Micropholcomma Crosby & Bishop, 1927

Rix, Michael & Harvey, Mark, 2010, The spider family Micropholcommatidae (Arachnida: Araneae: Araneoidea): a relimitation and revision at the generic level, ZooKeys 36 (36), pp. 1-321: 23-24

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http://doi.org/ 10.3897/zookeys.36.306

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Micropholcomma Crosby & Bishop, 1927


Genus Micropholcomma Crosby & Bishop, 1927  

Micropholcomma Crosby & Bishop, 1927: 152   . Type species by original designation Micropholcomma caeligenus Crosby & Bishop, 1927   . Roewer, 1942: 392. Hickman, 1944: 183. Bonnet, 1957: 2905. Forster, 1959: 297. Hickman, 1981: 65. Brignoli, 1983: 374. Rix, 2008: 343. Platnick, 2009.

Microlinypheus Butler, 1932: 103   . Type species by monotypy Microlinypheus bryophilus Butler, 1932   . Roewer, 1942: 617. Synonymised by Hickman, 1944: 186. Bonnet, 1957: 2885.

Plectochetos Butler, 1932: 106   . Type species by monotypy Plectochetos longissimus Butler, 1932   . Roewer, 1942: 617. Bonnet, 1958: 3707. Synonymised by Forster, 1959: 297.

Affinities. The genus Micropholcomma   appears to be the sister-lineage to Pua novaezealandiae   from New Zealand ( Fig. 4 View Figure 4 ).

Diagnosis. Species of Micropholcomma   can be distinguished from all other Micropholcommatini   except Pua novaezealandiae   by the presence of a normal, non-bifurcate embolus ( Fig. 9A View Figure 9 ); and can be distinguished from Pua   by the presence of a long embolus (length> 5× width) which is usually looped or coiled ( Figs 9A View Figure 9 , 12A, 17B). Other diagnostic characters include the presence (and presumed retention) of posterior tracheae (shared with Gigiella   ) and the presence of a male leg I-pedipalpal stridulatory system (Fig. 21D).

Description. Very small, entelegyne Araneoidea   ; total length 0.70 to 1.30. Cephalothorax: Carapace without glandular depressions above maxillae; cuticle without glandular pits (Fig. 18C); margins fused to sternum via pleural sclerites. Eight (Fig. 18C), rarely six or (in troglomorphic taxa) fewer eyes present on anterior margin of pars cephalica; AME, if present, smallest. Chelicerae with or without bulging anterior projections in males; promargin with true teeth, a pair of fused setal sockets adjacent to base of fang and single peg tooth in males (Fig. 19F).

Legs and female pedipalp: Legs three-clawed ( Fig. 20D View Figure 20 ), covered with smooth or serrate hair-like setae; femur I of males with prolateral stridulatory denticles (Fig. 18C). Trichobothria present on legs; tibiae each with two or three trichobothria ( Fig. 20C View Figure 20 ); metatarsi without trichobothria. Female pedipalp four-segmented (with fused tibiatarsus) or reduced to a vestigial nubbin; claw absent (Figs 19C–D).

Abdomen: Abdomen oval or globose; anterior sclerite present around epigastric region and petiole; large dorsal scute present on males (Fig. 14), absent (Fig. 16B) or (rarely) present (Fig. 13B) on females; lateral sclerotic strips present on males; posterior sclerotic ring surrounding spinnerets and colulus. Six spinnerets situated posterior to fleshy colulus ( Figs 22A, 22C View Figure 22 , 23 View Figure 23 A–B); PMS of M. bryophilum   with single medial AC gland spigot; PLS of M. bryophilum   with complete triad. Anterior tracheal system welldeveloped, with relatively large lateral atria and multiple radiating tracheae (Fig. 15B); second tracheal tubes on each side looping mesally and extending through petiole into cephalothorax (Fig. 12D); posterior tracheal spiracle present, tracheae quadritracheate.

Genitalia: Male pedipalp (Fig. 21) small to large, relatively simple; patella with distally-directed, flanged or hooked ligulate retrolateral apophysis and retrolateral stridulatory ridges; tegulum smooth, with curved evaginated tegular ridge; embolus exposed, long (length> 5× width), usually looped or coiled. Female genitalia (Figs 15A–E) with pair of separate, globular anterior spermathecae; insemination ducts coiled around fertilisation ducts; fertilisation ducts posteriorly-directed.

Distribution. Eastern and western mainland Australia and Tasmania (Fig. 217). Two undescribed female specimens from Rivière Bleue and Mont Mou, New Caledonia (QMB S60522 View Materials , QMB S72474 View Materials ) probably also belong in this genus, but males are required to confirm the identification.

Composition. Seven described species, Micropholcomma bryophilum ( Butler, 1932)   , M. caeligenum Crosby & Bishop, 1927   , M. linnaei Rix, 2008   , M. longissimum ( Butler, 1932)   , M. mirum Hickman, 1944   , M. parmatum Hickman, 1944   , M. turbans Hickman, 1981   , and the new species M. junee   . Undescribed species are also known from throughout the range of the genus.

Nomenclatural remarks. The gender of the genus name “ Micropholcomma   ” was not specified by Crosby and Bishop (1927), although the type species was described with a masculine specific epithet (as M. “ caeligenus   ”). The name Micropholcomma   was clearly derived from the theridiid taxon name “ Pholcomma   ” Thorell, and as highlighted by Levi (1964), this name should be treated as neuter. To this end, Brignoli (1983) and Davies (1985) amended the suffix endings of the species names, all of which were previously masculine or feminine.












Micropholcomma Crosby & Bishop, 1927

Rix, Michael & Harvey, Mark 2010


Bonnet P 1957: 2885
Hickman VV 1944: 186
Roewer CF 1942: 617
Butler LSG 1932: 103


Forster RR 1959: 297
Bonnet P 1958: 3707
Roewer CF 1942: 617
Butler LSG 1932: 106


Brignoli PM 1983: 374
Hickman VV 1981: 65
Forster RR 1959: 297
Bonnet P 1957: 2905
Hickman VV 1944: 183
Roewer CF 1942: 392
Crosby CR & Bishop SC 1927: 152