Monday, June 10, 2019

[Arachnida • 2019] Pionothele gobabeb • A New Species of Pionothele (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Nemesiidae) from Gobabeb, Namibia

Pionothele gobabeb  
Bond & Lamb, 2019

The mygalomorph spider genus Pionothele Purcell, 1902 comprises two nominal species known only from South Africa. We describe here a new species, Pionothele gobabeb sp. n., from Namibia. This new species is currently only known from a very restricted area in the Namib Desert of western Namibia.

Keywords: Biodiversity, New species, Spider taxonomy, Pionothele, Nemesiidae, Mygalomorphae

Pionothele gobabeb sp. n. 2 Live male

 Habitus photograph and illustrations of Pionothele gobabeb sp. n.
3 habitus digital illustration of male holotype specimen 4 habitus digital illustration of female.

Family Nemesiidae Simon, 1889 

Genus Pionothele Purcell, 1902

Pionothele Purcell, 1902: 380
(type species by monotypy Pionothele straminea male holotype from South Africa). 
– Tucker 1917: 117. – Raven 1985: 93.

Pionothele gobabeb sp. n. 

Etymology: The specific epithet is a noun taken in apposition and is in reference to the type locality.

Diagnosis: Male and female specimens (Figs 2–4) can be differentiated from the other two described species of Pionothele by having posterior median eyes that are reduced in size (Fig. 7), nearly half the diameter of the posterior lateral eyes and much smaller than the anterior median eyes. Like P. capensis the male palpal tibia is more slender than in P. straminea but like the latter lacks spines (Fig. 8); leg I has more mid-retrolateral spines than P. capensis, with a single large mid-distal spine and only two proximal prolateral spines (Figs 5, 6). Males and females both are very light in coloration similar to that of P. straminea (Figs 2–4), noted by Raven (1985) as “faded,” whereas the abdomen of P. capensis is pigmented and mottled. Spermathecal bulbs of P. gobabeb are moderately thin and sinuous whereas those illustrated for P. capensis are described as “wide and flattened” (Fig. 9); females also appear to have far fewer endite cuspules (25 vs 80).

Figure 1. Aerial photograph of type locality. Kuiseb River bed in foreground (tree line); the interdune pitfall trap transect lies beyond the dunes (middle right of image).

 Jason E. Bond and Trip Lamb. 2019. A New Species of Pionothele from Gobabeb, Namibia (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Nemesiidae). ZooKeys. 851: 17-25. DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.851.31802

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