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The five European species of the genus Larinioides are among the most conspicuous spiders of the area, and some of them can be the dominant orb weavers of their habitat. Three of the species were described by Clerck (1757), yet their nomenclatural history since then has been marred by considerable confusion. Only in the last 40 years has the nomenclature in the genus gradually stabilized. Recently, however, it has been suggested to rename two of the species (Larinioides sclopetarius and L. suspicax) yet again. This note intends to show that these recent name changes are not supported by the available evidence, and that the established names L. sclopetarius and L. suspicax continue to be valid.
The presence of pheromones has been reported for several spider species but their persistence in field conditions has scarcely been studied. We test the activity and persistence of female sex cues outdoor in the tarantula Eupalaestrus weijenberghi (Thorell, 1894), using male courtship as an indicator of cue attraction. We studied female silk fields in two conditions: protected and exposed and in both we found a long persistence of sex signals, up to 55 and 46 days, respectively. We discuss the nature and adaptive significance of these cues.
This study describes a novel test for 16 metals using Argiope argentata as indicators of environmental pollution. Our results suggest that A. argentata from a relatively isolated California island suffer a more diverse metal burden than those from the California mainland. Metal burdens of Cd, Cs, Ni, Sr, Tl, and U were greater in Santa Catalina specimens. Only the metal burdens of As and V were greater in the mainland Encinitas specimens. The metal burdens of Be, Bi, Co, Cr, Ga, In, Li, and Pb were not different between the sites. Soil samples taken later from the same sampling locations confirm higher concentrations of Cd, Ni and Sr on Santa Catalina, while cactus plants from the sites had a different pattern of metal accumulation. The effect of metal burden on spider body weight was examined, and Santa Catalina A. argentata had significantly increased mass compared to Encinitas spiders. This indicates that, despite a more diverse burden of metals, A. argentata spiders from Santa Catalina may have a higher fitness than those from Encinitas.
Centromerus isaiai Bosmans n. sp. is described on both sexes on specimens collected in Sardinia and Corsica. Palliduphantes paoloiWunderlich, 1995 is a junior synonym of P. angustiformis (Simon, 1884). Palliduphantes prodigialis (Simon, 1884) is removed from the synonymy of P. angustiformisSimon, 1884 and placed in the synonymy of P. longisetusSimon, 1884. Lipocrea epeiroides (O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1872) and Tapinopa disjugataSimon, 1884 are new species for Italy; first detailed ecological notes are given for the former one. Fourteen species are added to the fauna of Sardinia.
Material of the genus Pseudopoda Jäger, 2000 from Myanmar is revised. Six new species are described: Pseudopoda tji sp. nov., P. pingu sp. nov., P. bangaga sp. nov., P. wamwo sp. nov., P. martinschuberti sp. nov. (all: male, female; Chin State) and P. huberi sp. nov. (male; Mandalay Region). All species were recorded from elevations above 600 m. All five species from Nat Ma Taung are vertically niched in zones of up to 500 m elevation difference. Moreover, males of all these species lack the conductor of the male palp, four of them exhibit a special glandular appendage in the female internal duct system, as well as a unique reduction of tibial spines in both sexes. A special brush of setae on the distal cymbium is identified as a possible surrogate structure acting as a secondary conductor.
Amycus albipalpus n. sp. is described and illustrated from the eastern department of Meta, Colombia: the first official record of the genus from the country. A. spectabilis C. L. Koch, 1846 is recorded for the first time from Colombia, from the eastern and Amazonian departments of Meta and Guaviare, respectively.