY ORGANS. The epigyne is usually flat, without epyginal depression or fossae, with openly displayed copulatory openings ( Figs 47 View Figs 40–48 , 99 View Figs 99–104 , 126 View Figs 119–127 : CO), but in a few species ( S. darwini and S. termitophagus comb. nov.; Figs 109 View Figs 105–110 , 476 View Figs 472–479 ) they are hidden under a pair of bulge-shaped, chitinous flaps; the copulatory openings are either as rounded pores ( Figs 126 View Figs 119–127 , 262 View Figs 258–263 ), which sometimes are poorly seen on the epigynal plate ( Figs 99 View Figs 99–104 , 171 View Figs 165–172 ), or as deep furrows that could be subparallel (e.g., S. jocquei sp. nov., S. pilosus ; Figs 296 View Figs 292–297 , 412 View Figs 406–412 ; Wesołowska & Russell-Smith 2011: figs 165–166) or positioned transversely, forming a single transverse line ( S. bandama sp. nov., S. iubatus Wesołowska & Russell- Smith, 2011, S. sudanicus Wesołowska, 2014 ; Figs 70 View Figs 63–72 , 278 View Figs 274–279 , 452 View Figs 448–453 ; Wesołowska 2014b: fig. 12B–C; Wesołowska & Russell-Smith, 2011: figs 159–160); in most species, the copulatory openings are widely separated, but in some (e.g., S. lesserti , S. abramovi , S. pecten Wesołowska, 2014 ; Logunov 2008: fig. 4; Wesołowska 2014 b: fig. 10F–G) they are close to each other, being separated by a space that is equal to or smaller than the diameter of each; epigynal pocket present, usually narrow and deep, situated at the edge of the epigastric furrow ( Figs 262 View Figs 258–263 , 278 View Figs 274–279 : EP) or in between the copulatory openings ( Figs 126– 227 View Figs 119–127 View Figs 128–135 View Figs 136–145 View Figs 146–151 View Figs 152–155 View Figs 156–164 View Figs 165–172 View Figs 173–179 View Figs 180–183 View Figs 184–192 View Figs 193–203 View Figs 204–212 View Figs 213–226 View Figs 227–238 , 288 View Figs 288–291 : EP), but in some species it can be absent or poorly-marked (e.g., in S. guttatus comb. nov., S. latibulbus Wesołowska, 2014 ; Figs 171 View Figs 165–172 , 334 View Figs 330–335 ) or in some species (viz., S. abramovi ; see Logunov 2008: fig. 4) be displaced forward and look like a round depression; the insemination ducts usually short and wide ( Figs 335 View Figs 330–335 , 399 View Figs 395–399 : ID), except for S. termitophagus comb. nov. ( Figs 477–478 View Figs 472–479 ), and lead to the bean-shaped, round or ovoid, medium/large primary spermathecae (sensu Ramírez 2014; Figs 71 View Figs 63–72 , 127 View Figs 119–127 , 172 View Figs 165–172 : PS); the fertilization ducts are pronounced and well-visible ( Figs 127 View Figs 119–127 , 145 View Figs 136–145 , 228 View Figs 227–238 : FD).

Morphological notes

The terms ‘functional tegulum’ and ‘salticid radix’ are used here in the same sense as in Logunov (1998, 1999), Logunov & Cutler (1999) and Logunov & Marusik (2003) to emphasise the composite nature of what is usually described in the advanced salticids as the tegulum; the cited works can be consulted for more details and evidence for this terminology.

The present analysis has shown that the sclerite composition of the male palp in Stenaelurillus is similar to that of Habrocestoides Prószyński, 1992 (see Logunov 1999): viz., in both genera the true tegulum is small and hidden behind the large salticid radix forming the main part of the functional tegulum ( Figs 31–33 View Figs 30–33 , 39 View Figs 34–39 , 64 View Figs 63–72 , 90 View Figs 90–98 ). Compared to Habrocestoides , the functional tegulum of Stenaelurillus also includes the second large sclerite, which in the majority of species is firmly fused with the salticid radix but in some is visible, being delimited from the latter sclerite by a membranous area, for instance, in S. albus Sebastian, Sankaran, Malamel & Joseph, 2015 ( Sebastian et al. 2015: fig. 2E), S. arambagensis (Biswas & Biswas, 1992) (see Prajapati et al. 2016: fig. 6B, sub. S. digitus Prajapati, Murthappa, Sankaran & Sebastian, 2016 ; Caleb et al. 2017), or S. termitophagus comb. nov. (arrowed in Fig. 472 View Figs 472–479 ). It is difficult to homologise this sclerite, as the detailed structure of male copulatory organs yet remains poorly studied in the majority of salticid genera. Based on its position between the salticid radix and the embolic division, it is possible to conclude that this sclerite seems to be the same one as the ‘sclerite-1’ described in the genus Pseudeuophrys Dahl, 1912 (see Logunov 1998 for further discussion). The present finding also allows us to argue that the composite nature of the functional tegulum in Salticidae seems to be the rule rather than an exception. In many salticid genera, particularly in the Dendryphantinae and the Chrysillini (sensu Maddison 2015), the true tegulum is seen as a sclerotized, prolateral outgrowth (= shoulder of tegulum, sensu Maddison 1996) separated from the functional tegulum (= the salticid radix) by a visible tegular ledge (e.g., Maddison 1996: fig. 3). Nevertheless, in the alpha-taxonomic literature, both structures (the true tegulum and the salticid radix) are usually described together as ‘the tegulum’, though the latter is better called ‘the functional tegulum’ or ‘the salticid tegulum’.

This clarification of what is the true tegulum in Stenaelurillus has allowed us to correctly code its proximal finger-shaped process, which is well-developed in many species (e.g., in S. nigricaudus , S. strandi , etc.). This structure is coded here as ‘the tegular process’ ( Figs 33 View Figs 30–33 , 64 View Figs 63–72 , 192 View Figs 184–192 , 241 View Figs 239–245 : TP), because it clearly represents a distal prolongation of the true tegulum. It seems to be homologous to the distal tegular projection of Pisauridae (sensu Sierwald 1990) or the suprategulum of Linyphiidae (sensu Saaristo 1977; = the median apophysis in Merret 1963). By mistake, the TP in Stenaelurillus was coded by some earlier authors as the ‘terminal apophysis’ (e.g., Logunov 2008; Prajapati et al. 2016; Sebastian et al. 2015), although the true terminal apophysis is known to be part of the embolic division (see Merrett 1963: figs 1–3; Saaristo 1977).

In a few species (e.g., S. abramovi , S. fuscus ), the distal projection (DP) of the functional tegulum is strong, distinct and even movable, being separated from the functional tegulum by a visible membrane ( Figs 36, 39 View Figs 34–39 ; see also Logunov 2008: figs 1–3; Cao et al. 2016: fig. 41B–C). The latter authors coded this sclerite as the ‘sclerotized apophysis’. Based on its position at the top of the salticid radix and the fact that it is separated from it by a membrane, it is possible to hypothesize that this sclerite could be either the terminal apophysis or the lamella described, for instance, in the Linyphiidae ( Merrett 1963: fig. 3). This assumption needs verification when more salticid taxa have been studied with regards to the detailed structure of their male copulatory organs.

It is worth noticing that in some Asian species (e.g., S. abramovi , S. albus , S. fuscus ) the proximal projection of the bulbus seems to have been formed by the proximal extention of the true tegulum ( Figs 38–39 View Figs 34–39 ; see also Sebastian et al. 2015: fig. 2E) rather than the saltcid radix, as in most other species. In these species the functional tegulum has a narrow membranous area running across it, likely marking the border between the true tegulum and the salticid radix. Due to the limited/no material of these species available for the present study, we have been unable to expand their male palps and to verify this observation. The matter needs further attention when more fresh material of Asian species of Stenaelurillus have been made available.

Diagnosis and affinities

According to Maddison (2015) and his molecular data, Stenaelurillus belongs to the subtribe Aelurillina Simon, 1901 of the tribe Aelurillini Simon, 1901 in the subfamily Salticinae Blackwall, 1841 . It is a compact group of ground-dwelling jumping spiders containing some 281 species in nine genera ( Table 2 View Table 2 ; p. 119), which was formely known as the subfamily Aelurillinae Prószyński, 1976 (e.g., Metzner 1999). From all other aelurillines Stenaelurillus can be distinguished by the following characters: (1) the longest, conspicuous spinnerets ( Figs 45 View Figs 40–48 , 134 View Figs 128–135 , 205 View Figs 204–212 , 462 View Figs 454–462 ; 21–36% of the abdominal length), in other genera spinnerets are usually small, inconspicuous and poorly visible in dorsal view; (2) well-developed and numerous teeth of tarsal claws ( Figs 14–23; 7–20 View Figs 14–29 View Figs 1–13 teeth prolaterally and 5–19 retrolaterally), in other genera 3–5 teeth ( Figs 24–29 View Figs 14–29 ) (this character is diagnostic even in immature specimens); (3) the least developed cymbial pocket (sensu Logunov 1996) as compared to other aelurillines, usually the embolic division is situated openly, in a shallow cavity at the top of the bulbus ( Figs 34 View Figs 34–39 , 40 View Figs 40–48 , 64 View Figs 63–72 , etc.); (4) the true tegulum is marked and visible as a heavily sclerotized sclerite hidden behind (retro-laterad of) the salticid radix ( Figs 39 View Figs 34–39 , 377 View Figs 376–381 ; see above for further details); and (5) the bright body coloration consisting of numerous stripes and paired/singular spots ( Figs 102 View Figs 99–104 , 130 View Figs 128–135 , 178 View Figs 173–179 , 215 View Figs 213–226 , etc.), in other genera the body colour pattern is usually limited to longitudinal stripes (e.g., in Phlegra Simon, 1876 or Aelurillus Simon, 1884 ).

Based on the refined generic diagnosis, it is safe to conclude that the monotypic genus Microheros and the small genus Mashonarus with three species ( WSC 2017), both from Africa, are to be synonymized with Stenaelurillus . Both the conformation of the copulatory organs ( Figs 90–94 View Figs 90–98 , 165–172 View Figs 165–172 , 472–478 View Figs 472–479 ) and the somatic morphology (long spinnerets, trichobothria and dentation of tarsal claws; Figs 5–9 View Figs 1–13 , 16–19 View Figs 14–29 , 176 View Figs 173–179 , 484 View Figs 480–487 ) of their generotypes are identical or in full agreement with those of Stenaelurillus nigricaudus ( Figs 1–2 View Figs 1–13 , 14–15 View Figs 14–29 , 369–381 View Figs 369–375 View Figs 376–381 , 395–399 View Figs 395–399 ), the generotype of Stenaelurillus , and of other species included in the latter genus. All the species of Microheros and Mashonarus , except for the Indian Mashonarus davidi Caleb, Mungkung & Mathai, 2015 ( Figs 504–506 View Figs 504–506 ), the holotype of which we have been unable to borrow, are redescribed and illustrated in detail below.


At present, Stenaelurillus consists of 45 valid species ( Table 1 View Table 1 ), of which 33 are known from both sexes, eight species from the males and four species from the females ( Table 2 View Table 2 ; p. 119). Details on the distribution of and references to all these species are provided in Table 1 View Table 1 .


The geographical distribution of Stenaelurillus is clearly palaeotropical ( Fig. 507 View Fig ), covering almost the entire African continent, except for the western half of the equatorial zone, and then extending to southern Iran, south and SE Asia, including the southern and south-eastern territories of China. There are no common species between the Afrotropical and Oriental regions. As evidenced from the data at hand, there are three main centres of the present day species diversity (= chorological centres): western Africa (7 species), the south-eastern part of central Africa (21 species) and South Asia (5 species). The revealed distributional disjunction between the African and Asian parts of the generic range and the absence of species in Indonesia and Polynesia-Micronesia seem to be due to the incompleteness of our knowledge.

The outlined distribution of Stenaelurillus is virtually restricted to the Palaeotropical Zoogeographic Kingdom (sensu Kryzhanovsky 2002: inset 1), with a few records originating from the neighbouring regions of the Ancient Mediterranean (e.g., S. nigricaudus from N Algeria, S. marusiki Logunov, 2001 from SW Iran and S. triguttatus Simon, 1886 from Nepal and Tibet; Figs 509–510 View Fig View Fig ). Genera with such distributional patterns are classified as either “palaeotropical” (sensu Kryzhanovsky 2002: 58) or “multiregional of the eastern hemisphere” (sensu Pravdin & Mishchenko 1980: 28) and are commonly considered to be of Neogene origin (i.e., 23 Ma or later; sensu Hilgen et al. 2012). Numerous examples of the palaeotropical distribution in tribes and genera are known from Coleoptera, Orthoptera, Diptera, Mantodea and other orders ( Pravdin & Mishchenko 1980; Nartschuk 1994; Kryzhanovsky 2002; Davies et al. 2002; etc.).

It is worth noticing that so far no species of Stenaelurillus have been recorded or described from Madagascar. This fact could be explained either by the current incompleteness of our knowledge of Stenaelurillus , or, more likely, by the later origin of the genus, after Madagascar had already separated from Africa (183–158 Ma) and India (96–65 Ma) during the late Jurassic to late Cretaceous fragmentation of Gondwana (see Vences et al. 2009); the latter assumption seems to be in agreement with a possible Neogene origin of Stenaelurillus (see above). To date, the only described Malagasy aelurilline species is Aelurillus madagascariensis Azarkina, 2009 (see Table 3 View Table 3 , p. 120), a true member of the genus Aelurillus Simon, 1885 that is related to some species from the Levant ( Azarkina 2009).

The genus Stenaelurillus is not unique in the order Araneae , as far as its distributional pattern is concerned. A similar palaeotropical distribution is also known in a number of better studied spider genera, for instance: Borboropactus Simon, 1884 (Thomisidae) recorded from tropical Africa, S and SE Asia, but compared to Stenaelurillus also including Malaysia, Indonesia, the Phillipines and Papua New Guinea ( Benjamin 2011; WSC 2017); Calommata Lucas, 1837 (Atypidae) recorded from Africa, the Near East and SE Asia ( Fourie et al. 2011); Mallinella Strand, 1906 (Zodariidae) , a recently revised genus occurring in central and west Africa, S and SE Asia, southeastward to the northern tip of Australia ( Dankittipakul et al. 2012 a: fig. 1415; 2012 b); Sarascelis Simon, 1887 and the entire subfamily Chediminae (Palpimanidae) known from tropical Africa, India and Indonesia, but compared to Stenaelurillus with a lesser number of records ( Zonstein & Marusik 2013: fig. 51); Synaphosus Platnick & Shadab, 1980 (Gnaphosidae) known from central Africa, the Near East, Central Asia and SE Asia (yet two species were also introduced to the USA; see Ovtsharenko et al. 1994; WSC 2017); and other spider genera. Two spider genera display an almost identical distributional pattern as that of Stenaelurillus , except for some singular records from the Neotropics, namely: Nesticella Lehtinen & Saaristo, 1980 (Nesticidae) is known from tropical Africa, but not as widespread as Stenaelurillus , S and SE Asia, including the south-easternmost areas of the Palearcrtic Region and Papua New Guinea ( Lin et al. 2016; WSC 2017), plus a single record from Brazil ( Rodrigues & Buckup 2007); Bianor Peckham & Peckham, 1885 (Salticidae) is known from the Afrotropical, Oriental and Palaearctic (southern parts) Regions, with a single species – B. biocellosus Simon, 1902 – with its type locality in Brazil ( Logunov 2001 a). Of other jumping spider genera ( Salticidae ), most of which still remain rather poorly studied with regards to their composition and general distribution, the following genera seem to also demonstrate a palaeotropical distribution: Hyllus C.L. Koch, 1846 is widespread in tropical Africa and SE Asia (including the generotype; WSC 2017), but the congenerity of many species included in this genus requires revision; Harmochirus Simon, 1885 , a revised genus the distribution of which is almost identical to that of Stenaelurillus but with a lesser number of species and records ( Logunov 2001 a; WSC 2017); and other salticid genera. A further comparative analysis of the distributional pattern of Stenaelurillus with that of other spider genera, including the Salticidae , lies outside the goals of the present study and seems to be premature at the currently incomplete state of knowledge.

Table 1 (continued on next pages). Species composition and distribution of Stenaelurillus Simon, 1885.

Species name Known Zoogeographical regions References
  sexes Afrotropical Palaearctic Oriental  
S. abramovi Logunov, 2008 ♂♀   S Vietnam, Thailand (Fig. 508) Logunov (2008), Logunov & Jäger (2015), present data
S. albopunctatus Caporiacco, 1949 ♂♀ Kenya (Fig. 511)   Caporiacco (1949), Wesołowska (2014b), present data
S. albus Sebastian, Sankaran, Malamel & Joseph, 2015 ♂♀   S India (Fig. 509) Sebastian et al. (2015), Prajapati et al. (2016)
S. arambagensis (Biswas & Biswas, 1992) ♂♀   India (Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Maharashtra, West Bengal), Pakistan (Punjab) (Fig. 509) Prajapati et al. (2016: sub. S. digitus ), Caleb et al. (2017), present data
S.bandama sp. nov. ♂♀ Cote d’Ivoire (Fig. 510)   Wesołowska (2014b: sub. S. hirsutus , the records from Cote d’Ivoire), Present data
S. belihuloya sp. nov.   Sri Lanka (Fig. 509) Present data
S. brandbergensis ( Wesołowska, 2006) comb. nov. ♂♀ Namibia (Fig. 511)   Wesołowska (2006: sub. Mashonarus b.), present data
S. darwini Wesołowska & Russell-Smith, 2000 ♂♀ Tanzania, Kenya (Fig. 511)   Prószyński (1984: 140, sub. Stenaelurillus sp. nov.2), Wesołowska & Russell-Smith (2000), Wesołowska (2014b), present data
S. furcatus Wesołowska, 2014 ♂♀ Namibia (Fig. 511)   Wesołowska (2014b), present data
S. fuscatus Wesołowska & Russell-Smith, 2000 ♂♀ Tanzania, Kenya (Fig. 512)   Wesołowska & Russell-Smith (2000), present data
S. fuscus Cao & Li, 2016   S China (Yunnan) (Fig. 508) Cao et al. (2016)
S. gabrieli Prajapati, Murthappa, Sankaran & Sebastian, 2016 ♂♀   NW India (Gujarat) (Fig. 509) Prajapati et al. (2016)
S. glaber Wesołowska & Russell-Smith, 2011 Ghana, Nigeria, Uganda (Fig. 511)   Wesołowska & Russell-Smith (2011), Wesołowska (2014b), present data
S. guttatus ( Wesołowska & Cumming, 2002) comb. nov. ♂♀ Botswana, Zambia, Zimbabwe (Fig. 511)   Wesołowska & Cumming (2002: sub Mashonarus g.), present data
S. guttiger ( Simon, 1901) ♂♀ Botswana, Kenya, Mozambique, Zimbabwe, South Africa (Fig. 512)   Haddad & Wesołowska (2006: sub. both S. g. and S. natalensis ), Wesołowska & Cumming (2011), present data












Stenaelurillus Simon, 1886

Logunov, Dmitri V. & Azarkina, Galina N. 2018

Mashonarus Wesołowska & Cumming, 2002: 165

Wesolowska W. & Cumming M. S. 2002: 165

Microheros Wesołowska & Cumming, 1999: 204

Wesolowska W. & Cumming M. S. 1999: 204


Simon E. 1903: 669
Simon E. 1886: 351
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