On the basis of recently collected specimens in various regions of Iran, new data on jumping spiders (Salticidae) of this country are provided. One species, Salticus lucasisp. nov. (♂, Isfahan Province, central Iran) is described as new to science, and three species (Chalcoscirtus platnicki Marusik, 1995, Mogrus larisaeLogunov, 1995 and Phlegra yaelae Prószyński, 1998) are recorded in Iran for the first time. A further 21 species represent new provincial records..
Salticidae, commonly known as jumping spiders, is the largest family of spiders with 6173 extant species in 646 genera from around the world; 108 species of jumping spiders are currently known from Iran (WSC 2020, Zamani et al. 2020). The type genus, Salticus Latreille, 1804, currently includes 47 valid species. During recent investigations on the systematics and faunistics of Iranian spiders, a new species of this genus was discovered, which is described and illustrated in this paper. Moreover, a collection of jumping spiders deposited in the Zoological Museum of University of Isfahan (Iran) was studied, the results of which are presented herein.
Material and methods
Specimens were photographed using an Olympus Camedia E-520 camera attached to an Olympus SZX16 stereomicroscope at the Zoological Museum of the University of Turku. Digital images were prepared using “CombineZP” image stacking software, and illustrations of the dissected bulb were made after clearing in 10% KOH aqueous solution. Leg segments were measured on the dorsal side, and all measurements are given in millimeters. Measurements of legs are listed as: total length (femur, patella, tibia, metatarsus, tarsus). Abbreviations not explained within the text: AME anterior median eye, ALE anterior lateral eye, Mt metatarsus, PME posterior median eye, pl prolateral, PLE posterior lateral eye, rl retrolateral, Ti tibia, v ventral. The specimens are deposited in the Manchester Museum of the University of Manchester (MMUE), and the Zoological Museum of the University of Isfahan (ZMUI).
Study of the collection of jumping spiders deposited in the ZMUI resulted in the identification of 24 species that represent new records either for Iran (three, listed below) or the province of Isfahan (21, listed in Tab. 1).
Family Salticidae Blackwall, 1841
Genus Chalcoscirtus Bertkau, 1880
Chalcoscirtus platnicki Marusik, 1995 (Figs 1-2)
Chalcoscirtus platnicki: Logunov & Marusik 1999: 217, figs 55-56, 59-61 (♂♀).
Material examined. 1 ♀ (ZMUI 35136), IRAN: Isfahan Province: Chadegan county, Rozveh, Dalan-Kouh Protected Area, 33.63111°N, 50.56861°E, May 2016 (leg. S. Alimohammadi).
Distribution. This species was hitherto known from several localities in Kazakhstan (WSC 2020); thus, our record from Isfahan is the southernmost in the whole range.
Genus Mogrus Simon, 1882
Mogrus larisae Logunov, 1995
Mogrus larisae Logunov 1995: 596, figs 1-4, 7, 18-30 (♂♀).
Material examined. 1 ♀ (ZMUI 35142), IRAN: Isfahan Province: Natanz county, Matin Abad, 33.75277°N, 51.9925°E, Jun. 2016 (leg. A. Sadeghi).
Distribution. This species has been recorded from eastern Europe (Ukraine) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan and Kyrgyzstan) and herein recorded in the gap in the Middle East (Iran) for the first time, which represents the southernmost record in the whole range (WSC 2020).
Genus Phlegra Simon, 1876
Phlegra yaelae Prószyński, 1998
Phlegra yaelae: Prószyński 2003: 136, figs 536-542 (♂♀).
Material examined. 1 ♀ (ZMUI 35126), IRAN: Ilam Province: Ilam county, Manesht Mountains slope, 33.68722°N, 46. 44527°E, Jun. 2011 (leg. M. Moradmand).
Distribution. This species was previously recorded from Israel (type locality) and Tunisia, and now it is recorded from its easternmost distribution in western Iran (WSC 2020).
Type material. Holotype ♂ (MMUE G7624.1): IRAN, Isfahan Province: Qamsar & Barzok Protected Area, 55 km SW of Qamsar, 14 km NE Kamoo, near the road of Gar-gash observatory, 33.63111°N, 51.33111°E, 2710 m. a.s.l., 19. May 2016 (leg. P. Ponel); paratypes: 1 ♂ (MMUE G7624.2), same data as for the holotype; 1 ♂ (ZMUI 35144), Isfahan Province: Chadegan county: Rozveh, Dalan-Kouh Protected Area, 32.83667°N, 50.56861°E, May 2016 (leg. S. Alimohammadi).
Etymology. The species is named after Lucas the Spider, an animated character created by animator Josh Slice on the basis of the anatomy of jumping spiders, in recognition of the role that it played in “curing” many arachnophobes around the world.
Diagnosis. This species can be easily distinguished from most congeners by the unique form of the terminal apophysis, consisting of one anterior and one posterior blade behind the embolus, and by the unique shape of the retrolateral tibial apophysis. It seems to be closely related to Salticus noordami Metzner, 1999, having a similar shape of the RTA and overall bulb morphology, but can be distinguished by the presence of a distinct posterior bulge (Pb) on the bulb (Figs 9-10) (vs. absent, cf. Metzner 1999: 115, fig. 79a-f).
It is worth mentioning that with respect to both the embolic division and the RTA, there are four other species that also appear very close to the new species: Salticus cingulatus (Panzer, 1797), S. mandibularis (Simon, 1868), S. olivaceus (L. Koch, 1867) and S. unciger (Simon, 1868). All of these species have a multi-pronged terminal apophysis very much like that of S. lucasi sp. nov., and all have a long blade-like RTA. As the available illustrations in the literature are not informative enough, the status of the terminal apophysis in those species is not clear; nonetheless, they differ from S. lucasi sp. nov. by the absence of both a posterior bump on the bulb (Pb) and a ventral bulge on the RTA.
Description. Male (holotype). Habitus as in Figs 3-5. Total body length 4.12 (excluding the chelicerae). Carapace 2.08 long, 1.62 wide, 0.80 high. Sternum 0.94 long, 0.66 wide. Eye sizes: AME 0.39, ALE 0.24, PME 0.07, PLE 0.21. General coloration black, with numerous light grey setae on pars cephalica, the mid area of pars thoracica and opisthosoma. Sternum, labium and maxillae the same colour as carapace, with whitening in the anterolateral sides of maxillae. Chelicerae dark reddish brown. Opisthosoma without any distinct pattern (Figs 3-4). Legs light yellowish brown, with darker patterns on femora (Fig. 3). Measurements of legs: I: 5.87 (1.55, 1.03, 1.55, 1.19, 0.55), II: 4.34 (1.24, 0.85, 0.99, 0.78, 0.48), III: 4.29 (1.25, 0.70, 0.95, 0.89, 0.50), IV: 4.45 (1.33, 0.67, 1.08, 0.89, 0.48). Spination of legs: I: Ti 2pl, 2rl, Mt 2pl, 2rl, II: Ti 2v, Mt 2pl, 2rl, III and IV: Ti 2v.
Palp as in Figs 5-10. Retrolateral tibial apophysis (RTA) strong, extending to the almost half the size of cymbium, with a distinct bulge ventrally; bulb longer than wide, with a posterior bulge (Pb); embolic base (EmB) located at an approximately 3 o'clock position, leading to the embolus (Em) terminating in the apical part, located in a ventral position to two blades of terminal apophysis, almost touching the shorter anterior blade (ATA).
Distribution. Known only from two localities in Isfahan Province, central Iran. Beside the newly described species, there are six other species of Salticus known from Iran (Tab. 2).
List of studied Iranian salticid material representing new provincial records. Detailed collection localities are as follows: 1) Isfahan Province: Isfahan, June 2016–2017 (leg. M. Hosseini, M. Moradmand); 2) Chadegan, Rozveh, May 2016 (leg. S. Alimohammadi); 3) Najaf Abad, May 2016 (leg. M. Salehi); 4) Tiran & Karwan, Dolat Abad, May 2016 (leg. M. Moradmand); 5) Isfahan, Jul. 2006 (leg. M. Marhabaei); 6) Ilam Province: Manesht, Jun. 2009 (leg. M. Moradmand, B. Fathinia); 7) Shemsheh, Jun. 2009 (leg. M. Moradmand, B. Fathinia); 8) Mehran, Jun. 2009 (leg. M. Moradmand, B. Fathinia); 9) Kohgiluyeh & Buyer-Ahmad Province: Yasuj, Mah Parwiz, May 2017 (leg. M. Moradmand, B. Fathinia); 10) Kurdistan Province: Kamyaran, Takht-e Sangi, May 2014 (leg. M. Moradmand); 11) Yazd Province: Khatam, Harat, Oct. 2008 (leg. Mahmoodi); 12) Markazi Province: Mahalat, Oct. 2006 (leg. M. Marhabaei); 13) Fars Province: Shiraz, Dasht-e Arjan, May 2015 (leg. M. Moradmand); 14) Alborz Province: Karaj, Dec. 2015 (leg. Dashti); 15) Chaharmahal & Bakhtiari Province: Lordegan, Apr. 2015 (leg. M. Moradmand)
Considering the results of the current paper, there are now 112 species belonging to 40 genera of salticids recorded from Iran. In comparison to the adjacent countries, only Turkey is represented by a higher number of species (134), while Azerbaijan has a slightly lower number of known salticids (108) (Danışman et al. 2019, Otto 2019). Currently, this family is represented by 18 Iranian endemic species (including the new one described here), most of which have been described during the past two decades (Zamani et al. 2020). Considering the vast area of the country, its position as a bridge between three zoogeographical realms (Palaearctic, Afrotropical and Oriental), and the lack of large-scale taxonomic and faunistic revisions in the region, it is expected that the true species diversity of Iranian jumping spiders should be considerably higher than what is currently known.
List of Salticus spp. currently known from Iran, along with their global distribution ranges (WSC 2020) and known Iranian records
The authors are grateful toward Philippe Ponel and Sajjad Alimohammadi for the material provided. Dmitri Logunov and Galina Azarkina kindly provided help with identification of some of the material. Dmitri Logunov, Wayne Maddison and Heiko Metzner provided constructive comments on an earlier draft, from which the manuscript benefitted considerably.