Priscula paila Huber,

Huber, Bernhard A. & Villarreal, Osvaldo, 2020, On Venezuelan pholcid spiders (Araneae, Pholcidae), European Journal of Taxonomy 718, pp. 1-317: 261-264

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Priscula paila Huber

sp. nov.

Priscula paila Huber  sp. nov.

Figs 924–938View Figs 924–930View Figs 931–938, 1062

Priscula  sp. – Astrin et al. 2006: 445 (molecular data).

Priscula  sp.1 – Astrin et al. 2007: 21 (molecular data).

Priscula Ven  02/80-85 – Eberle et al. 2018 (molecular data). — Huber et al. 2018: 59.


Distinguished from known congeners by shapes of procursus ( Figs 931–933View Figs 931–938; distally in lateral view slender and curved towards ventral, with distinctive prolateral pointed process), genital bulb ( Figs 934– 936View Figs 931–938; distinctive shape of main process, slightly spiraling and pointed), and by large epigynum with distinct transversal dark band separating anterior third from rest of plate ( Fig. 927View Figs 924–930).


The species name refers to the type locality; noun in apposition.

Type material

VENEZUELA  – Monagas • ♂ holotype, ZFMK (Ar 22115), along trail from Cueva del Guácharo to Salto la Paila (10.175° N, 63.558° W), ~ 1100 m a.s.l., 30 Nov. 2002 (B.A. Huber)GoogleMaps  .

Other material examined

VENEZUELA  – Monagas • 5 ♂♂, 11 ♀♀, 2 juvs, ZFMK (Ar 22116–17), and 1 ♂, 6 ♀♀ in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Ven02/100-24), same collection data as for holotype. – SucreGoogleMaps  1 ♂, ZFMK (Ar 22118), Cascada el Chorro (10.392° N, 63.633° W), ~ 160 m a.s.l., near ground at river, 30 Nov. 2002 (B.A. Huber)GoogleMaps  .


Male (holotype)

MEASUREMENTS. Total body length 4.1, carapace width 1.9. Distance PME–PME 160 µm; diameter PME 150 µm; distance PME–ALE 160 µm; diameter AME 30 µm; distance AME–AME 30 µm. ALE and PLE larger than PME (diameter ALE 220 µm). Leg 1: 33.4 (8.7 +0.8+ 8.6+13.5 +1.8), tibia 2: 6.3, tibia 3: 4.3, tibia 4: 5.7; tibia 1 L/d: 48.

COLOR (in ethanol). Carapace ochre-yellow with brown lateral marginal bands and wide median mark including ocular area, clypeus with large brown mark narrowing towards chelicerae; sternum light brown with slightly lighter and darker marks near bases of anterior coxae; legs ochre-yellow to light brown, with darker rings on femora subdistally and on tibiae proximally and subdistally; abdomen ochre-gray, dorsally and laterally densely covered with small black marks, with small white marks arranged in lines and small groups; ventrally grey with large brown marks in gonopore area and in front of spinnerets.

BODY. Habitus similar to P. lagunosa González-Sponga, 1999  (cf. Fig. 874View Figs 871–876). Ocular area moderately raised, with small hump on posterior side. Deep thoracic groove. Clypeus unmodified. Sternum wider than long (1.15/0.90), unmodified. Abdomen higher than long, dorso-posteriorly pointed.

CHELICERAE. As in Fig. 937View Figs 931–938, with short entapophyses, strong lateral projections, and pair of small frontal apophyses; without stridulatory ridges.

PALPS. As in Figs 924–925View Figs 924–930; coxa unmodified, trochanter with short ventral process, femur very long, with small unsclerotized retrolateral process proximally, distally on ventral side strongly sclerotized and slightly protruding; patella ventrally reduced to narrow rim; tibia short relative to femur; procursus ( Figs 931–933View Figs 931–938) with distinctive distal elements: flat ventral process, heavily sclerotized prolateral pointed process, and extensive fringed membranous structures; genital bulb ( Figs 934–936View Figs 931–938) with small proximal sclerite connecting to tarsus, main apophysis slightly spiraling, flat and pointed, with sperm duct opening on retrolateral-dorsal side (arrow in Fig. 935View Figs 931–938), with strongly sclerotized transversal ridge on ventral side and whitish area between transversal ridge and main apophysis.

LEGS. Without spines, with curved hairs mainly on tibiae and metatarsi 1–3, few distally on femora 1–3 and on tibiae 4; with more than usual short vertical hairs (but not  in high density); retrolateral trichobothrium of tibia 1 at 6%; prolateral trichobothrium present on all leg tibiae; tarsi without distinct pseudosegments but rather with many small platelets.

Male (variation)

Tibia 1 in seven males (incl. holotype): 7.0–8.6 (mean 8.1). Some males with additional indistinct dark rings at about half length of femora and tibiae.


In general similar to male. Tibia 1 in 11 females: 4.6–5.4 (mean 5.0). Epigynum ( Figs 927–928View Figs 924–930) very large relative to abdomen, with distinct transversal dark band separating anterior third from rest of plate; lateral posterior corners whitish and slightly protruding. Without posterior epigynal plate. Internal genitalia ( Figs 929–930View Figs 924–930, 938View Figs 931–938) simple, with pair of oval pore plates converging anteriorly.


Known from two localities in the Venezuelan states Monagas and Sucre (Fig. 1062).

Natural history

The spiders were found in a humid forest, where they built their small webs in cavities of the ground and in rock crevices. At Cascada el Chorro the male was found close to the stream, in a small cavity. Three egg-sacs contained about 30– 50 eggs each. In one of them, 48 of the 49 eggs were parasitized (presumably by a wasp; Fig. 926View Figs 924–930); the only non-parasitized egg was one in the center of the egg-sac.


Germany, Bonn, Zoologische Forschungsinstitut und Museum "Alexander Koenig"


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig














Priscula paila Huber

Huber, Bernhard A. & Villarreal, Osvaldo 2020


Huber B. A. & Eberle J. & Dimitrov D. 2018: 59


Astrin J. J. & Misof B. & Huber B. A. 2007: 21


Astrin J. J. & Huber B. A. & Misof B. 2006: 445