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The four species of Aphonopelma currently listed by Platnick (2013) as coming from South America are re-examined and discussed. Aphonopelma bistriatum (C. L. Koch, 1838) is regarded as a junior synonym of Ephebopus murinusSimon, 1892 n. syn.; A. aberrans (Chamberlin, 1917), A. pedatum (Strand, 1907) and A. rubropilosum (Ausserer, 1871) are regarded as nomina dubia.
Twelve species from subfamily Erigoninae (Linyphiidae) are recorded from the Falkland Islands; all are described and illustrated. Five species are recorded from the islands for the first time: Notiomaso australisBanks, 1914, N. barbatus (Tullgren, 1901), N. flavus (Tambs-Lyche, 1954), Laminacauda diffusaMillidge, 1985, and L. plagiata (Tullgren, 1901). In addition, a new genus, Linga gen. nov, and three new species are described: Linga orqueta sp. nov, Notiomaso Christina sp. nov, and N. shackletoni sp. nov. Four species previously recorded are included: Notiomaso striatus (Usher, 1983), Laminacauda fuegiana (Tullgren, 1901), Neomaso pollicatus (Tullgren, 1901), and the introduced Diplocephalus cristatus (Blackwall, 1833).
Differences in reproductive interests between the sexes can affect web construction behaviour, which can vary across ontogeny. This study tested whether exploration and web building behaviour varies with age and sex in Physocyclus globosus (Pholcidae), a spider that weaves an irregular, domed sheet web with a tangle above. Spiders were placed in cages with four interconnected chambers. Most fifth instar juveniles and adult females (but only half adult males) wove a sheet in only one chamber. Adult females built the denser sheets. Although adults attached more threads to the walls than juveniles, the latter attached more new threads there over time. Juveniles laid 91% of their threads in the sheet chamber, compared to adult females (55%) and adult males (41%). All spiders (especially adult males) attached many exploration threads throughout 18 days, suggesting repeated abandonments of the web. The reduced rate of exploration by juveniles suggests that they establish webs more quickly to increase the possibility of prey capture, intense foraging, and rapid growth. Exploration or web construction did not differ between the sexes in juveniles. Adult males explored more often, perhaps looking for mates, while adult females modified their web structure after establishing, perhaps to improve prey capture rates.
A new species of the African ischnotheline genus LathrotheleBenoit, 1965 is described, from a male and female from Gabon, as Lathrothele mitonae sp. nov It is the first known species of the genus with coiled receptacula seminis in the female.
Morphological and behavioural traits place Filistatidae basally within Araneomorphae, although some features, such as their continuing to moult after reaching adulthood, are reminiscent of mygalomorph spiders. This paper describes the courtship behaviour and other aspects of the reproductive biology of Kukulcania hibernalis and Misionella mendensis, and compares this information with that from related filistatid species and with Mygalomorphae. K. hibernalis has some unique behaviours during courtship (e.g. male lays threads on female web); other behaviours are probably widespread within Filistatidae (e.g. male uses the tarsi and metatarsi of one of his legs to rub the basal sections of the female's legs and the sides of her cephalothorax). Some other behaviours seem more similar to Mygalomorphae than to those of other, more derived Araneomorphae. These include male construction of a large sperm web, and the positions of male and female facing each other during copulation, with the male holding the female cephalothorax lifted while insertions occur, similar to some mygalomorphs. The adult female K. hibernalis and the first instar spiderlings (outside the egg sac) feed simultaneously on the same prey, but spiderlings are also capable of cooperating during the attack of large prey. The courtship behaviour supports the hypothesis that places Filistatidae basally within Araneomorphae.