Hoplopholcus figulus Brignoli, 1971,

Huber, Bernhard A., 2020, Revision of the spider genus Hoplopholcus Kulczyński (Araneae, Pholcidae), Zootaxa 4726 (1), pp. 1-94: 77-81

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Hoplopholcus figulus Brignoli, 1971


Hoplopholcus figulus Brignoli, 1971 

Figs 264–265View FIGURES 262–265, 388–409View FIGURES 388–393View FIGURES 394–399View FIGURES 400–409

Hoplopholcus figulus Brignoli, 1971: 258  , figs 3, 6 (♀, Samos). Brignoli 1979b: 190, figs 18–23 (♂ ♀, Ikaria; see Note below). Gasparo 2006: 60 (♂ ♀, Lesbos).

Note. Brignoli’s (1971) original description is based on a single female specimen from Samos Island. Later, Brignoli (1979b) described the male based on specimens from Ikaria Island. Unfortunately, no males are available from Samos, so the differences between females from Ikaria and females from other islands (see below) are difficult to evaluate and further collecting and analysis may reveal that two or more species are actually involved.

Diagnosis. Males are easily distinguished from known congeners by male bulbal processes ( Figs 404–407View FIGURES 400–409): embolar sclerite with strong proximal process; ventral sclerite strongly bent, with two sharp ridges. Also by morphology of procursus ( Figs 400–401View FIGURES 400–409): ventral spine with proximal dorsal branch, without prolateral and dorsal processes or ridges, with distinct ventral ‘knee’. Females differ from congeners by pair of bulging areas in front of epigynum absent or barely visible ( Figs 391View FIGURES 388–393, 394, 397View FIGURES 394–399). Both males and females with slightly troglomorphic appearance (small eyes, AME lenses sometimes missing; ocular area barely elevated; pale coloration, including light brown sternum and monochromous whitish to pale grey abdomen; Fig. 265View FIGURES 262–265).

Type material. GREECE, Samos: ♀ holotype, ZMB (9063) (including microvial but epigynum missing), Marathokampos [~ 37.725°N, 26.690°E], no further locality data, leg. von Oertzen, date unknown; examinedGoogleMaps  .

Other material examined. GREECE, Samos: 1♀ and 1♀ abdomen (abdomen transferred from ZFMK, Sam 17), ZFMK (Ar 20972), and  2♀ in pure ethanol (one abdomen transferred to ZFMK Ar 20972), ZFMK (Sam17), near Ampelos (37.7994°N, 26.7951°E), under rocks and in small room constructed at fountain in forest, 285 m a.s.l., 16.v.2019 (B.A. Huber)GoogleMaps  .

Fournoi: 1♀, HISR (1862), Varathro Mikros Votsos Panagias (37.584°N, 26.487°E), 5.vii.1998 (K. Paragam- ian). 4 juvs, HISR (1860), Varathro Megalos Votsos Panagias (37.584°N, 26.487°E), 5.vii.1998 (K. Paragamian)GoogleMaps  .

Chios: 2♀ 1 juv., ZFMK (Ar 20973), Olympi, Spilaio Sykias (Spilaio Olympon) [38.213°N, 25.925°E], 110 m a.s.l., 8.vi.2006 (F. Gasparo)GoogleMaps  .

Lesbos: 4♂ 5♀, ZFMK (Ar 20974), Kato Tritos, Spilaio Agiou Ioanni (Spilaio Fousa Mychous) (39.081°N, 26.419°E), 150 m a.s.l., 2.ix.2005 (F. Gasparo)GoogleMaps  ; 1 juv., HISR (separated from 2941), same locality, 11.ii.2017 (K. Paragamian, I. Nikoloudakis)GoogleMaps  .

Ikaria: 1♂ 1♀ 1 juv., MHNG, Agios Kirykos , Quarry “Metalleio” [37.6191°N, 26.2941°E], 30 m a.s.l., “Hel- 75/30”, 24.iv.1975 (B. Hauser)GoogleMaps  ; 1♂, MCVR, same locality, “Hel-75/21”, 23.iv.1975 (B. Hauser)GoogleMaps  . 1♀, MCVR, Pet- ropouli, “Grotta Phutra to Nao” (= Spilaio Raos tou Choutra) [37.5920°N, 26.1551°E], “Hel-75/27”, 27.iv.1975 (B. Hauser)GoogleMaps  ; 1♀ 2 juvs, HISR (1869), same locality, 8.vii.1998 (K. Paragamian)GoogleMaps  .

Redescription. Male (Lesbos, ZFMK Ar 20974). MEASUREMENTS. Total length 4.2, carapace width 1.6. Distance PME-PME 160 µm; diameter PME 80 µm; distance PME-ALE 30 µm; AME area with black pigment but without lenses. Leg 1: 32.9 (8.8 + 0.7 + 8.8 + 12.0 + 2.6), tibia 2: 6.2, tibia 3: 4.8, tibia 4: 5.5; tibia 1 L/d: 63.

COLOR (in ethanol). Carapace pale ochre-yellow, ocular area and clypeus light brown; sternum ochre-yellow with brown margins; legs light brown, without darker rings; abdomen monochromous whitish, only at gonopore area with light brown mark.

BODY. Habitus as in female (cf. Figs 264–265View FIGURES 262–265). Ocular area barely elevated. Small but deep thoracic pit and indistinct pair of shallow furrows diverging from pit toward posterior margin. Clypeus unmodified. Sternum wider than long (1.2/0.7), unmodified. Abdomen oval, dorso-posteriorly rounded.

CHELICERAE. As in Figs 402–403View FIGURES 400–409, with pair of latero-distal apophyses provided with two modified coneshaped hairs each; fine stridulatory ridges poorly visible in dissecting microscope.

PALPS. As in Figs 388–390View FIGURES 388–393; coxa with distinct retrolateral bulge, trochanter barely protruding ventrally, femur with indistinct retrolateral dark line, with prolateral stridulatory pick; procursus ( Figs 400–401View FIGURES 400–409) with distinct ventral ‘knee’, ventral spine weakly curved, with proximal dorsal branch, procursus tip without dorsal process and without prolateral process or ridge; genital bulb as in Figs 404–407View FIGURES 400–409, embolar sclerite with strong proximal process, ventral sclerite strongly bent, with two sharp ridges; very indistinct dorsal membranous process.

LEGS. Femur 1 with single row of ~20 ventral spines; with many curved hairs on tibiae and metatarsi 1–3; few vertical hairs; retrolateral trichobothrium of tibia 1 at 6.5%; prolateral trichobothrium absent on tibia 1, present on other leg tibiae; tarsi without distinct pseudosegments but with many small platelets.

Male (variation). Tibia 1 length in four other males: 8.0, 8.2 (Lesbos), 9.4, 10.3 (Ikaria). All other males examined with small AME lenses (diameter 20–50 µm), PME diameter less variable (~ 80 µm in all males examined). Most other males with two modified hairs on each cheliceral apophysis, one male asymmetric 1+2. Number of spines on femur 1 variable (~20–30). Males from Ikaria are slightly larger (carapace width 1.6–1.7 versus 1.3–1.6 in males from Lesbos), with slightly larger palps but with apparently identical male bulbal sclerites, with relatively thicker palpal tibiae (length/width ~1.65 versus ~ 1.75 in males from Lesbos).

Female. In general similar to male but without spines on legs; also with curved hairs on legs and stridulatory files on chelicerae. Tibia 1 in 13 females: 5.7–11.9 (mean 8.4); tibia 1 missing in holotype, but probably ~9.3–9.5 (femur 1: 9.0; tibia 1/femur 1 in two other females: 1.03–1.05).

FEMALE GENITALIA. Epigynum as in Figs 391View FIGURES 388–393, 394, 397View FIGURES 394–399, anterior plate triangular, internal sclerotized arcs visible in uncleared specimens; pair of bulging areas in front of epigynum absent or barely visible; posterior plate short but wide. Internal genitalia in female from Samos as in Figs 392–393View FIGURES 388–393, 408–409View FIGURES 400–409, low median pouch of uterus externus with short anterior duplicature, pair of lateral ridges (rather than pouches) connected to ventral arc; pore plates small and roundish. Females from Samos, Fournoi, Chios, and Lesbos appear very similar to each other, but lateral pouches more distinct and pore plates larger ( Figs 395–396View FIGURES 394–399). Females from Ikaria with wider epigyna (0.98–1.08 versus 0.61–0.80 in females from other islands), ventral sclerotized arc diverging posteriorly rather than parallel, and median pouch of uterus externus with pair of small anterior pockets (arrows in Fig. 398View FIGURES 394–399); females from Ikaria also in general larger than other females (carapace width 1.7–1.9 versus 1.1–1.6 in females from other islands). Females from Lesbos and Chios without AME lenses (only black pigment; PME diameter: 60–80 µm), other females (Samos, Fournoi, Ikaria) with distinct but small AME lenses (diameter 25–50 µm; PME diameter: 70–100 µm).

Distribution. Known from five Greek islands in the eastern Aegean Sea ( Fig. 447View FIGURE 447).

Natural history. Most records are from caves or cave-like habitats. On Samos, I found one specimen deep under several layers of rocks (deeper than the three other pholcids in the same place: Pholcus phalangioides  , Hoplopholcus minous  , and Spermophora senoculata  ), two specimens in a small room constructed to protect a fountain in the forest ( Fig. 438View FIGURES 433–438), and one specimen in a narrow cave (not collected). The entrance areas of the larger caves on Samos are occupied by Pholcus phalangioides  , and H. figulus  may be restricted to the deeper (and often inaccessible) parts of the caves.


Museum für Naturkunde Berlin (Zoological Collections)


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle














Hoplopholcus figulus Brignoli, 1971

Huber, Bernhard A. 2020

Hoplopholcus figulus

Gasparo, F. 2006: 60
Brignoli, P. M. 1979: 190
Brignoli, P. M. 1971: 258