Metagonia guttata Huber, 2020

Huber, Bernhard A. & Villarreal, Osvaldo, 2020, On Venezuelan pholcid spiders (Araneae, Pholcidae), European Journal of Taxonomy 718, pp. 1-317 : 195-198

publication ID 10.5852/ejt.2020.718.1101

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scientific name

Metagonia guttata Huber

sp. nov.

Metagonia guttata Huber View in CoL sp. nov.

Figs 683–686 View Figs 681–686 , 698–701 View Figs 698–701 , 705–707 View Figs 702–707 , 1053


Easily distinguished from known congeners (including the otherwise very similar M. reventazona Huber, 1997 from Costa Rica) by dark marks on femora in males and females ( Figs 683–686 View Figs 681–686 ); also by unique process on genital bulb (arrow in Fig. 699 View Figs 698–701 ; present but shorter in M. reventazona : 60 vs 110 µm), by shape of procursus ( Figs 698–699 View Figs 698–701 ; all distal elements longer than in M. reventazona ), by small median process on male clypeus ( Fig. 700 View Figs 698–701 ), by modifications of male chelicerae (whitish proximal processes frontally; pattern of modified globular hairs), and by female internal genitalia ( Figs 701 View Figs 698–701 , 706–707 View Figs 702–707 ; symmetric ventral receptacle; dorsal pair of sclerites; pore plates far apart and large).


The species name (Latin: speckled, dotted) refers to the vividly patterned body and legs of this species; adjective.

Type material

VENEZUELA – Falcón • ♂ holotype, ZFMK (Ar 22047), Sierra de San Luis , E Curimagua (11.1716° N, 69.6266° W), 970 m a.s.l., 18 Nov. 2018 (B.A. Huber, O. Villarreal M.) GoogleMaps .

Other material examined

VENEZUELA – Falcón • 1 ♂, 4 ♀♀, 1 juv., ZFMK (Ar 22048), and 1 ♂, 5 ♀♀, 1 juv. in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Ven18-194, 246), same collection data as for holotype GoogleMaps 2 ♀♀ in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Ven20- 153), forest near Santa Cruz de La Alegría (10.8795° N, 68.4949° W), 100 m a.s.l., 15 Feb. 2020 (B.A. Huber, O. Villarreal M., Q. Arias C.). – Lara GoogleMaps 2 ♂♂, 4 ♀♀, 3 juvs, ZFMK (Ar 22049), and 2 ♀♀ in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Ven18-199), between Coro and Barquisimeto, El Rodeo (10.7240° N, 69.3008° W), 400 m a.s.l., 19 Nov. 2018 (B.A. Huber, O. Villarreal M.). – Yaracuy GoogleMaps 1 ♂, ZFMK (Ar 22050), Guaquira , ‘site 1’ (10.2951° N, 68.6535° W), 120 m a.s.l., forest along stream, 16 Feb. 2020 (B.A. Huber, O. Villarreal M., Q. Arias C.). – La Guaira GoogleMaps 3 ♂♂, 2 ♀♀, ZFMK (Ar 22051), and 4 ♀♀ in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Ven20-165), El Limón , ‘site 1’ (10.4788° N, 67.3010° W), 600 m a.s.l., forest remnant along small stream, 21 Feb. 2020 (B.A. Huber, O. Villarreal M.) GoogleMaps .


Male (holotype)

MEASUREMENTS. Total body length 2.4, carapace width 0.80. Distance PME–PME 140 µm; diameter PME 100 µm; distance PME–ALE 15 µm; AME absent. Leg 1: 18.4 (4.9 +0.4+ 4.9+6.9+ 1.3), tibia 2: 2.8, tibia 3: 1.7, tibia 4: 2.8; tibia 1 L/d: 58; all femora approximately same diameter.

COLOR (in ethanol). Carapace pale ochre yellow, with four pairs of dark marks along lateral margins and one pair behind ocular area, indistinct median pair posteriorly; clypeus not darkened; sternum mostly dark ochre, lighter at margins; legs ochre-yellow, femora with 4–8 black ventral marks (in live specimens clearly visible also in dorsal view), patellae black, tibiae distally and metatarsi proximally black, also hairs on tibiae distally darker; abdomen whitish, with numerous dark marks dorsally, monochromous ventrally.

BODY. Habitus as in Figs 683–684 View Figs 681–686 . Ocular area barely raised, each triad on low hump. Carapace without thoracic groove. Clypeus with small conical process ( Fig. 700 View Figs 698–701 ). Sternum slightly wider than long (0.60/0.50), unmodified. Abdomen with conical elongation above spinnerets.

CHELICERAE. As in Fig. 700 View Figs 698–701 , with pair of low whitish processes proximally frontally set with 2 and 3 hairs, respectively, and 7 and 9 modified (globular) hairs, respectively, on frontal face more distally.

PALPS. As in Figs 698–699 View Figs 698–701 ; coxa unmodified, trochanter with short ventral apophysis; femur relatively long, without process; retrolateral trichobothrium on tibia not in very distal position; procursus with ventral hinged process, main branch of procursus apparently also hinged against proximal part, divided into rod-shaped retrolateral sclerite and mostly membranous prolateral element set with series of ~10 small dark knobs; genital bulb with distinctive light process (arrow in Fig. 699 View Figs 698–701 ) and simple embolus ending in spine.

LEGS. Without spines and curved hairs, few vertical hairs; retrolateral trichobothrium of tibia 1 at 11%; prolateral trichobothrium absent on tibia 1; tarsus 1 with ~15 pseudosegments, distally fairly distinct.

Male (variation)

Tibia 1 in seven males (incl. holotype): 4.0–4.9 (mean 4.4). Number of modified hairs on chelicerae slightly variable. Posterior median mark on carapace sometimes absent.


In general similar to male ( Figs 685–686 View Figs 681–686 ). Tibia 1 in 12 females: 3.3–4.0 (mean 3.6). Epigynum ( Fig. 705 View Figs 702–707 ) unsclerotized except posterior rim, internal median receptacle visible in uncleared specimens. Internal genitalia ( Figs 701 View Figs 698–701 , 706–707 View Figs 702–707 ) with large ventral symmetric receptacle, dorsal pair of sclerites forming triangular structure, pore plates far apart, large, and fragmented into isles of pores.


Known from several localities in the Venezuelan northwest (states Falcón, Lara, Yaracuy, and La Guaira) (Fig. 1053).

Natural history

In the Sierra de San Luis, the specimens were collected from the undersides of leaves, mostly banana leaves, in a fairly well-preserved forest. The spiders were resting close to the main median leaf vein, tightly pressed against the leaf. At El Rodeo and El Limón, the spiders were found in dryer, more degraded forest fragments, on dicot leaves. At Santa Cruz de La Alegría the spiders shared the same species of dicot plant with M. mariguitarensis ( González-Sponga, 1998) . In all cases the webs consisted of two layers: one layer closely attached to the leaf surface and a second layer above the spider, apparently similar to the webs described by Huber & Sch̹tte (2009) for M. rica Gertsch, 1986 .


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


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig













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