Perania cerastes Schwendinger, 1994

Schwendinger, Peter J., 2013, A taxonomic revision of the spider genus Perania Thorell, 1890 (Araneae: Tetrablemmidae: Pacullinae) with the descriptions of eight new species, Revue suisse de Zoologie 120 (4), pp. 585-663 : 621-625

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Perania cerastes Schwendinger, 1994


Perania cerastes Schwendinger, 1994 Figs 15-16, 36G

Perania cerastes Schwendinger, 1994: 456-458 , figs 26-34 (descriptions of male and female). – Platnick, 2013 (listing).

HOLOTYPE: MHNG; Ƌ; Malaysia (peninsula), Perak, Taiping, Maxwell Hill (= Bukit Larut; about 4°52’N, 100°48’E), 1200 m; 5.II.1991; leg. P. J. Schwendinger. GoogleMaps

PARATYPES: MHNG; 2 Ƌ, 2 ♀; same data as for holotype GoogleMaps .

NEW MATERIAL EXAMINED: MHNG; 1 ♀; from the type locality, road between Bukit Larut Guesthouse and summit (4°51.694’N, 100°47.631’E), 900-1380 m; 24.IX.2001; leg. L. Monod. GoogleMaps MHNG; 1 Ƌ; Malaysia (peninsula), Perak, Gua Kanthan (4°45’41”N, 101°07’19”E), 60 m, in dark part of cave; 15.XII.1997; leg. P. J. Schwendinger. GoogleMaps MHNG; 4 Ƌ, 1 ♀; Malaysia (peninsula), Perak, Gua Tempurung (4°24’59”N, 101°11’13”E), 40 m, in dark part of cave; 13.XII.1997; leg. P. J. Schwendinger. GoogleMaps MHNG; 2 Ƌ, 3 ♀; Malaysia (peninsula), Penang Island, Penang Hill (= Bukit Bendera ; about 5°25’30”N, 100°16’30”E), 560-650 m; 10.I.1996; leg. P. J. Schwendinger. GoogleMaps

DIAGNOSIS: See Schwendinger (1994: 456).

NEW CHARACTERS: In all specimens anterior portion of fovea developed as a more or less distinct deep pit, in several specimens also posterior portion. Ventral side of metarsus I in males and females carrying strongly sigmoid setae on moderately elevated bases; these setae proximally swollen, turning abruptly distad and then tapering away from axis of metarsus at about 30-40° (Fig. 36G). Males additionally with more strongly elevated, conical setal bases (carrying normal setae) prolaterally on metatarsus I and on anterior portion of tibia I. Tiny spine-like microtrichia (not articulate, without a socket; shown as dots in Fig. 15C-T; erroneously called “pit-like depressions” in original description, Schwendinger, 1994: 457) subapically on prolateral side of embolus, these decreasing in size distally. Anterior pair of ventrolateral plates in males completely free or their posterior tips fused with margin of pulmonary plate. Vulvae with most or all of ventral wall of genital atrium distinctly pigmented (Fig. 16A-D); this pigmentation not extending onto spermathecae as in species of the nasuta -group. Spermathecae with clearly outlined anterior porepatches separated from each other for about their width.

VARIATION: There are two distinct morphological forms of males in this species. In specimens collected in caves (lowland/cave form) the two parts of the bifurcate apex of the embolus are distinctly further apart from each other (Fig. 15K-T) than in males from the mountains (highland form; Fig. 15C-J and Schwendinger, 1994: figs 31-32). The postgenital plate in the lowland/cave form is longer and narrower, with a more strongly convex posterior margin, than in the highland form. This dimorphism is not reflected in females: the vulvae of two females from Penang Hill and of the single female from Gua Tempurung are more strongly convex in lateral view and have the anterior collar situated more posteriorly (Fig. 16B-D) than the vulvae of other females from mountain localities (vulva there only slightly convex and collar more

FIG. 15

Perania cerastes , males; highland form (A, C-J), lowland/cave form (B, K-T); holotype from Maxwell Hill (C-D), two paratypes from Maxwell Hill (E-F, G), two specimens from Penang Hill (A, H, I-J), four specimens from Gua Tempurung (B, K-L, M-N, O-P, Q-R), specimen from Gua Kanthan (S-T). (A-B) Clypeal process, dorsal view. (C, E, H, I, K, M, O, Q, S) Left embolus, prolateral view. (D, F, G, J, L, N, P, R, T) Right embolus, same view. Scale line 1.0 mm (A-B; C-T) .

anteriorly; Fig. 16A and Schwendinger, 1994: fig. 34). The spermathecal porepatches of the single female collected in a cave are narrower and more angular than in the other females (Fig. 16C cf. Fig. 16A-B), but as only a single female of this form is available, this may only be a case of individual variation. I consider these differences as expressions of geographical variation without species-specific significance.

Carapace lengths in ten males (seven females) range 5.1-7.1 (4.4-4.9), widths 2.7-3.3 (2.9-3.2). No relevant distinctions in somatic morphology could be found

FIG. 16

Perania cerastes , females; from Maxwell Hill (A, F), from Penang Hill (B), from Tempurung Cave (C-E). (A-C) Vulva, ventral view. (D) Same, dorsal view. (E-F) Same, anterior view. Scale lines 0.5 mm (A-D; E-F).

among the specimens from the four localities, except for the males from Tempurung Cave having a relatively shorter clypeal process than males of the highland form (Fig. 15B cf. Fig. 15A); the male from Kanthan Cave has the tip of its clypeal process broken. In the new female from Maxwell’s Hill the preanal plate is completely fragmented into microplates; in the two female paratypes (from Maxwell’s Hill) it is represented by a small plate; in the three females from Penang Hill and the one from Tempurung Cave the preanal plate is relatively large. In all males the microplates on the posterior side of the opisthosoma are not interconnected and do not form strap-like horizontal plates, but they are closely packed like in a brickwall, except for the uppermost band of one paratype (from Maxwell Hill) in which most posterior microplates are fused. Seven packed horizontal bands are present in one paratype, both males from Penang Hill and two males from Gua Tempurung, five packed bands in two males from Gua Tempurung, one paratype and the holotype, three packed bands in the male from Gua Kanthan .

DISTRIBUTION: This species is currently known from four localities in northwestern peninsular Malaysia: Bukit Larut, a mountain on the mainland, north of Ipoh ; Gua Kanthan and Gua Tempurung , two limestone caves in the lowlands, south of Ipoh ; Penang Hill , a mountain on Penang Island (Fig. 1, localities 20-23). The type specimens were collected at 1200 m on Bukit Larut .

BIOLOGY: The lowland spiders were found in completely dark parts of two caves, in webs running into holes and cracks at the foot of cave walls. These spiders show no adaptations to cave life. All other spiders of this species were collected from very humid evergreen forests on two mountains.

Perania coryne Schwendinger, 1994 Fig. 17 Perania coryne Schwendinger, 1994: 458-461 , figs 35-42 (descriptions of male and female). –

Platnick, 2013 (listing).

HOLOTYPE: MHNG; Ƌ; Malaysia (peninsula), Pahang State, Cameron Highlands (exact locality unknown; about 4°29’N, 101°23’E); 14.-20.IV.1990; leg. Vincent & Barbara Roth. GoogleMaps PARATYPE: 1 ♀ with same data as for holotype. No new material available GoogleMaps .

DIAGNOSIS: See Schwendinger (1994: 458).

NEW CHARACTERS: Fovea anteriorly wider and deeper than posteriorly in female, less distinctly so in male. Retrolateral surface of chelicerae medially bulged in both sexes, in female (Fig. 17C) more distinctly so than in male (Fig. 17B). Male and female with proximally swollen, strongly sigmoid setae on slightly elevated bases ventrally on metarsus I; male additionally with more strongly elevated conical bases carrying normal setae prolaterally on entire length of metatarsus I and prolaterally in anterior portion of tibia I. Apex of embolus indistinctly split: small, narrowly lobate subterminal lamella separated by a small indentation from larger, widely rounded embolic part (Fig. 17D-E). Anterior opisthosomal plate of female fragmented into microplates; one pair of them slightly enlarged. Anterior pair of ventrolateral plates of male largely free, only their posterior tips fused with margin of pulmonary plate. Postgenital plate of male completely fused to posterior margin of pulmonary plate, with a sclerotised suture linking them. Preanal plate of females fragmented. Microplates on posterior side of opisthosoma of male not interconnected. Vulva with ventral wall of genital atrium pigmented only laterally, leaving a wide, transparent median zone (mentioned but not illustrated in the original description; Schwendinger, 1994: 461, fig. 41). Spermathecae with clearly outlined anterior porepatches on flat surface, separated from each other for much less than their widths; posterior portion of spermathecae not pigmented (Fig. 17F-G).

DISTRIBUTION: Known only from the type locality in the mountains of central peninsular Malaysia (Fig. 1, locality 24).


DIAGNOSIS: Medium-sized species without modifications on clypeus, on “thoracic” portion of carapace or on chelicerae. Female with vulva characterized by large external pouches opening into ventral side of spermathecae; spermathecae and ventral wall of genital atrium entirely and uniformly pigmented; porepatches indistinctly outlined and only slightly extending onto dorsal side of spermathecae; common anterior margin of spermathecae widely arched, not invaginated; strap-like horizontal FIG. 17

Perania coryne , male holotype (A-B, D-E) and female “ allotype ” (C, F-G). (A) Clypeal process, dorsal view. (B-C) Left chelicera, anterior view. (D) Apex of right embolus, prolateral view. (E) Apex of left embolus, same view. (F) Vulva, ventral view. (G) Same, anterior view. Scale lines 1.0 mm (A; B-C), 0.5 mm (D-G).

plates on posterior side of opisthosoma. Male with metatarsus II carrying conical setal bases; femora of legs granular, femur of palp smooth; bulbus of palpal organ ovoid, embolus short and straight.

SPECIES INCLUDED: Only Perania utara sp. n.

DISTRIBUTION: Northern Sumatra Province (Fig. 1, locality 25). Further species of this group can be expected to occur in the northern part of Sumatra.


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


University of Newcastle


Departamento de Geologia, Universidad de Chile


Tavera, Department of Geology and Geophysics














Perania cerastes Schwendinger, 1994

Schwendinger, Peter J. 2013

Perania cerastes

SCHWENDINGER, P. J. 1994: 458

Perania coryne

SCHWENDINGER, P. J. 1994: 461