Gaviphosa Sankaran, 2021

Sankaran, Pradeep M. & Caleb, John T. D., 2021, On the taxonomic validity of Indian ground spiders: V. Genera Megamyrmaekion Reuss, 1834, Sosticus Chamberlin, 1922 and Gaviphosa gen. nov. (Araneae: Gnaphosidae), Zootaxa 5040 (4), pp. 539-564 : 540-543

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Gaviphosa Sankaran, 2021

gen. nov.

Gaviphosa Sankaran, 2021 gen. nov.

Type species. Gaviphosa kera Sankaran, 2021 gen. et sp. nov., by monotypy.

Etymology. The genus name refers to the name of the type locality of the new species (Gavi), in combination with the terminal ‘- phosa ’ taken from Gnaphosa Latreille, 1804 , which is the type species of the family. The gender is feminine.

Diagnosis. Gaviphosa gen. nov. is similar to the monotypic Asian genus Coillina Yin & Peng, 1998 as both share preening brush on metatarsus III, a very long and filiform embolus and tegulum without median apophysis and other sclerites, but can be separated from the latter by chelicerae without teeth (vs. teeth in Coillina ), long, pseudosegmented tarsi with ventral spinules (vs. absent in Coillina ), pedipalp femur without processes (vs. processes in Coillina ), a dorsal tibial apophysis (vs. absent in Coillina ), cymbium with longitudinally narrow distal half to accommodate the embolus (vs. cymbium broad along its entire length in Coillina ) and embolus without coiling (vs. highly coiled in Coillina ) (compare Figs 8–9, 11–13 View FIGURES 1–13 , 16–23 View FIGURES 16–19 View FIGURES 20–23 with Sankaran et al., 2021: figs 1c, 2a–d).

Subfamily placement. Currently Gaviphosa gen. nov. is not assigned to any of the known subfamilies of Gnaphosidae ( Azevedo et al. 2018; Lin & Li 2020).

Description. Small gnaphosid (body length 4.90). Carapace oval in dorsal view, strongly invaginated posteriorly, widest between coxae II and III, narrowed at level of pedipalp, covered with brown setae. Cephalic area slightly elevated over thoracic area; cephalic groove prominent. Thoracic area with yellowish-brown streaks, with a single row of brown marginal setae. Fovea longitudinal, marked as a straight, deep groove. From above, AER moderately procurved, PER strongly procurved ( Fig. 4 View FIGURES 1–13 ); AME circular, dark, others irregularly rectangular, pearly white ( Fig. 4 View FIGURES 1–13 ); AME largest, PME smallest; LEs subequal ( Fig. 4 View FIGURES 1–13 ); AME lying close to each other, almost touching ALE; PME separated slightly less their diameter from each other, separated by more their diameter from PLE; MOQ roughly squarish, slightly narrower in back than in front ( Fig. 4 View FIGURES 1–13 ). Clypeus height moderate. Chilum present ( Fig. 5 View FIGURES 1–13 ). Boss prominent. Chelicerae lacking teeth, keel or lamina ( Figs 8–9 View FIGURES 1–13 ); promargin bordered by a series of long setae with ventrally oriented tip and are of uniform size and shape ( Fig. 8 View FIGURES 1–13 ). Fangs short, less than half of the length of paturon, basally provided with elongated and strong setae ( Figs 8–9 View FIGURES 1–13 , arrow 1) resembling the shaggy/bent hairs of certain liocranid, lamponid and gallieniellid genera ( Sankaran et al. 2017). Endites convergent, with oblique depression, with weak distal scopula ( Fig. 6 View FIGURES 1–13 ); labium short, less than half of the length of endite, tongue-shaped ( Fig. 6 View FIGURES 1–13 ). Sternum broad medially, rebordered, with concave anterior margin, with tiny extensions to coxae, clothed with brown hairs ( Fig. 6 View FIGURES 1–13 ). Leg segments less spinose, covered with normal and recumbent feathery setae ( Fig. 10 View FIGURES 1–13 ); trochanters not notched; metatarsi III and IV with distal preening brush ( Fig. 11 View FIGURES 1–13 , arrow 2), those on IV reduced; tarsi long, nearly twice the length of patellae, slender, pseudo-segmented, with reduced claw tufts, with two dentate claws, ventrolaterally provided with paired rows of small spinules ( Figs 12–13 View FIGURES 1–13 ); tibiae, metatrasi and tarsi dorsally provided with scattered short trichobothria. Leg formula: 4213. Opisthosoma oval, creamy-white, hirsute. Spinnerets hirsute, straw coloured ( Figs 7 View FIGURES 1–13 , 14–15 View FIGURES 14–15 ). Cymbium long, narrowing anteriorly with prominent cymbial depression to accommodate the long embolus ( Figs 16–23 View FIGURES 16–19 View FIGURES 20–23 ); subtegulum prominent ( Figs 16–17 View FIGURES 16–19 , 20–21 View FIGURES 20–23 ); long, filiform embolus without loops ( Figs 16–17 View FIGURES 16–19 , 20–21 View FIGURES 20–23 ); conductor and other sclerites absent; retrolateral tibial apophysis dorsally shifted ( Figs 16, 18–19 View FIGURES 16–19 , 20, 22–23 View FIGURES 20–23 ).

Note. The features of Gaviphosa gen. nov. such as tarsi with pseudosegmentation, lack of cheliceral teeth and a very long cymbium suggest a relationship with the family Cithaeronidae Simon, 1893 . However, larger AMEs (vs. PMEs in cithaeronids), metatarsi with preening brush (vs. metatarsi lack preening brush or comb in cithaeronids), widely separated cylindrical ALSs (vs. conical and narrowly separated ALSs in cithaeronids), retrolateral tibial apophysis shifted dorsally (vs. retrolaterally placed in cithaeronids), bulb with small subtegulum (vs. large in cithaeronids) and lack of a median apophysis (vs. present in cithaeronids) clearly unfit this genus in Cithaeronidae ( Platnick 1991; Sankaran et al. 2020: fig. 10D; herein Figs 4, 7, 11 View FIGURES 1–13 , 16–23 View FIGURES 16–19 View FIGURES 20–23 ). Moreover, a pseudosegmented tarsi can be seen in gnaphosid genera of the subfamily Drassodinae Simon, 1893 ( Azevedo et al. 2018). Instead, the widely separated cylindrical ALSs with enlarged piriform gland spigots of Gaviphosa gen. nov. clearly support its inclusion in Gnaphosidae ( Figs 7 View FIGURES 1–13 , 14–15 View FIGURES 14–15 , arrows). The characters of Gaviphosa gen. nov. shared with cithaeronids, as mentioned above indicate that the delimitation of Gnaphosidae is not well clear and more detailed studies of Cithaeronidae are required to get a clear picture of it. Female somatic and genitalic features are not included in both diagnostic and description parts as no female of Gaviphosa kera gen. et sp. nov. is yet known.

Composition. Only the type species.