Diphya foordi, Omelko & Marusik & Lyle, 2020

Omelko, Mikhail M., Marusik, Yuri M. & Lyle, Robin, 2020, A survey of Diphya Nicolet, 1849 (Araneae: Tetragnathidae) from South Africa, Zootaxa 4899 (1), pp. 259-279: 261-263

publication ID


publication LSID




persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Diphya foordi

sp. nov.

Diphya foordi   sp. nov.

Figures 1 View FIGURE 1 H–I, 2B–C, 3B,I, 4E,G, 5C, 6B, 7B,E, 8A, 11B, 13E–G

Etymology. The specific name is a patronym in honour of the prominent South African arachnologist, Stefan Foord (University of Venda, Limpopo), for his significant contribution to the study of African spiders.

Diagnosis. Diphya foordi   sp. nov. can be separated from other congeners occurring in South Africa by the pattern and shape of the copulatory organs. Males differ from those of D. simoni   by lacking a complex pattern on the carapace, and from two other species known by males by the same dark coloration of the frontal part of carapace and chelicera ( D. leroyorum   sp. nov. and D. wesolowskae   sp. nov. have chelicerae darker than the ocular area and clypeus). Females of the new species can be recognized by having a dark sternum lacking a pattern, light-coloured femora of all legs and well-developed abdominal pattern. Diphya vanderwaltae   sp. nov. is similar and has no abdominal pattern and has dark brown femora. Males differs from congeners by the palp with longest embolus and roundly bent and gradually tapering conductor. The most similar species is D. simoni   , which has a straight conductor (in retrolateral view), a much shorter embolus and a shorter cymbial process (cf. Figs 7E View FIGURE 7 , 8A View FIGURE 8 , and 7H View FIGURE 7 , 8C View FIGURE 8 ). The epigyne of D. foordi   sp. nov. is most similar to those in D. wesolowskae   sp. nov. and differs from it by thinner septal stem, ca. 1/5 of the septal base width vs. 1/3 of the septum base width ( Figs 11B and 11D View FIGURE 11 ).

Description. Male (Holotype). TL 2.41, CL 1.34, CW 0.99. Carapace brown or dark brown with more or less distinct yellow-brown longitudinal band. Ocular area dark black; clypeus dark brown, somewhat higher than AME diameter. Chelicerae with 3 promarginal and 3 retromarginal teeth. Sternum dark brown with indistinct longitudinal stripe. Femora of all legs light brown; patellae light-brown, III-IV with grayish lateral sides; tibiae, metatarsi and tarsi of all legs uniformly light brown. Abdomen dorsally brown with 4 pairs of irregularly shaped spots (frontal pair of spots largest), surrounded by line consisting of white guanine spots. Lateral sides blackish, with yellow spots and stripes. Ventrally blackish, surrounded by yellow spaces.

Palp ( Figs 7B, E View FIGURE 7 , 8A View FIGURE 8 ): femur relatively short, slightly longer than cymbium; cymbial process long, 2.25 shorter than cymbium, gradually tapering; conductor weakly sclerotized, long, almost as long as cymbium, gradually tapering, anterior margin roundly bent; tip of embolus extends past conductor, visible in retrolateral view; embolus very long, ca. 1.6 shorter than length of cymbium, with its dorsal process in anterior view ( Fig. 7E View FIGURE 7 ).

Palp and leg segment lengths

Epigyne as in Figs 11B View FIGURE 11 , 13 View FIGURE 13 E–G; epigynal plate about 2.5 times wider than long, with transverse septal base and very short stem, septal base almost 5 times wider than long; stem as wide as septal base long and twice shorter that septal length. Receptacles inverted droplet shaped, about 2 times longer than wide, converging, space by slightly over than 1 radius; copulatory ducts indistinct.

Type material. Holotype ♁: SOUTH AFRICA: Limpopo: Lekgalameetse Nature Reserve, Farm Malta , 24°10.2’S, 30°15’E, leg. S. Foord, 17.I.2009 (riverine bush, litter sifting) ( NCA 2013 /1025). GoogleMaps  

Paratypes: SOUTH AFRICA: Eastern Cape: Addo National Park, Woody   Cape, 33°45.6’S, 26°24.0’E, leg. L. Wiese, 1.XI.2015 (active search), 1♀ ( NCA 2016 /3633); GoogleMaps   Same locality and collector, XII.2009, 1♀ ( NCA 2014 /90); GoogleMaps   King William’s Town State Forest , 32°52.8’S, 27°23.4’E, 450 m, leg. J. Neethling, 29.XI.2013 (forest, litter sifting), 1♁ ( NCA 2013 /4385) GoogleMaps   . Limpopo: Lajuma Mountain Retreat, Soutpansberg , 23°02.280’S, 29°26.520’E, 1312 m a.s.l., R. Jocqué, 6.II.2008 (grassland), 1♁ 3♀ ( NCA 2012 /2548); GoogleMaps   Same locality, 23°02.4’S, 29°26’E, leg. D. de Bakker, 4.II.2008 (branch beating), 1♀ ( NCA 2012 /2468); GoogleMaps   Same locality, 23°01.8’S, 29°27’E, leg. R. Jocqué, 8.II.2008 (near waterfall, hand), 1♀ ( NCA 2012 /4281); GoogleMaps   Schoemansdal, Happy Rest Nature Reserve , 23°00’35.7’’S, 29°43’32’’E, leg. Y.M. Marusik, 25.I.2020, 1♁ 2♀ ( ZMMU) GoogleMaps   ; Tshulu , 22°34.8’S, 30°48.6’E, leg. S. Foord, 20.II.2008 (bushland, litter sifting), 1♀ ( NCA 2009 /203); GoogleMaps   Same locality, leg. A. Honiball, 6.II.2008, 2♀ ( NCA 2010 /4852) GoogleMaps   . Mpumalanga: Mariepskop , 24°34.8’S, 30°52.2’E, leg. J. Horn, 1.III.2005 (forest), 1♀ ( NCA 2010 /3939) GoogleMaps   . Western Cape: Goukamma Nature Reserve , 34°02.4’S, 22°51.6’E, leg. R. Jocqué, 30.I.2014 (fynbos litter), 1♀ ( NCA 2016 /1819) GoogleMaps   .

Distribution. Widespread in southern and eastern South Africa ( Fig. 14 View FIGURE 14 ).


Zoological Museum, Moscow Lomonosov State University