Liphistius panching Platnick & Sedgwick, 1984

Peter J. Schwendinger, 2017, A revision of the trapdoor spider genus Liphistius (Mesothelae: Liphistiidae) in peninsular Malaysia; part 1, Revue suisse de Zoologie 124 (2), pp. 391-445 : 414-415

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Liphistius panching Platnick & Sedgwick, 1984


Liphistius panching Platnick & Sedgwick, 1984

Figs 10B View Fig. 10 , 13 View Fig. 13

Liphistius panching Platnick & Sedgwick, 1984: 27 -28, figs 77-78 (description of female). – Sedgwick & Platnick (1986: 205-206, figs 1-8; description of male).

Type: AMHN; female holotype (not examined); Malaysia, Pahang, Gua Panching [= Gua Charas; see paragraph “ Distribution ”], 24 km N of Kuantan; 31.VII.1982; leg. W.C. Sedgwick.

Material examined: MHNG, sample MAL-04/07 ; 3 females (moulted 30.X.2004, 26.III., 7.IX.2005, 19.II.2006; 8.XII.2004, 30.XII.2005); Pahang, about 1 km north of Kampung Panching, Gua Charas , 3°54’41’’N, 103°08’50’’E, 120 m; 1.-2.VI.2004; leg. P.J. Schwendinger GoogleMaps . – MHNG, sample SIM-01/11; 6 females (moulted 7.VII.2001, XII.2002; 8.VII.2001; 27.II., 16.X.2002), 4 juveniles; same locality; 7./ 8. VII.2001; leg. P.J. Schwendinger. GoogleMaps

Diagnosis: Male (see Sedgwick & Platnick, 1986: figs 1-8 and Fig. 10B View Fig. 10 ) distinguished by retrolateral apophysis of palpal tibia in ventral view very wide at base, only little set back from anterior margin of article ( Sedgwick & Platnick, 1986: fig. 3); distal margin of cymbium with indistinct lobes ( Sedgwick & Platnick, 1986: fig. 4); paracymbium quite shallow, without retrolateral-proximal heel; cumulus indistinct, with moderately long bristles ( Sedgwick & Platnick, 1986: figs 1-5); tegulum with many teeth on proximal edge ( Sedgwick & Platnick, 1986: figs 1-2); contrategulum with short, very widely arched ventral process pointing proventrad and with pointed dorsal apex ( Fig. 10B View Fig. 10 ; Sedgwick & Platnick, 1986: fig. 5); para-embolic plate short ( Sedgwick & Platnick, 1986: figs 1-4); embolus proper apically wide ( Sedgwick & Platnick, 1986: fig. 3; Fig. 10B View Fig. 10 ), dorsal wall of sclerotized part apparently long and sharply bent prodorsad ( Sedgwick & Platnick, 1986: fig. 5). Females (see Platnick & Sedgwick, 1984: figs 77-78 and Fig. 13 View Fig. 13 ) distinguished by vulva with few to many lateral and median hairs in genital atrium; posterior stalk wide, quadrangular to trapezium-shaped; poreplate anteriorly wider than posteriorly, with a more or less distinctly invaginated anterior margin and with bulging lateral and posterolateral margins on ventral side; two central dorsal openings (CDO) separated by a wide longitudinal bridge ( Fig. 13A View Fig. 13 , C-D, G); two longitudinal receptacular clusters more or less completely separated from each other by a longitudinal trench ( Fig. 13B View Fig. 13 , E-F, H).

Remarks: According to information from Lorenzo Prendini, the current curator of the arachnid collections at the AMNH, the normally developed male of L. panching (deposited together with a malformed male) cannot be found at the moment. To my knowledge, this is the only useful male specimen of L. panching in any public scientific collection, and a re-examination of details of the palpal organ of this species was therefore not possible. For an easy comparison with other species, the distal aspect of the palpal organ was re-drawn from Sedgwick & Platnick (1986: fig. 5) and is shown in Fig. 10B View Fig. 10 .

Unlike in any other Liphistius species examined, the vulval plates on the exuviae of L. panching females (much more than other sclerotised parts of the exuviae) have become partially depigmented; some have almost completely lost their pigmentation. This is probably due to alcohol preservation. In undissected females the vulval plates have retained their original pigmentation.

Variation: Sedgwick & Platnick (1986: 205) give the carapace length 9.8 and the carapace width 8.4 for the normally developed male, but no measurements for the teratological male with an incompletely developed palp. Carapace lengths in females with fully developed copulatory organs (n=8) 7.62-8.71, carapace widths 6.63-8.12.

Variation in the shape of the vulval plates examined is shown in Fig. 13 View Fig. 13 . In one female the two receptacular clusters and the two central dorsal openings (CDO) are anteriorly connected with each other ( Fig. 13 View Fig. 13 G-H). The larger (older) a female is, the more hair it has in its genital atrium ( Fig. 13D View Fig. 13 cf. Fig. 13A View Fig. 13 ).

Distribution: The type locality is given as “Gua Panching [= Panching Cave], a cave 24 km north of Kuantan”. This is identical with Gua Charas ( Fig. 1 View Fig. 1 , locality 11) in Bukit Charas (= Charas Hill) near Kampung Panching (= Panching Village), which is actually a bit over 20 km northwest of Kuantan. This should not be confused with Bukit Panching, which did not have any caves, was situated about 1.5 km southwest of Bukit Charas and has been completely removed by quarrying in the 1990s. Today only a waterfilled depression shows where the hill once stood (Liz Price, personal communication).

Biology: All spiders examined were collected from sloping loamy soil in the oligophic zone at the entrance area of the Charas Cave. In captivity one female built an egg case (2.7 cm long, 2.8 m wide and 1.4 cm high) in late July 2001. The eggs (more than 21) were found partially rotten when the egg case was opened.


Switzerland, Geneva, Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


Museum d'Histoire Naturelle


American Museum of Natural History














Liphistius panching Platnick & Sedgwick, 1984

Peter J. Schwendinger 2017

Liphistius panching

Platnick N. & Sedgwick W. C. 1984: 27
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