Mecolaesthus tuberculosus ( González-Sponga, 2003 )

Huber, Bernhard A. & Villarreal, Osvaldo, 2020, On Venezuelan pholcid spiders (Araneae, Pholcidae), European Journal of Taxonomy 718, pp. 1-317 : 108-113

publication ID 10.5852/ejt.2020.718.1101

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Mecolaesthus tuberculosus ( González-Sponga, 2003 )


Mecolaesthus tuberculosus ( González-Sponga, 2003) View in CoL

Figs 344–345 View Figs 338–345 , 365–366 View Figs 365–366 , 369–372 View Figs 367–372 , 379–381 View Figs 373–381 , 1043

Maimire tuberculosa González-Sponga, 2009: 4 , figs 3a–j (♂ ♀).

Mecolaesthus tuberculosus View in CoL – Huber et al. 2014a: 417.


Distinguished from most congeners[except M.grandis ( González-Sponga,2009) and M.multidenticulatus ( González-Sponga, 2003) ] by armature of male chelicerae ( Figs 369–371 View Figs 367–372 ; pair of large frontal processes curved downwards and set with 3–4 modified hairs each, and 1–2 small modified hairs more distally on weakly sclerotized area), by shape of main bulbal process (two large sclerites visible in prolateral view; cf. M. grandis and M. multidenticulatus , Figs 351 View Figs 348–355 , 359 View Figs 356–364 ), by transparent process on procursus distally bent toward retrolateral (cf. M. grandis and M. multidenticulatus , Figs 349 View Figs 348–355 , 357 View Figs 356–364 ), and by shape of epigynum ( Fig. 379 View Figs 373–381 ; short but wide plate, pair of anterior internal sclerites extending towards lateral); from the very similar M. grandis and M. multidenticulatus by male cheliceral apophysis with conspicuous lateral process (arrow in Fig. 369 View Figs 367–372 ) and bifid in lateral view ( Fig. 371 View Figs 367–372 ), and by smaller distance between pair of rounded sclerites in female internal genitalia (arrows in Fig. 380 View Figs 373–381 ); from M. grandis also by male cheliceral apophysis without conspicuous projection towards median ( Fig. 370 View Figs 367–372 ).

Type material

VENEZUELA – Yaracuy • 4 ♂♂, 1 ♀, 3 juvs types (see Notes below), MIZA 105694 View Materials ( MAGS 111 ), Maimire (see Notes below), 15 Apr. 1981 (N. & T. Quiroz); examined .

New records

VENEZUELA – Yaracuy • 15 ♂♂, 7 ♀♀, ZFMK (Ar 21906–07), and 1 ♂, 4 ♀♀ in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Ven18-154), Yurubi National Park (10.4913° N, 68.6564° W), 140 m a.s.l., forest along stream, 16 Feb. 2020 (B.A. Huber, O. Villarreal M., Q. Arias C.) GoogleMaps 1 ♂, 1 ♀, ZFMK (Ar 21908), 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.) GoogleMaps 3 ♂♂, 3 ♀♀, ZFMK (Ar 21909), Guaquira , ‘site 2’ (10.2807° N, 68.6530° W), 150 m a.s.l., forest along stream, 17 Feb. 2020 (B.A. Huber, O. Villarreal M., Q. Arias C.) GoogleMaps .

Assigned tentatively

VENEZUELA – Falcón • 1 ♂, 1 ♀, 1 juv., ZFMK (Ar 21910), and 1 juv. in pure ethanol, ZFMK (Ven18-148), 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.) GoogleMaps


The type series includes 4 ♂♂, 1 ♀, 3 juvs rather than 2 ♂♂, 4 ♀♀, 1 juv. as in the original description. Since all specimens are joined in one vial (contrary to the original description), it is not clear which of the four males is the holotype. Thus, all specimens are simply treated as types. The four males appear identical, so there is currently no need to designate a lectotype.

We were not able to exactly identify the type locality.The longitude in the original publication (11.017° W) is obviously wrong, and the file card gives an altitude of 1200 m while the original description says 1100 m. The collecting site was probably approximately at 10.205° N, 69.016° W. In 2020, the site was not accessible due to security reasons. Our two new sites in Yaracuy are ~ 40 km ENE and ~ 50 km NE of the type locality, respectively.


Male (ZFMK Ar 21906)

MEASUREMENTS. Total body length 3.4, carapace width 1.2. Distance PME–PME 90 µm; diameter PME 110 µm; distance PME–ALE 80 µm; diameter AME 30 µm; distance AME–AME 20 µm. Leg 1: 42.2 (9.9 +0.5 +10.1 +19.4 +2.3), tibia 2: 6.0, tibia 3: 4.5, tibia 4: 5.4; tibia 1–4 diameters: 100 µm, 120 µm, 130 µm, 125 µm; tibia 1 L/d: 101.

COLOR (in ethanol). Carapace ochre-yellow with wide median and lateral marginal dark bands not connected posteriorly, ocular area mostly not darkened, clypeus with wide dark brown mark; sternum pale ochre-yellow, labium brown; legs ochre to light brown, with indistinct darker rings on femora subdistally and on tibiae proximally, femora and tibiae with light tips; abdomen pale greenish-gray, dorsally and laterally with dark bluish marks, ventrally with light brown mark in gonopore area, dark brown book lung covers, pair of lateral anterior brown plates opposing fourth coxae, and large bluish median marks in front and behind gonopore; with small light brown mark above pedicel opposing carapace inflation.

BODY. Habitus as in Fig. 344 View Figs 338–345 . Ocular area distinctly raised. Carapace anteriorly with distinct thoracic groove, posteriorly slightly inflated. Clypeus unmodified. Sternum wider than long (0.86/0.60).Abdomen slightly elongated, pointed at spinnerets.

CHELICERAE. As in Figs 369–371 View Figs 367–372 , with pair of large frontal apophyses, each with prominent lateral process; each apophysis with ~3 slightly hooked short hairs and 2–3 straight strong hairs in addition to

regular setae, with 1–2 additional short hairs on whitish area below each apophysis, and tiny weakly sclerotized ridge.

PALPS. Apparently indistinguishable from M. grandis and M. multidenticulatus (cf. Figs 346–353 View Figs 346–347 View Figs 348–355 , 356– 361 View Figs 356–364 ). The simultaneous comparison of two specimens from each species suggested that the variation within localities is comparable to the variation among species.

LEGS. Without spines and curved hairs; few vertical hairs; retrolateral trichobothrium of tibia 1 at 2%; prolateral trichobothrium present on all leg tibiae; tarsus 1 with ~35 pseudosegments, mostly distinct.

Male (variation)

Tibia 1 in 15 males from Yaracuy: 8.3–10.2 (mean 9.4); book-lung covers in some males barely darkened; some males without or with indistinct pair of anterior ventral abdominal plates and without plate above pedicel; carapace in some males not or barely inflated. In the male from Santa Cruz de La Alegría the lateral process on the cheliceral apophysis is less distinct. Specimens from this locality are therefore assigned tentatively; tibia 1: 9.1.


In general similar to male ( Fig. 345 View Figs 338–345 ), but never with brown plates opposing fourth coxae, never with brown plate above pedicel, and carapace never inflated. Tibia 1 in eight females: 5.0–6.6 (mean 5.9). Epigynum and internal genitalia ( Figs 372 View Figs 367–372 , 379–381 View Figs 373–381 ) very similar to those of M. grandis and M. multidenticulatus but pair of internal rounded sclerites closer together (arrows in Fig. 380 View Figs 373–381 ). Internal sclerites variably visible in uncleared specimens. The small differences between Figs 355 View Figs 348–355 , 364 View Figs 356–364 , and 372 may in part result from preparation artifacts.


Known from three localities in the Venezuelan state Yaracuy, and from specimens assigned tentatively from Falcón (Fig. 1043).

Natural history

Both in Yurubi National Park and in Santa Cruz de La Alegría this species shared the microhabitat with Mesabolivar eberhardi Huber, 2000 , i.e., large spaces among rocks and trunks near the ground. The spiders hang in their relatively large webs that were not particularly hidden and vibrated strongly when disturbed.


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


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig














Mecolaesthus tuberculosus ( González-Sponga, 2003 )

Huber, Bernhard A. & Villarreal, Osvaldo 2020

Mecolaesthus tuberculosus

Huber B. A. & Colmenares P. A. & Ramirez M. J. 2014: 417

Maimire tuberculosa González-Sponga, 2009: 4

Gonzalez-Sponga M. A. 2009: 4
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