Asceua bifurca, Zhang, Bao-Shi & Zhang, Feng, 2018

Zhang, Bao-Shi & Zhang, Feng, 2018, Three new species of the spider genus Asceua from Malaysia (Araneae, Zodariidae), ZooKeys 789, pp. 37-49: 39-40

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scientific name

Asceua bifurca

sp. n.

Asceua bifurca  sp. n. Figs 1, 2, 3

Type material.

Holotype ♂, Malaysia, Sabah, Jalan Tambunan, Penampang, 05°48.739'N, 116°20.522'E, elev. 1583 m, 16 October 2015, Z.Z. Gao leg. Paratypes: 1 ♂ and 2 ♀, same data as holotype.


The males of A. bifurca  are very similar to those of A. radiosa  Jocqué, 1986 (from the Comoro Islands) in having a large concavity on the basal embolus and a short conductor. The two species can be easily distinguished by the conductor being bifurcated in the new species, while it is not bifurcated in A. radiosa  . The posterior part of the dorsal abdomen has three white median bands in the new species that are absent in A. radiosa  (Figs 1A, B, 2 A–C, 3 A–C). The females of this new species resemble those of A. piperata  Ono, 2004 (from Vietnam) in having a hillock between the two copulatory openings, but the two spermathecae are spaced by copulatory ducts in the new species while they are adjacent in A. piperata  (Figs 2D, E, 3D, E).


The specific name is taken from the Latin word bifurca, in reference to the bifurcated tip of the conductor; adjective.


Male total length 2.11-2.18. Holotype total length 2.18; carapace 1.13 long, 0.86 wide; opisthosoma 1.00 long, 0.74 wide. Habitus shown as in Fig. 1 A–B. Carapace shiny, brown, lateral margins dark brown, tegument smooth, median part with a wide V-shaped black patch in front of black fovea, posterior middle bright. Radial grooves dark brown. Clypeus 0.16 high, brown. Eye sizes and inter-distances: AME 0.08, ALE 0.09, PME 0.09, PLE 0.09; AME–AME 0.04, AME–ALE 0.04, ALE–ALE 0.37, PME–PME 0.06, PME–PLE 0.08, PLE–PLE 0.47, ALE–PLE 0.02. MOA 0.22 long, frontal width 0.19, back width 0.24. Chelicerae brown, with 2 promarginal teeth and 1 retromarginal tooth, and terminal part armed with black hairs. Endites yellow brown, apices bright and furnished with dense black hairs. Labium triangular, 0.13 long, 0.12 wide, brown, median part with a semi-circular dark brown patch. Sternum 0.58 long, 0.50 wide, brown, lateral margin dark, median part bright and shiny, furnished with sparse black setae. Coxae of legs white, other sections brown, each femur with two dorsal spines, the distal part of tibia I bright. Measurements of legs: I 2.02 (0.40 + 0.20 + 0.61 + 0.38 + 0.43), II 1.84 (0.43 + 0.14 + 0.49 + 0.40 + 0.38), III 2.17 (0.62 + 0.21 + 0.51 + 0.46 + 0.37), IV 3.03 (0.61 + 0.33 + 0.72 + 0.95 + 0.42). Leg formula: 4312. Opisthosoma oval, covered with black short hairs, with a shiny and lanceolate dorsal scutum. Dorsum of opisthosoma black, with a pair of white median patches, followed by three transversal median bands, the first two bands wide and the third one narrow; anterior part of venter yellowish, posterior part white, and with a pair of lateral black patches, spinnerets brown, ringed with black.

Palp (Figs 2 A–C, 3 A–C). Coxae of palps white, other sections brown; length to width ratio of femur 2.6, length to width ratio of patella 1.2; RTA broad, ventral pointed apophysis broad and with trifurcate top, one of the forks longer than the other two forks, dorsal pointed apophysis thumb-like, with a cuticularized sheet situated between ventral and dorsal apophyses; cymbium with broad lateral fold which is wrinkly and with some hairs; conductor short, the tip bifurcated and sclerotized; distal median apophysis bifurcated; embolic base broad and almost an inverted triangle, with a large concavity on the apical margin.

Female total length 2.21-2.34. One of the paratypes total length 2.34; carapace 1.10 long, 0.84 wide; opisthosoma 1.25 long, 0.92 wide. Habitus as in Fig. 1 C–D. Clypeus 0.15 high. Eye sizes and inter-distances: AME 0.07, ALE 0.09, PME 0.09, PLE 0.09; AME–AME 0.04, AME–ALE 0.03, ALE–ALE 0.37, PME–PME 0.05, PME–PLE 0.09, PLE–PLE 0.47, ALE–PLE 0.04. MOA 0.24 long, frontal width 0.17, back width 0.20. Labium 0.21 long, 0.24 wide. Sternum 0.53 long, 0.55 wide. Measurements of legs: I 2.07 (0.44 + 0.17+ 0.59 + 0.47 + 0.40), II 1.77 (0.44 + 0.11 + 0.41 + 0.47 + 0.34), III 1.99 (0.51 + 0.16 + 0.41 + 0.59 + 0.32), IV 2.53 (0.59 + 0.23 + 0.73 + 0.65 + 0.33). Leg formula: 4132. Dorsum of opisthosoma black, anterior median part dark brown and lack-lustre, followed by a pair of white patches and three transversal bands, lateral parts with a pair of white oblique patches. Color of ventral opisthosoma and spinnerets as in male.

Epigyne (Figs 2D, E, 3D, E). Plate of epigyne approx. 1.9 times wider than long, the posterior margins of copulatory openings and the anterior margin of median hillock W-shaped; spermathecae small and oval, almost as wide as the copulatory ducts, situated posteriorly and well-spaced (approx. 6 times the spermathecal diameter).


Malaysia (Sabah).