Nesticus baeticus, Lopez-Pancorbo, Alberto & Ribera, Carles, 2011

Lopez-Pancorbo, Alberto & Ribera, Carles, 2011, Nesticus baeticus sp. n., a new troglobitic spider species from south-west Europe (Araneae, Nesticidae), ZooKeys 89, pp. 1-13: 4-5

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scientific name

Nesticus baeticus

sp. n.

Nesticus baeticus  ZBK  sp. n. Figs 117

Material examined.

Holotype: ♂ (1619-A25) Cueva de la Murcielaguina, Hornos, Jaén, Spain, 5.11.2006, GEV leg. Paratypes: 2♀♀ (1619-A25) same locality and data; 1♀ (1720-A29) same locality, 30.12.2007, GEV leg.; 1♀ (1530-A22) Sima HO-55, Hornos, Jaén, 14.8.2006, GEV leg. (drawings and description of the female are based on this specimen); 1♂ (1524-A21), 1♂sub., 1♀, 7i (1525-A22) same locality and data, GEV Leg.; 1♀ (3811-150) Sima de los Alhaurinos, Hornos, Jaén, 12.05.2002, GEV leg.; 1♀ (3812-150) same locality and data; 2i (3860-151) Sima del Campamento, Hornos, Jaén, 02.03.2003, GEV leg.; 2i, (5023-189) same locality, 27.08.2004, GEV leg.; 2♂sub., 1f, 5i (1157-A07) Sima del Laberinto, Hornos, Jaén, 04.02.2006 López, A. & Pérez, A. leg.; 1♀, 1♀sub. (1343-A14) Cueva SE-20, Santiago de la Espada - Pontones, Jaén, 30.04.2006, GEV leg.; 1i (1539-A22) Sima del Órgano (HO-25), Hornos, Jaén, 14.08.2006, GEV leg.; 1i (5014-189) Sima Irene, Hornos, Jaén, 15.02.2004, GEV leg.


The Latin name ‘baeticus’ means 'from Baetica  ' (the south of Spain) and refers to the 'Sistema Bético’, the ridge containing the karst landscapes from where the new species was collected.


Males clearly differ from those of other Nesticus  species in the shape of paracymbium (Figs 4-5, 8-10) and in the TTA structure (Figs 3-5, 11-12). In females, the development of the median septum of the vulva (Figs 14-16), the shape of the spermathecae and adjoining structures are also diagnostic (Fig. 17). The degree of ocular reduction of the AM eyes (Fig. 2) is also characteristic compared to other Iberian species.


On the basis of morphology, Nesticus baeticus  sp. n. lies within the group including Nesticus murgis  (known from Almería) and Nesticus luquei  (an endemic to northwestern Spain). The shape and arrangement of the median apophysis (Figs 5, 11-12), the embolus (Figs 3-7, 11-12) and the paracymbial processes of male palp (Figs 8-10), plus the location and structure of the spermathecae and vulval glands of the female (Fig 17) are similar in all three species. Nesticus baeticus  sp. n.differs more significantly from Nesticus lusitanicus  , both in the morphology of the copulatory organs of both sexes.

The new species cannot be assigned to Carpathonesticus  , Typhlonesticus  or Canarionesticus  , and differs from their representatives in having a different shape, ramification and modifications associated to the paracymbium, the general structure and arrangement of the embolous, as well as of the p1 and p2 TTA processes. Yet, the shape and disposition of the spermathecas and vulval glands shows markedly differences.

Description of the male

(Holotype). Coloration: carapace uniform yellowish. Opisthosoma grayish, with some clearly-marked darker patches. Appendages of the same colour as the carapace, slightly darker around distal segments. Sternum yellowish, slightly paler than the carapace. Carapace: approximately circular in dorsal view. Cephalic region not raised but differentiated from the rest of the prosoma. Fovea and thoracic grooves clearly visible. Significantly reduced eyes, more evident in the AM (Fig. 1). Eye size and interocular distances: AM = 0.03; AL = 0.07; PM = 0.06; PL = 0.07; AM - AL = 0.14 AL; AM - AM = 0.03; PM - PL = 0.14; PM - PM = 0.18 PM; PL - AL almost touching. Opisthosoma: sub-elliptical in dorsal view. Appendages: prolateral margin of the chelicerae with 3 teeth, the two distal ones larger. Male palp(Figs 3-7). Paracymbium large (Figs 3-5) with well-developed dorsal and ventral processes (Figs 8-10). Broad, translucent dorsal process with a saw-toothed upper edge (Figs 8-10). Dorsomedial apophysis small and pointed (Fig. 9). Ventral region apically notched (Fig. 10). Short paradistal region, almost conical (Figs 8-9). Distal apophysis long, acuminate and slightly curved (Figs 8-10). Poorly developed MA, reduced to a small fingerlike process fused to the tegulum (Figs 5, 11-12). Conductor absent. TTA with two processes, TTA p1 and TTA p2 (Figs 11-12) (homologous to p1-p6 processes of conductor complex in Huber 1993). TTA p1 is saddle-shaped, longer than wide, slightly curved and serrated in the central area (figs 11, 12). TTA p2 is located in apical position and serves as a conductor of embolus (figs 11-13). Embolus filamanteous with a semicircular course progressively acuminate towards the apex and partially bordering the tegulum (Figs 3-5, 12). Measurements: PL: 3.3; PW: 3.1; OL: 3.1; OW: 2.4; total body length = 6.4. Leg I>leg IV>leg II> leg III.

Description of the female.

All characters as in male except: cephalic region scarcely differentiated, much less marked than in male. Fovea visible and thoracic grooves not clearly marked. Epigynum and vulva. Epigynum wide and convex (Figs 14-16). Median septum wide and prominent, caudally projected by a bell-shaped flap. Vulva (Fig. 17, drawing is based on specimen 3812-150) with well-developed lateral pockets divided by a ventral fold in two, the lateral and medial part. Measurements: PL: 2.9; PW: 2.9; OL: 3.4; OW: 2.6; total length = 6.3. Leg I>leg IV>leg II> leg III.


Nesticus baeticus  sp. n. inhabits the karst landscapes of the high part of the Cazorla, Segura and Las Villas Natural Park (NE Jaén, Spain) where it has been found in 8 caves. Most of the material studied comes from the area surrounding the Tranco’s Reservoir, in Hornos, Jaén. The area is calcareous, lush and quite humid, with numerous, medium-sized caves, both horizontal and vertical. The specimens were generally located within the first few meters of the dark zone, their presence reaching towards the cave interiors, which were sampled more intensively.