Platnick, Marusik & Fomichev, 2020

Marusik, Yuri M. & Fomichev, Alexander A., 2020, A new genus of Liocranidae (Arachnida: Araneae) from Tajikistan, Acta Biologica Sibirica 6, pp. 583-594 : 583

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scientific name


gen. n.

Platnick gen. n.

Type species.

Platnick shablyai sp. n. from Tajikistan.


The genus is named after the late Norman I. Platnick (1951-2020) who made unprecedented contributions to arachnology, including creating the World Spider Catalog. The gender is masculine.


The new genus is most similar to the Southeast Asian genera Oedignatha Thorell, 1881, Sesieutes Simon, 1897 and Sphingius Thorell, 1890. The male of the new genus differs from all other Oedignathinae by having a pair of longitudinal (longer than wide) ventral scuta (vs. absent). In addition, the male can be distinguished by having an antero-ventral femoral extension of the palp (vs. lacking) and a helical (screw threading) embolus embedded in a collar (Cl) (vs. filamentous embolus, lacking collar). Females of Platnick gen. n. differ from Oedignatha by lacking a dorsal scutum and having small (smaller than the epigyne) postgastral scuta (vs. scuta larger than the epigyne, transverse and almost touching each other).


Small, body length 2.1 in male and 2.18-2.35 in females; carapace 0.96 long in male, and 0.86-1.03 in females. Prosoma uniformly colored, flat, >2 times longer than high, carapace rather flat; carapace length/height ratio >3; carapace covered with fine granulation; fovea short, longitudinal, about as long as AME diameter; margin with small spines. Carapace and sternum fused. Sternum oval, posterior edge truncate, slightly wider than labium; sternum covered with fine pits bearing setae. Female palp with claw. Chelicera covered with small spines anteriorly, basal part extended anteriorly. Labium about 1.5-1.6 times longer than wide. Maxillae slightly concave, rebordered mesally. Legs uniformly colored, with darker femora and coxae I; femora I-II and metatarsi IV without spines; tibiae I-II with 4-6 pairs of ventral spines; metatarsi I-II with a pair of spines. Spine locking mechanism barely developed. Metatarsi III-IV with preening brush on distal half. Leg formula 4123. Leg I (leg I/carapace length) longer in females (2.5-2.6) than in male (2.3).

Abdomen elongate and flat, 1.5-2 times longer than wide and >2 times longer than high, uniformly colored. Both sexes with epigastral scutum, in male encircling petiolus, in female scutum encircling ventral and lateral parts. Dorsum of male almost entirely covered with brown scutum; female abdomen pale, covered with small setae, with a pair of sigillae medially. Venter of abdomen in male with epigastric scutum rebordered posteriorly, postgaster with pair of longitudinal scuta tapering posteriorly, length/maximum width is about 2, connected to epigastral scutum near postero-lateral edge of book-lung opercula. Female with a pair of small transverse postgastral scuta attached to epigastral scutum near postero-lateral edge of book-lung opercula. In both sexes, epigastral scuta extend into petiolar tube. Spinnerets not darker than venter.

Male palp: femur 2.3 times longer than wide, with distal ventral extension (Ve), femur slightly shorter than cymbium; patella modified, with retrolateral outgrowth (Po), dorsal length longer than tibia; tibia as long as wide in dorsal view, with short prolateral apophysis (Pa); cymbium oval, about 1.6 times longer than wide; bulb oval, about 1.5 times longer than wide; sperm duct (Sd) long and wide, encircling retrolateral and posterior edge of tegulum, its broad part terminating at about 8:30 o’clock position; tegulum with apophysis (Ta), with claw-like tip directed retrolaterally; conductor small (Cn), weakly sclerotized; embolus (Em) located medially, embedded in tegulum, tegulum forms a collar (Cl) around embolus, embolus with weakly sclerotized helicoid tip.

Epigyne with distinct, or indistinct fovea (Fo), with separate copulatory openings (Co); receptacles (Re) tubular; receptacular glands (Rg) thick, extend anteriorly, close together; fertilization ducts (Fd) located posteriorly.


We were unable to match the species known only from the male with either morphospecies represented by females. All three specimens have different spination and were not collected from the same localities. Therefore, we describe the females as a different species than the male, understanding that in the future, one of the females may be synonymized with the generotype P. shablyai sp. n.


Platnick astana sp. n., P. sanglok sp. n. and P. shablyai sp. n.


All three species were collected in the Khatlon Region of Tajikistan (Figs 33-34 View Figures 27–34 ).