Anelosimus may Agnarsson, 2005 in Agnarsson and Kuntner (2005)

Agnarsson, Ingi, Jencik, Brian B., Veve, Giselle M., Hanitriniaina, Sahondra, Agostini, Diego, Goh, Seok Ping, Pruitt, Jonathan & Kuntner, Matjaz, 2015, Systematics of the Madagascar Anelosimus spiders: remarkable local richness and endemism, and dual colonization from the Americas, ZooKeys 509, pp. 13-52 : 18-20

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Anelosimus may Agnarsson, 2005 in Agnarsson and Kuntner (2005)


Taxon classification Animalia Araneae Theridiidae

Anelosimus may Agnarsson, 2005 in Agnarsson and Kuntner (2005)


The species is here redescribed to clarify earlier taxonomic confusion; the female previously described (see Agnarsson and Kuntner 2005), was in fact not conspecific with the male holotype, and is below described as Anelosimus ata sp. n. Here we therefore redescribe the female of Anelosimus may based on specimens collected at the type locality of the male. An additional male specimen also allowed a more detailed documentation of the male palp (Fig. 2 D–G).

Type material.

Holotype male from Ambohitantely Special Reserve, Analamanga region, Ankazobe district, Madagascar, (18.161°S, 47.302°E), 17-22.iv.2001, mon tane forest, 1500 m alt, col. J. J. Rafanomezantsoa et al., in CAS, examined (see Agnarsson and Kuntner 2005).

Other material.

Additional three females from same locality, 28.iv.2008, col. Agnarsson and Kuntner, a male and multiple females from Périnet Special Reserve, Andasibe Mantadia National Park, Madagascar (18.933°S, 48.417°E), montane forest, 900-1000 m alt, 3-20.iv.2008 and 12-28.xi.2008, col. Agnarsson, Kuntner, and Hanitriniaina and eight females from Ranamofana National Park (21.25°S, 47.43°E), montane rainforest, 980-1050 m alt, 27.iv.-2.v.2013, col. Pruitt.


Males are diagnosed from other species by the shape of the theridiid tegular apophysis, bifurcated with the lower branch longer than the upper (Fig. 2G) and the voluminous Eb (Fig. 2E). Females differ from others of the Madagascar group, except Anelosimus ata sp. n. by the anchor-shaped septum (Fig. 2H) and from Anelosimus ata sp. n. by the more acute curving of the copulatory duct (Fig. 2I). Anelosimus may can be diagnosed from other Madagascan Anelosimus on the basis of the following unique mtDNA nucleotide substitutions at the following standard DNA barcode alignment positions: A (31), A (223), A (274), G (517), G (529). It can also be readily diagnosed from most other Anelosimus based the following partially shared nucleotide substitutions, and all other species by their unique combination: T (58, except Anelosimus huxleyi sp. n.), G (100, except Anelosimus hookeri sp. n., and some Anelosimus darwini sp. n.), T (181, except Anelosimus ata sp. n.), G (244, except Anelosimus darwini sp. n.), T (352, except Anelosimus sallee and Anelosimus darwini sp. n.), T (355, except Anelosimus ata sp. n.), T (484, except Anelosimus torfi sp. n. and Anelosimus nazariani ), T (781, except Anelosimus huxleyi sp. n. and Anelosimus salut sp. n.), G (805, except rarely Anelosimus nazariani ), A (871, except Anelosimus nazariani ), G (973, except Anelosimus sallee ).


Female: Total length 6.02 Cephalothorax 2.77 long, 1.94 wide, 1.58 high, brown. Sternum 1.49 long, 1.23 wide, extending half way between coxae IV, brown. Abdomen 3.85 long, 2.74 wide, 2.8 high. Brown base with white line and dot patterns with red near the spinnerets. Eyes subequal in size about 0.14 in diameter. Clypeus height about 2.9 times one AME diameter. Chelicerae with one large tooth, three denticles prolaterally. Leg I femur 3.4, patella 1.06, tibia 3.22, metatarsus 2.92, tarsus 1.18. Leg formula 2314, with leg 4 slightly longer than leg 1. Legs 1 and 2 brown, legs 3 and 4 light brown-yellow with dark brown at junctions between tibia and metatarsus, and metatarsus and tarsus. 4 small trichobothria dorsally on tibia I, 4 on tibia II. Trichobothria on all metatarsi (1-2), 4-5 dorsal trichobothria on female palpal tibia.

Variation: Total length 5.70-6.20, Cephalothorax 2.60-2.80, femur 1 3.00-3.50.

Male (from Ranamofana, see Agnarsson and Kuntner (2005) for description of holotype male): Total length 4.01. Cephalothorax 2.05 long, 1.61 wide, 0.91 high, dark brown. Abdomen 2.21 long, 1.54 wide, 1.41 high. Light brown base with black/brown spots, two jagged white longitudinal stripes and a central red longitudinal band. Eyes subequal in size about 0.13 in diameter. Leg I femur 3.15, patella 0.76, tibia 2.98, metatarsus 2.65, tarsus 1.05. Leg formula 1243. Leg yellow, with alternating light and dark reddish shaded bands.

Variation: Total length 3.25-4.01, Cephalothorax 1.63-2.05, femur I 2.67-3.15.


Eastern Madagascan montane forest. This is the most widespread species of the Madagascar group, documented from Périnet, Ambohitantely and Ranamofana, and can be expected to be found in additional montane forest reserves in eastern Madagascar.

Natural history.

In Ranamofana, eight complete Anelosimus may colonies along trails in the forest interior were found. We found two colonies containing one adult female and her egg case and eight colonies containing a female with a group of small juveniles, likely instars I–III post egg sac. Females actively guarded their egg cases by seizing them in their chelicerae. We also noted one instance of a female feeding her young via regurgitation. Our observations indicate that Anelosimus may primarily exhibits subsocial behavior, as do other members of the Madagascar group. An unidentified salticid inhabited six of the eight colonies sampled.