In this study, Homolophus nakhichevanicus Snegovaya, 2012 (Opiliones: Phalangiidae) was recorded in Turkey for the first time. This is only the second known location for this species, the first being the type locality (Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic, Azerbaijan). The morphological characteristics are described along with a scannig electron microscope (SEM) study on the dorsal aspect, crown-shape on cephalothorax, ocularium, chelicera, pedipalp, the first pair of legs. The male genitalia of the specimens are also presented.
To date, 21 species of the genus Homolophus Banks, 1893 (Opiliones: Phalangiidae) have been described worldwide (Banks 1893; Šilhavý 1967, 1972; Cokendolpher 1987; Tchemeris et al. 1998; Tchemeris 2000; Tsurusaki et al. 2000; Starga 2003; Snegovaya & Starga 2008; 2011; Snegovaya 2012). Two species [H. funestus L. Koch 1877 (Nigde Province); H. turcicus (Roewer 1959) (Van Province)] of this genus has previously been found in Turkey (Fig. 1) (Roewer 1959; Kurt et al. 2008).
The genus is characterized by having: relatively large body (more than 5 mm long); a crown-like mound containing numerous blacktipped tubercles on cephalothorax anterior to the ocularium , coxae I-IV smooth and only with sparse setae; chelicerae usually normal structured with blackish brown zebra-like stripped pattern, pedipalps short, robust and femora, patella, tibiae covered with numerous blacktipped tubercles (males having microtubercles on ventor of tarsus); legs short or more commonly long (Tsurusaki 1987; Tsurusaki et al. 2000; Snegovaya & Starga 2008).
Measurements (mm) of male and female anatomical features of Homolophus nakhichevanicus.
The genus Homolophus is similar to Opilio and Phalangium. It differs from Phalangium in terms of shorter tarsus of pedipalps, shorter and thicker legs (Banks, 1893; Snegovaya 2012). Its penis structure is similar to the genus Opilio, but according to Snegovaya & Starçga (2008), Snegovaya (2012), it differs from Opilio because: “Penis without lateral incisions or similar structures in the apical part of the shaft; shaft often flattened dorso-ventrally, particularly in distal part; glans cuneiform, in profile mostly triangular with rounded “lower” corner; stylus relatively long”.
Materials and Methods
This study was carried out in June 2007 in Igdir Province, Turkey. Samples were collected with forceps. The identification of species was made using a Leica EZ4 stereomicroscope. Examined specimens were preserved in 70% ethanol and deposited in the collection of Arachnological Laboratory of Şiran Vocational School, Gümüşhane University (GUSAL). Measurements were made on one female and one male. All measurements are given as millimeters (Table 1).
For SEM studies, specimens were kept in 70% ethyl alcohol before being photographed by SEM. They were dried at 37 °C in an oven for 30 min and were affixed on to copper stubs covered by a two-sided sticky carbon tape. The specimens were then coated with a thin layer of gold by a sputter coater (Polaron CA508) in the electron microscopy unit of the University of Karadeniz Technical, Trabzon, Turkey. Finally, the specimens were photographed using a SEM (Jeol JSM 6400).
Genus: Homolophus Banks, 1893
Type Species: Homolophus arcticus Banks, 1893
Homolophus nakhichevanicus Snegovaya, 2012 (Figs. 2–8)
Homolophus nakhichevanicus: Snegovaya, 2012: 5–10, Figs. 6–20
TURKEY: Igdir province, Tuzluca district, (N 40° 04′ 235″ E 43° 66′ 275″), 4 ♂♂, 7 ♀♀, 28-VI-2007; leg. E. A. Yagmur and H. Koç. This species was collected from under stones.
Body approximately rectangular shape in dorsal view. Cephalothorax with anterior crown-shape consisting of group of large denticles in front-center (Fig. 7b). Cephalothorax, lateral borders of eye mound and around opening of odoriferous gland with black tipped denticles. Cephalothorax yellow with irregular black spots. Abdomen dorsally with indistinct light brownish-yellow saddle. Saddle with longitudinal row of whitish-yellow stripe in the center. Abdominal tergites with transverse rows of black- tipped denticles, especially numerous posterior borders (Fig. 2). Body ventrally covered only setae.
Chelicera: normal structure, not enlarged (Fig. 4). Basal segment with black tipped denticles and scattered brown spots. Dorsal of distal segment with few denticles, entirely setose and light brown zebra-like stripped pattern.
Pedipalps: strong, robust, trochanter with black-tipped denticles, femur ventrally and dorsally covered with numerous black tipped denticles, patella dorsally and laterally with black tipped denticles, tibia with denticles and setae, tarsus only setae, but male tarsus ventrally covered with microdenticles, tarsal claw smooth (Figs. 3a–e; 9a–c).
Penis: long and narrow, glans wedge-shaped, sylus long (Fig. 7a, c).
General appearance is similar to that of the male, but the body is larger and wider (Fig. 8).
This species had been previously recorded only from Azerbaijan (Nakhichevan Autonomous Republic) (Snegovaya, 2012).
We are very grateful to Dr. Nataly Snegovaya (Institute of Zoology NAS of Azerbaijan) for her advice and valuable comments, and Lecturer Nazli Uysal (Gumuşhane University) for assistance with English, and Dr. Yamur and Dr. Koç for collecting the samples.