Canaima Huber, 2000

Huber, Bernhard A. & Villarreal, Osvaldo, 2020, On Venezuelan pholcid spiders (Araneae, Pholcidae), European Journal of Taxonomy 718, pp. 1-317 : 19-20

publication ID 10.5852/ejt.2020.718.1101

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Canaima Huber, 2000


Canaima Huber, 2000 View in CoL


Only two species were previously known in this genus, the type species C. arima ( Gertsch, 1982) from Trinidad and C. merida Huber, 2000 from Mérida, Venezuela . Below, we describe six further Venezuelan species, closing to some degree the geographic gap between Trinidad and Mérida (Fig. 1034). All species

are known from very limited geographic areas, suggesting that these small spiders may be considerably more diverse than suggested by the low number of described species.

The assignment of the new species to Canaima is not obvious. Most new species share the main synypomorphy of Canaima (very short cheliceral entapophyses; e.g., Figs 60 View Figs 58–61 , 65 View Figs 62–67 , 70 View Figs 68–71 , 83 View Figs 81–84 , 87 View Figs 85–88 ) and have similar male cheliceral armatures and general male palpal morphologies. In addition, none has an inflated male palpal tibia like Blancoa Huber, 2000 , the only Modisiminae genus in Venezuela with superficially similar species. For most new species, the assignment to Canaima appears thus like a plausible solution, even though based on limited evidence. Most problematic is C. guaraque Huber sp. nov., a species with a highly unique pedipalp that may well end up in a separate (new) genus.

During our 2018 trip we made a major effort to recollect C. merida but could not find it at the type locality (15 km NE Mérida, El Valle, 2400 m a.s.l., approximately 8.689° N, 71,100° W). Only two specimens of this species are known to exist in collections: the male holotype (in AMNH) and a newly examined male with poorly specified locality data (only “ Mérida ”), deposited in SMF (RII/5626).











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