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In this paper, we compare the spider faunas of two close geographical entities: Brittany (western France, 634 species) and Great Britain (UK, 639 species). There was a high percentage of shared species (67%, 513 species) and differences among families and genera were attributed to biogeography and geological history (i.e. glaciation), much less by rarity and possible under-recording. Some northern species are absent from Brittany and many southern species from Great Britain. Further surveys, mainly targeting winter maturing species, are needed.
More than 800 spiders were collected in 43 houses heated in winter, distributed mainly in the northern part of Belgium. Information required for the collections to be eligible for the project was: address, construction year, type of house, and surroundings. The spiders were qualified as ‘house spiders’ or ‘garden spiders’. Of the 93 species collected, 19 could be defined as house spiders. Pholcus phalangioides was the most common, followed by Eratigena atrica and Steatoda triangulosa. Garden spiders enter the house much more often in houses in a rural environment than in those situated in clusters, and mainly in spring. The spiders are most common in autumn when many of them are breeding. The common house spiders colonize houses shortly after their construction.
Despite being endemic to the south of the Iberian Peninsula, Macrothele calpeiana has been repeatedly reported far from its native range (e.g. northern Italy, Switzerland, Belgium, Holland). Here, we confirm, using DNA barcode data, that the specimens collected in northern Catalonia, Majorca, and northern Italy are indeed recent introductions. Additionally, our data suggest that they originated from different source populations, and corroborate former suggestions that the recent expansion of Macrothele may be linked to the commercial transport of olive trees. Former species distribution modelling studies have revealed that the exotic localities reported are far from the ecological optimum of the species and hence that introduced specimens have slim chances of survival. However, a recent finding of several individuals of different sex and stages in a coastal town in northern Catalonia (northeastern Iberian Peninsula) suggests that M. calpeiana is able to reproduce outside its native range and that microclimate conditions may allow establishment of accidentally introduced populations.
During surveys of the Majorcan spider fauna, some gnaphosid spiders belonging to a yet undescribed species were collected. The combination of characters allowed identification to group-level only (Gnaphosa-group), but prevented determination to genus level. A new genus, Chatzakia Lissner & Bosmans, n. gen. is described, with C. balearica Lissner, n. sp. as the single known species, occurring on the Balearic islands of Majorca and Ibiza. PterotrichinaDalmas, 1921 and MinosiaDalmas, 1921 are considered the closest related genera.
Calocheirus asiaticus was described by Dashdamirov (1991) and subsequently briefly redescribed by Dashdamirov & Schawaller (1993) on the basis of the specimens collected from central Asia. The generic position of C. asiaticus is discussed here and redefined as Cardiolpium asiaticum new comb. A full description and illustrations of several newly collected specimens from Fars Province, southern Iran, are given.
We studied the activity and prey capture of adult females and juveniles of the tarantula Eupalaestrus weijenberghi in the field. Their activity starts at sunset and continues during the early night hours. Tarantulas leave the burrow only for brief periods, mainly for prey capture, and do not move more than 40 cm away from the burrow entrance. Activity characteristics are analysed and discussed.
The presence of a rare, symmetrical pedipalpal anomaly is reported in a male of the spider Pardosa agrestis (Westring, 1861) from Stari Žednik, Serbia. The abnormal structure has the appearance of a normal pedipalp but consists of five segments with immature internal parts.
A second camel spider (Arachnida, Solifugae) from the Late Cretaceous (c. 99 Ma) Burmese amber of Myanmar is described. It is referred to Cushingia cf. ellenbergeriDunlop et al., 2015. This extinct species is of uncertain familial affinities, but noticeable are similarities to the modern genus DinorhaxSimon, 1879, which is today the only camel spider recorded from Southeast Asia. The present specimen differs from the original holotype in some characters. For example, the number of malleoli strongly suggests that the present specimen is a juvenile, and thus potentially provides valuable data about intraspecific variation within this fossil species.
Platythomisus sudeepiBiswas, 1977 is newly recorded in Sri Lanka from six localities, extending its current distribution in southern Asia. General and genital morphology of males and females are illustrated and described; the male is illustrated for the first time. Further, notes on stalking and egg sack construction behaviour are given.