Artema bahla Huber

Huber, Bernhard A. & Carvalho, Leonardo S., 2019, Filling the gaps: descriptions of unnamed species included in the latest molecular phylogeny of Pholcidae (Araneae), Zootaxa 4546 (1), pp. 1-96: 6-10

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Artema bahla Huber

sp. n.

Artema bahla Huber  sp. n.

Figs 1–2View FIGURES 1–6, 7–8View FIGURES 7–12, 13–14View FIGURES 13–18, 19–20View FIGURES 19–24, 25View FIGURES 25–27, 30View FIGURES 28–32, 33–34View FIGURES 33–38

Artema Om  14: Eberle et al. 2018 (molecular data); Huber et al. 2018: fig. 2.

Type material. OMAN: ♂ holotype, ZFMK ( Ar 20587), Ad Dakhiliya, W of Bahla (22.934°N, 57.084°E), 550 m a.s.l., under rocks in desert, 24.iii.2017 (B.A. Huber)GoogleMaps  .

Other material examined. OMAN: 1♀ 1 juv., together with holotype, and 4 juvs in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Om 33), same data as holotypeGoogleMaps  . 1♀, ZFMK ( Ar 20588) and  1 juv. in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Om 102), Ad Dakhiliyah, between Tanuf and Al Hamra , Al Ghubrat cave entrance area (23.0718°N, 57.3680°E), 665 m a.s.l., 15.ii.2018 (B.A. Huber)GoogleMaps  . 1♀, ZFMK (Ar 20589), Ad Dhahira, Ibri , Al Kittan Cave (23.298°N, 56.511°E), 410 m a.s.l., in cave near entrance, 25.iii.2017 (B.A. Huber)GoogleMaps  . 1♂, ZFMK (Ar 20590), Ad Dhahira, near Miskin (between Ibri and Rusdaq ) (23.496°N, 56.838°E), 660 m a.s.l., under rocks, 25.iii.2017 (B.A. Huber)GoogleMaps  . 1♂, ZFMK (Ar 20591), Al Batinah South, ravine above mountain village above Wadi Sahtan (23.218°N, 57.315°E), 980 m a.s.l., under rock, 26.iii.2017 (B.A. Huber)GoogleMaps  . 1♂ 2♀ 1 juv., ZFMK (Ar 20592) and 2 juvs in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Om 38), Al Batinah South, wadi near Fasah (23.303°N, 57.328°E), 660 m a.s.l., under rocks, 26.iii.2017 (B.A. Huber)GoogleMaps  .

Assigned tentatively. The following records are based on juveniles only. Since this seems to be the only epigean and non-synanthropic Artema  species in eastern Oman, the assignments are likely to be correct.

OMAN: 1 juv. in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Om 100), Ad Dakhiliyah, small wadi near Samail (23.309°N, 57.940°E), 440 m a.s.l., 14.ii.2018 (B.A. Huber)GoogleMaps  . 1 juv. in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Om 108), Ad Dakhiliyah, Wadi Ghul , ‘site 3’ (23.236°N, 57.150°E), 1440 m a.s.l., 15.ii.2018 (B.A. Huber)GoogleMaps  . 1 juv. in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Om 110), Ad Dakhiliyah, near Sayh Al Qa’ (23.0206°N, 57.4241°E), 445 m a.s.l., 16.ii.2018 (B.A. Huber)GoogleMaps  . 1 juv. in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Om 112), Ad Dakhiliyah, Wadi Sact (23.0632°N, 58.0464°E), 820 m a.s.l., 17.ii.2018 (B.A. Huber). 2 juvs in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Om 115), Ash Sharqiyah North, between Al Rawda and Al Hayema (22.880°N, 57.293°E), 690 m a.s.l., 17.ii.2018 (B.A. Huber)GoogleMaps  .

Etymology. The species name is derived from the type locality; noun in apposition.

Diagnosis. Females are easily distinguished from known congeners by pair of deep cavities on anterior epigynal plate ( Figs 30View FIGURES 28–32, 33View FIGURES 33–38); males differ from known congeners by combination of distinct stridulatory ridges laterally on chelicerae ( Fig. 20View FIGURES 19–24); bulbal process c present, rounded ( Fig. 8View FIGURES 7–12); and procursus distally with one light notch in dorsal view ( Fig. 7View FIGURES 7–12).

Description. Male (holotype). MEASUREMENTS. Total length 5.3, carapace width 2.4. Distance PME-PME 150 µm; diameter PME 130 µm; distance PME-ALE 90 µm; distance AME-AME 50 µm, diameter AME 140 µm. Leg 1: 32.7 (8.4 + 1.2 + 9.3 + 11.9 + 1.9), tibia 2: 6.8, tibia 3: 5.2, tibia 4: 7.5; tibia 1 L/d: 34.

COLOR (in ethanol). Carapace pale ochre-yellow with dark brown median band and light brown ocular area; clypeus with brown median band and brown rim; sternum pale ochre-yellow; legs ochre-yellow, with brown rings in patella area, on tibiae subdistally and on metatarsi proximally; femora 1 proximally red-brown. Abdomen pale gray, dorsally with large dark marks extending towards lateral sides; ventrally with brown area in front of gonopore.

BODY. Habitus as in Fig. 1View FIGURES 1–6. Ocular area slightly elevated, deep thoracic pit behind ocular area, thoracic furrow in posterior part of carapace; clypeus unmodified except for brown rim. Sternum wider than long (1.55/1.25), unmodified. Gonopore with four epiandrous spigots.

CHELICERAE. As in Figs 19–20View FIGURES 19–24, with several sclerotized cone-shaped hairs in distinctive arrangement, with distinct stridulatory ridges.

PALPS. In general very similar to known congeners (cf. Figs 28–29View FIGURES 28–32); coxa unmodified, trochanter ventrally slightly projecting and strongly sclerotized, femur strongly widened, with retrolateral apophysis proximally pointing towards ventral, with stridulatory pick (modified hair) prolaterally near joint to trochanter, patella very short, ventrally closed, i.e. not reduced; tibia retrolateral trichobothrium in very proximal position; procursus with distinct dorsal apophysis and ventral pocket in very proximal position, distally widened, with one light notch in dorsal view ( Fig. 7View FIGURES 7–12); genital bulb with short membranous embolus accompanied by two processes (processes a and b in Aharon et al. 2017), with distinct process c and very small process d ( Figs 8View FIGURES 7–12, 13–14View FIGURES 13–18).

LEGS. Without spines and curved hairs, few vertical hairs; regular mechanoreceptive hairs either thick and very long (on all leg segments except on tarsi; length ~0.75–2.1) or thin and short (very dense on all leg segments; length ~0.08–0.15); retrolateral trichobothrium of tibia 1 at 6%; prolateral trichobothrium present on all tibiae; tarsus 1 with ~15 pseudosegments, very indistinct.

Male (variation). The other three males examined are larger in all respects but genitalia and chelicerae appear largely identical and the male from near Fasah is accompanied by two females that share the highly distinctive epigynum of the female from the type locality; the males are thus all considered conspecific. Tibia 1 in two other males (missing in third male that is severely damaged): 12.9, 13.2; palpal femur length in holotype: 1.50, in other males: 1.80, 1.85, 2.20. Males from near Miskin and from near Fasah with slightly larger bulbal process c, and clearly larger bulbal process d.

Female. In general similar to male ( Fig. 2View FIGURES 1–6), also with stridulatory ridges on chelicerae, but clypeus rim not brown and femora 1 proximally ochre-yellow (not red-brown). Tibia 1 in 5 females: 6.5–12.3 (mean 10.3) (type locality: 6.5). Epigynum anterior plate wider than long, trapezoidal to rectangular, with pair of distinctive deep cavities anteriorly laterally ( Figs 30View FIGURES 28–32, 33View FIGURES 33–38); pair of large, slightly bulging light brown projections in front of anterior epigynal plate; posterior plate wide and short. Internal genitalia simple, with pair of distinctively shaped pore plates ( Figs 25View FIGURES 25–27, 34View FIGURES 33–38).

Distribution. Apparently widespread in northeastern Oman ( Fig. 342View FIGURE 342).

Natural history. This species was found under rocks in very dry rock deserts, in the entrance area of caves, and in a ravine in the Al Hajar Mountains. Large and adult specimens seemed to be restricted to large rocks, which explains why only juveniles were found at several localities (large rocks were usually present but too heavy to move). Usually, a small part of the web extended from under the rock, but webs of juveniles were indistinguishable from those of syntopic Crossopriza  species. When disturbed (by turning the rock), some specimens remained on the rock, others ran away very rapidly. Webs often contained numerous shed skins, suggesting that they had been used for a long time without much web replacement. Two egg sacs contained about 50 eggs each and were covered by a variably dense layer of silk.