Priscula salmeronica González-Sponga, 1999

Huber, Bernhard A. & Villarreal, Osvaldo, 2020, On Venezuelan pholcid spiders (Araneae, Pholcidae), European Journal of Taxonomy 718, pp. 1-317 : 243-248

publication ID 10.5852/ejt.2020.718.1101

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Priscula salmeronica González-Sponga, 1999


Priscula salmeronica González-Sponga, 1999 View in CoL

Figs 833–834 View Figs 829–834 , 852–860 View Figs 852–853 View Figs 854–860 , 868–870 View Figs 861–870 , 1060

Priscula salmeronica González-Sponga, 1999: 155 View in CoL , figs 56–65 (♂ ♀).


The MAGS collection has four vials with this species, all originating from Miranda state:

MAGS 1014 (MIZA 105589), containing the ♂ holotype and 2 ♀♀ paratypes ( not separated into 1014a and 1014b), Miranda, Salmerón, 250 m a.s.l., 10 Jan. 1987 (A.R. Delgado de G., M.A. González-S.). According to the original publication, this is at 10.461° N, 66.379° W, which is at ~ 420 m a.s.l. The town of Salmerón is at 640 m a.s.l., but the valley between the two places lies below 300 m a.s.l., which is thus possibly the true collecting site (10.469° N, 66.376° W).

MAGS 1041 (MIZA 105591), with 1 ♂, with the same collection data as the holotype above but 12 Mar. 1987. This is possibly not a paratype since the date is not mentioned in the original publication.

MAGS 1166 (MIZA 105664), with 3 ♂♂, 5 ♀♀, 7 juvs paratypes, Miranda, El Ávila National Park, Quebrada Quintero [10.517° N, 66.852° W, ~ 1200 m a.s.l.], 19 Aug. 1989 (A.R. Delgado de G., E. González, M.A. González-S.).

MAGS 1006 (MIZA 105615), with 2 ♂♂, 1 ♀, 2 juvs; the collection card for this vial is lost, but it seems reasonable to assume that these are the paratypes from Miranda, Guatopo National Park [approximately 10.06° N, 66.46° W, ~ 400 m a.s.l.] mentioned in the original publication.

The three type vials together thus contain 6 ♂♂, 8 ♀♀, 9 juvs, which is very close to the numbers indicated in the original description (7 ♂♂, 9 ♀♀, 10 juvs).


Distinguished from most known congeners (except P. ulai González-Sponga, 1999 ) by combination of small size (body length <4 mm) and absence of AME; also by distinctive shape of procursus ( Figs 854– 856 View Figs 854–860 ; retrolateral ridge with shallow pocket, distally with ventral flat sclerite and dorsal membranous element), by bulbal apophysis with distinctive subdistal pointed process (arrow in Fig. 858 View Figs 854–860 ), by male palpal femur with ventral apophysis (arrow in Fig. 852 View Figs 852–853 ; similar but smaller than in P. acarite Huber sp. nov.), by epigynum about as long as wide, with angular line close to anterior border ( Fig. 868 View Figs 861–870 ), and by internal female genitalia with pair of dark lateral sclerites posteriorly and median sclerite between pore plates ( Figs 857 View Figs 854–860 , 870 View Figs 861–870 ).

New records

VENEZUELA – Miranda • 1 ♀, ZFMK (Ar 22104), and 2 ♀♀, 2 juvs in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Ven20- 181), El Ávila National Park , near La Julia, ‘site 1’ (10.5012° N, 66.8111° W), 960 m a.s.l., in decaying bamboo trunks, 23 Feb. 2020 (B.A. Huber, O. Villarreal M.). – La Guaira GoogleMaps 1 ♂, 2 ♀♀, ZFMK (Ar 22105), and 1 ♂, 2 ♀♀, 1 juv. in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Ven20-166), 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.). – Aragua GoogleMaps 2 ♂♂, 4 ♀♀, ZFMK (Ar 22106), and 1 ♂, 3 ♀♀, 4 juvs in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Ven18- 239, 245), between Maracay and Puerto Colombia (10.4304° N, 67.5998° W), 380 m a.s.l., 2 Dec. 2018 (B.A. Huber, O. Villarreal M.) GoogleMaps .


Male (ZFMK, Ar 22106)

MEASUREMENTS. Total body length 3.5, carapace width 1.7. Distance PME–PME 180 µm; diameter PME 110 µm; distance PME–ALE 110 µm; AME absent. ALE and PLE larger than PME (diameter ALE 210 µm). Leg 1: 39.4 (9.8 +0.7 +9.6+17.5 + 1.8), tibia 2: 6.6, tibia 3: 4.5, tibia 4: 6.1; tibia 1 L/d: 66.

COLOR (in ethanol). Carapace ochre-yellow with dark mark medially and three pairs of radial marks, with pair of whitish marks beside ocular area; ocular area light brown with darker median and lateral bands, clypeus dark brown; sternum brown, with three pairs of small light spots near bases of coxae 2–4; legs ochre-yellow, with darker rings on femora subdistally, on tibiae proximally and subdistally, and on metatarsi proximally; abdomen dorsally and laterally densely covered with black and white spots, ventrally grey with large brown marks in gonopore area and in front of spinnerets.

BODY. Habitus as in Fig. 833 View Figs 829–834 . Ocular area distinctly raised, with hump on posterior side. Deep thoracic groove reaching posterior margin. Clypeus strongly protruding but otherwise unmodified. Sternum wider than long (0.95/0.75), unmodified. Abdomen higher than long, dorso-posteriorly pointed.

CHELICERAE. With pair of short apophyses near fang joints (cf. González-Sponga 1999: figs 59–60), without stridulatory ridges, with pair of distinct white areas laterally that are distally bordered by sclerotized rim.

PALPS. As in Figs 852–853 View Figs 852–853 ; coxa unmodified, trochanter slightly protruding ventrally, femur long, with distinct retrolateral process proximally, distinctive sclerotized ventral process at ~¾ of length (arrow in Fig. 852 View Figs 852–853 ), and sclerotized protruding ventral rim distally; patella ventrally reduced to strongly sclerotized narrow rim; tibia small relative to femur; procursus ( Figs 854–856 View Figs 854–860 ) with distinctive distal elements: retrolateral ridge with shallow pocket (arrow in Fig. 856 View Figs 854–860 ), distally with ventral flat sclerite and dorsal membranous element; genital bulb ( Figs 858–860 View Figs 854–860 ) with small proximal sclerite connecting to tarsus, strong main apophysis with distinctive subdistal pointed process (arrow in Fig. 858 View Figs 854–860 ), with large whitish area ventrally between strong proximal transversal sclerite and main apophysis.

LEGS. Without spines and curved hairs; few short vertical hairs; retrolateral trichobothrium of tibia 1 at 5%; prolateral trichobothrium present on all leg tibiae; tarsi without distinct pseudosegments but rather with many small platelets.

Male (variation)

Tibia 1 in other newly collected males: 7.3, 8.0, 8.9. In male holotype (according to original description; not checked): 7.3.


In general similar to male ( Fig. 834 View Figs 829–834 ), also with hump on posterior side of ocular area, also without curved hairs on legs. Some newly collected females with dark pigment in place of AME but never with lenses. Tibia 1 in 11 newly collected females: 4.0–5.4 (mean 4.7). In female paratype measured in original description ( not checked): 4.3. Epigynum ( Fig. 868 View Figs 861–870 ) large dark brown plate, with dark angular line close to anterior border, posterior margin with whitish triangular area; internal large arc visible in uncleared specimens. Without posterior epigynal plate. Internal genitalia relatively small (compared to epigynal plate; Figs 857 View Figs 854–860 , 869–870 View Figs 861–870 ), with pair of dark sclerites posteriorly and median sclerite between pore plates; pore plates semicircular.


Known from several localities in the Venezuelan states Miranda, La Guaira, and Aragua (Fig. 1060). All localities are at about 250–1200 m a.s.l.

Natural history

The newly collected specimens from between Maracay and Puerto Colombia were found in a degraded forest close to the road, mostly on overhanging rocks, but also on the undersides of large live leaves and under large dead leaves on the ground. At El Limón, the spiders were collected in a small degraded forest remnant along a small stream. Adult specimens were found on rock walls, usually in small cavities or under trapped leaf litter; juveniles were also found in the vegetation and even on live leaves. In El Ávila National Park the spiders were found in a very dry habitat, hiding in decaying bamboo trunks on the ground [together with Micropholcus evaluna (Huber, Pérez González & Baptista, 2005) ]. Two eggsacs contained approximately 30– 40 eggs each.


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


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig














Priscula salmeronica González-Sponga, 1999

Huber, Bernhard A. & Villarreal, Osvaldo 2020

Priscula salmeronica González-Sponga, 1999: 155

Gonzalez-Sponga M. A. 1999: 155
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