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5 March 2021 An annotated checklist of spiders deposited in the Arachnida collection of the Institute of Zoology, Scientific Center of Zoology and Hydroecology of the NAS RA, Yerevan, Armenia. Part I
Noushig A. Zarikian, Mark Y. Kalashian
Author Affiliations +
Abstract

Data on Armenian spider species are summarized. A catalogue of spiders collected during 1988–1998 and deposited in the Institute of Zoology collection, Yerevan, Armenia is given. The review revealed 20 species belonging to nine families. Fourteen species are recorded for Armenia for the first time. Thus, the number of spider species known from Armenia rises to 190. Liocranum rupicola (Walckenaer, 1830) is recorded for the first time in the Caucasus.

Spiders are a little studied group of animals in the Armenian fauna, along with most other invertebrates. Spiders from Armenia were first mentioned by Koch (1878) and Kulczyński (1895). Only a few papers on spiders from areas within the contemporary boundaries of Armenia have been published since (Charitonov 1936, 1956, Mcheidze 1964, 1997, Ovtsharenko 1982, 1994, Wesołowska 1986, Eskov 1987, Tanasevitch 1987, 1990, Dunin 1984, 1988, 1989, 1991, 1992, Marusik 1989, Mikhailov 1986, 1987, 1990, 1992, 2003, 2013, 2016). Some important papers for the study of the Armenian spider fauna were published by D. V. Logunov (Logunov 1996, 1998, 1999, 2015, Logunov & Guseinov 2002, 2008, Rakov & Logunov 1997, Zyuzin & Logunov 2000). Vadimir Zacharjan, who was the main collector of our material, wrote a single publication (Dunin & Zacharjan 1991).

Based on his material, Zacharjan provided some data on spiders to the country's First National Report to the Convention of Biological Diversity (H. Khachatryan pers. comm.). While 302 species belonging to 30 families are quoted for the Armenian fauna in the First National Report (Ministry of Nature Protection 1999; families are listed only in the Armenian version of the Report, Annex 9). In the Fifth National Report, 325 spider species are quoted (Ministry of Nature Protection 1999, Appendix 3; the number “600 species” mentioned in Appendix 4 is an obvious mistake). Unfortunately, Zacharjan's unpublished list of species, which served a background for these numbers, is lost.

The number of spider species from Armenia given in other sources is very low. In the comprehensive check-list of the spiders of the former Soviet Union territories, Mikhailov (2013) listed 118 spider species for Armenia, adding nine more species in Addendum 2 to the Catalogue (Mikhailov 1999). Summarizing further data, he mentioned 141 species for Armenia (Mikhailov 2016) and 15 more spider species are listed for the country by Mikhailov & Propistsova (2017). Finally, in the on-line Faunistic Database on the Spiders of the Caucasus Ecoregion (Otto 2020) the list of Armenian spiders includes 163 species – while Nentwig et al. (2020) have 162 recorded species – not including the latest publication (Zarikian 2020), which added thirteen species such that the formal recorded species number of spiders in Armenia is 176.

This paper aims to provide new data on the spiders of Armenia. The material is kept in the collection of the Institute of Zoology, Scientific Center of Zoology and Hydroecology, National Academy of Sciences of Armenia.

Materials and methods

The material was collected between 1988–1998 from various sites in Armenia (Fig. 1 and Tab. 1) by staff of our Institute, Dr. Vladimir Zacharjan and Arthur Sukiasyan, and utilised sweeping, pitfall trapping and visual search and collecting systems. The material is kept in 70% ethanol. Most of the material was identified by the collectors themselves and part of it by the first author of the present paper based on Jones-Walters (1989) and Nentwig et al. (2020). Approximate GPS data based on the field notes are given in Tab. 1. In the list of species, the order of families and species follows that of Otto (2020). The world distribution is taken from the World Spider Catalog (2020) and the distribution in the Caucasus from Otto (2020) and Nentwig et al. (2020). The data on habitats are based on the field experience of the second author and do not refer to precise collection sites, however, they match the Armenian habitat at that time. An abbreviated checklist of Armenian spider species is given in Tab. 2.

Tab. 1:

Collecting sites

img-z2-3_11.gif

List of species

Family Pholcidae
Pholcus phalangioides (Fuesslin, 1775)

  • Material examined: 2 ♂♂, 6 ♀♀, Areni, 22. May 1988; 2 ♂♂, 6 ♀♀, Yerevan, 4. May 1993; 2 ♂♂, 6 ♀♀, env. Tumanyan, 6. Apr. 1991, all V. Zacharjan leg.

  • Distribution. Europe, North Caucasus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Africa, Asia, Australia, New Zealand and numerous islands, introduced to the Americas. New record for the Armenian fauna.

  • Habitat. Warm corners, occupied and abandoned buildings.

  • Fig. 1.

    Map of Armenia with collecting sites (Map provided by Philippe rekacewicz, Emmanuelle Bournay, UNEP/GrID-Arendal.  https://www.grida.no/resources/5338) 1 – Tumanyan; 2 – hankavan; 3 – Sevan; 4 – Yerevan; 5 – Jrarat; 6 – Goght; 7 – Khosrov; 8 – Yeghegnadzor; 9 – Areni; 10 – Kapan; 11 – Gudemnis; 12 – Meghri

    img-z2-26_11.jpg

    Family Tetragnathidae
    Tetragnatha dearmata Thorell, 1873

  • Material examined. 1 ♀, Jrarat, “Vordan karmir” state sanctuary, 13. Aug. 1994; 1 ♂, 3 ♀♀, Meghri, 2. Jun. 1989, all V. Zacharjan leg.

  • Distribution. North America, Europe, North Caucasus, Azerbaijan, Russia (from European part to Far East). New record for the Armenian fauna.

  • Habitat. Wetlands or in the vicinity of water.

  • Tetragnatha extensa (Linnaeus, 1758)

  • Material examined. 3 ♀♀, Jrarat, “Vordan karmir” state sanctuary, 1. May 1996; 4 ♀♀, env. Sevan town, 17. Jun. 1998, all A. Sykiasyan leg.

  • Distribution. North America, Greenland, Europe, Turkey, North Caucasus Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia (from European part to Far East), Iraq, Iran, Kazakhstan, Central Asia, China, Korea, Japan. In Armenia recorded in the Armenian highland by Mikhailov (2000).

  • Habitat. Grasslands and in low vegetation, especially at the waterside and in wetlands.

  • Tetragnatha montana Simon, 1874

  • Material examined. 1 ♂, Khosrov Forest State Reserve, Vedi area, 25. Jun. 1998, A. Sykiasyan leg.

  • Distribution. Europe, Turkey, North Caucasus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia (from European part to Far East), Central Asia. New record for the Armenian fauna.

  • Habitat. Low vegetation in a variety of habitats, mostly at low altitudes.

  • Tetragnatha nigrita Lendl, 1886

  • Material examined. 2 ♀♀, Gudemnis, 13. Jun. 1989; 1 ♀, Kapan, 5. Jun. 1989, all V. Zacharjan leg.

  • Distribution. Europe, North Caucasus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia (from European part to Far East), Central Asia, China, Japan. New record for the Armenian fauna.

  • Habitat. Arable and waterside lands.

  • Tetragnatha pinicola L. Koch, 1870

  • Material examined. 1 ♀, 1 ♂, Sevan town, 17. Jun. 1998, A. Sykiasyan leg.

  • Distribution. Europe, Turkey, North Caucasus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia (from European part to Far East), Central Asia, China, Korea, Japan. New record for the Armenian fauna.

  • Habitat. Woodland clearings and rides.

  • Family Araneidae
    Araneus angulatus Clerck, 1757

  • Material examined. 1 ♀, Yerevan, 1. Nov. 1990, V. Zacharjan leg.

  • Distribution. Europe, Turkey, North Caucasus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia (from European part to Far East), Iran, Central Asia, Korea. First recorded in Armenia in the Armenian highland by Mikhailov (2013).

  • Habitat. Woodland and scrub.

  • Gibbaranea gibbosa (Walckenaer, 1802)

  • Material examined. 1 ♀, Yerevan, 10. Oct. 1993, V. Zacharjan leg.

  • Distribution. From western Europe to the Urals and from Sweden to Greece, Turkey and Cyprus, in the Caucasus only known from Azerbaijan.

  • Habitat. Moist grasslands and shrubs.

  • Larinioides suspicax (O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1876)

  • Material examined. 1 ♂, 6 ♀♀, Jrarat, “Vordan karmir” state sanctuary, 1. Jun. 1995, A. Sykiasyan leg.

  • Distribution. North America, Europe, Turkey, Israel, North Caucasus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia (from European part to Far East), Iran, China, Korea, Japan and Armenia. First recorded in Armenia by Mikhailov (2000).

  • Habitat. Bushy areas, reeds and near ponds.

  • Family Lycosidae
    Hogna radiata (Latreille, 1817)

  • Material examined. 1 ♀, Yerevan, 11. Nov. 1991, V. Zacharjan leg.

  • Distribution. Europe, Turkey, North Caucasus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia, Kazakhstan, Iraq, Iran, Central Asia. New record for the Armenian fauna.

  • Habitat. Warm, dry and semi-desert areas.

  • Lycosa praegrandis C. L. Koch, 1836

  • Material examined. 1 ♂, Khosrov Forest State Reserve, Vedi area, 22. May 1990; 1 ♀, Yerevan 10. Aug. 1992, both V. Zacharjan leg.

  • Distribution. Albania, North Macedonia, Bulgaria, Greece, Turkey, Ukraine, Russia (European part), North Caucasus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Iran, Central Asia. In Armenia, recorded in the Armenian highland by Mikhailov (2013).

  • Habitat. Dry, warm and rocky areas and steppes.

  • Family Dictynidae
    Argenna patula (Simon, 1874)

  • Material examined. 1 ♀, Khosrov Forest State Reserve, Vedi area, 17. Aug. 1992, V. Zacharjan leg.

  • Distribution. Europe, Azerbaijan, Russia (Europe to South Siberia), Kyrgyzstan, China. New record for the Armenian fauna.

  • Habitat. Banks of tidal rivers.

  • Family Anyphaenidae
    Anyphaena accentuata (Walckenaer, 1802)

  • Material examined. 1 ♂, Hankavan, 14. Jun. 1990, A. Sykiasyan leg.

  • Distribution. Europe to Central Asia, North Caucasus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran. In Armenia recorded in Dilizhan by Kulczyński (1895) and Mikhailov (2013).

  • Habitat. Shrubs and houses.

  • Family Liocranidae
    Liocranum rupicola (Walckenaer, 1830)

  • Material examined. 1 ♀, Jrarat, “Vordan karmir” state sanctuary, 16. Apr. 1989, V. Zacharjan leg.

  • Distribution. Europe, Turkey, Russia (European part to West Siberia). New record for the Caucasus Region and the Armenian fauna.

  • Habitat. Cracks in cliffs, dry stone walls and houses.

  • Family Sparassidae
    Olios sericeus (Kroneberg, 1875)

  • Material examined. 1 ♀, Yerevan, 1. Sep. 1995, A. Sykiasyan leg.

  • Distribution. Caucasus (Russia, Georgia, Azerbaijan), Kazakhstan, Central Asia, Iran, Afghanistan. New record for the Armenian fauna.

  • Habitat. Dry hillsides and steppes.

  • Family Thomisidae
    Heriaeus oblongus Simon, 1918

  • Material examined. 1 ♀, Yeghegnadzor, 22. May 1988, V. Zacharjan leg.

  • Distribution. Europe, North Caucasus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia (European part) to Central Asia. New record for the Armenian fauna.

  • Habitat. Rocky hillsides.

  • Spiracme striatipes (L. Koch, 1870)

  • Material examined. 1 ♂, Yerevan 04. Apr. 1994, V. Zacharjan leg.

  • Distribution. Europe, Turkey, North Caucasus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Russia (Europe) to Central Asia, Iran, China. New record for the Armenian fauna.

  • Habitat. Grasslands.

  • Xysticus bifasciatus C. L. Koch, 1837

  • Material examined. 1 ♂, Yerevan, 1. Sep. 1995, V. Zacharjan leg.

  • Distribution. Palaearctic species widespread in western, central Europe and North Caucasus. New record for the Armenian fauna.

  • Habitat. Grasslands.

  • Xysticus gallicus Simon, 1875

  • Material examined. 1 ♀, Yeghegnadzor, 22. May 1988; 1 ♀, Khosrov Forest State Reserve, Vedi area, 22. May 1990, all V. Zacharjan leg.

  • Distribution. Europe (without UK and Scandinavia), Turkey, North Caucasus, Georgia, Azerbaijan, Iran. New record for the Armenian fauna.

  • Habitat. Shrublands on foothills.

  • Tab. 2:

    Abbreviated checklist of the Armenian spider species based on Otto (2020), including the sequence of the families. ** new record for Armenia

    img-z4-12_11.gif

    Continued

    img-z5-1_11.gif

    Continued

    img-z6-1_11.gif

    Continued

    img-z7-1_11.gif

    Xysticus kochi Thorell, 1872

  • Material examined. 1 ♂, Yeghegnadzor, 22. May 1988, V. Zacharjan leg.

  • Distribution. Europe, Mediterranean to Central Asia, North Caucasus, Georgia, Azerbaijan. First recorded in Armenia in Dilizhan by Kulczyński (1895).

  • Habitat. Woodlands and shrublands on foothills.

  • Discussion

    We summarized data on 177 spider species in Armenia, representing 15.5% of the Caucasian species (cf. Otto 2020). In comparison with neighbouring countries, there are 639 species known in Georgia and 720 species in Azerbaijan (Otto 2020).

    The Armenian version of the First National Report (FNR; Ministry of Nature Protection 1999) contains six more families that are not included in current checklist (Filistatidae, Mimetidae, Oecobiidae, Uloboridae, Pisauridae and Agele-nidae). However, only one to five species are listed for each of these families in the FNR. Furthermore, three families contain many more species in the FNR in comparison with the current checklist: Theridiidae 22 vs. 5, Lycosidae 37 vs. 10 and Gnaphosidae 32 vs. 13. In spite of many efforts to supplement the checklist of Armenian spiders, we conclude that the results are unfortunately still incomplete. We will thus re-compile all the available information regarding the spider fauna of Armenia in forthcoming parts of this contribution. It is highly likely that the X. gallicus female reported in this paper belongs actually to X. kochi, as the female of X. gallicus was collected together with the male of X. kochi (from the same site, Yeghegnadzor). Although the identification is controversial, we prefer to keep Zacharjan's original identification (as is written on the lable) until new material can be collected from the locality.

    Concerning Clubiona caerulescens/caucasica, that original lable is C. caerulescens, but according to Mikhailov et al. (2017) all the material from the Caucasus belongs to a newly recognised species C. caucasica. We therefore exclude C. caerulescens from the national list. In the case of Larinioides suspicax/folium, the original lable was L. suspicax and it is also its current state with respect to the WSC (2020). We therefore prefer to keep L. suspicax under this combination. Nevertheless, this information will surely contribute to the checklist of biodiversity for Armenia.

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    Noushig A. Zarikian and Mark Y. Kalashian "An annotated checklist of spiders deposited in the Arachnida collection of the Institute of Zoology, Scientific Center of Zoology and Hydroecology of the NAS RA, Yerevan, Armenia. Part I," Arachnologische Mitteilungen: Arachnology Letters 61(1), 11-19, (5 March 2021). https://doi.org/10.30963/aramit6102
    Received: 9 March 2020; Accepted: 2 January 2021; Published: 5 March 2021
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