Open Access
How to translate text using browser tools
1 January 2020 Description of Lepthyphantes rossitsae sp. n. from Turkey (Arachnida: Araneae: Linyphiidae)
Dragomir Dimitrov
Author Affiliations +

A new species of Lepthyphantes (L. rossitsae sp. n.) was discovered while studying spider material collected from caves near Konya, Turkey. The species is described and illustrated and its relationship to the closely related L. leprosus (Ohlert, 1865) are discussed.


From a faunistic and zoogeographical point of view Turkey, and Asia Minor in general, is a very interesting area. Its fauna is composed of different elements, some of which, like the Irano-Turanian and Euxinean, are poorly investigated and sometimes incorrectly considered as Mediterranean due to insufficient data about species distribution. Studying these faunistic elements is very important because they extend into Europe and contribute to the composition of the southeastern European fauna. The key to understanding them is to study more deeply the Turkish fauna which will hopefully reveal the true origin and zoogeographical affinities of many species currently known only from southeastern Europe, and may fill many gaps between the known localities of others. Studying the Turkish fauna, especially in the Antalia and Konya regions, will also help us differentiate between Mediterranean and Irano-Turanian faunistic elements among spiders. With this in mind I began a revision of all material from this region available in the collection of the National Museum of Natural History, Sofia. In this first paper a new Lepthyphantes, very similar to the common and widespread species Lepthyphantes leprosus (Ohlert, 1865), is described from a cave near Çamlik village in the Konya region of Turkey.


The specimens examined here were collected by hand sampling and studied using a Wild M5A stereomicroscope. Photographs were taken with a Canon EOS 1100D digital camera attached to an Amplival microscope. The coloration is described from specimens preserved in 80% alcohol. The palp and epigyne morphology follows Helsdingen (1965). All measurements are in mm. Leg measurements are in the following sequence: total (coxa and trochanter + femur + patella + tibia + metatarsus + tarsus). The sequence of the chaetotaxy is: femur, patella, tibia, metatarsus. Abbreviations used in the text and figures are: ALE = anterior lateral eyes, AME = anterior median eyes, ctb = big tubercle oft cymbium, cts = small tubercle oft cymbium, d = dorsal, e = embolus, lc = lamella characteristica, ll = lateral lobe, lt = lateral tooth, nlc = narrow branch of lamella characteristica, p = prolateral, pc = paracymbium, PLE = posterior lateral eyes, PME = posterior median eyes, r = retrolateral, sc = scape, v = ventral. The holotype and 6 female paratypes are kept in the National Museum of Natural History (NMNHS), Sofia, Bulgaria; 1 male and 1 female (also paratypes) are deposited in the Muséum d'histoire naturelle de Genève, Switzerland.


Lepthyphantes rossitsae sp. n.
Figs 1–6, 10–12, 16–22

  • Types: Male holotype, 1 male paratype, 7 females paratypes; Turkey, Çamlik village, Beyşehir district, Maǧarasi cave; 10.07.1993; P. Beron leg.

  • Etymology: I dedicate the species to my wife Rossitsa Dimitrova.

  • Diagnosis: The new species is very similar to Lepthyphantes leprosus in somatic and genital characters. The male of L. rossitsae sp. n. can be distinguished by the shape of the narrow branch of the lamella characteristica, which is shorter and wider apically (Figs 1, 4, 16, 18), while in L. leprosus it is longer, narrower and forked at the end (Fig. 7). The embolus in both species is very similar, but in L. rossitsae sp. n. the teeth at its base are less numerous and tiny (Figs 2, 5, 17), while in L. leprosus they are more numerous and slightly bigger (Fig. 8). Also the big tubercle of the cymbium (Figs 3, 6, 19) is shorter and wider than in L. leprosus (Fig. 9). The female epigyne (Figs 10–12, 20–22) has almost the same lateral wall and lateral lobe as in L. leprosus, but the scape in L. rossitsae sp. n. is thinner and longer and there are no lateral teeth (Figs 13–15).

  • Description of male (holotype): Measurements: Total length 3.85; cephalothorax length 1.48, width 1.25; sternum length 0.68, width 0.45; chelicera length 0.72, width 0.30; abdomen length 2.35, width 1.45; leg I length 11.75 (0.80 + 3.00 + 0.45 + 3.00 + 3.00 + 1.50); leg II length 10.75 (0.60 + 2.80 + 0.45 + 2.70 + 2.85 + 1.35); leg III length 8.45 (0.55 + 2.35 + 0.40 + 1.90 + 2.25 + 1.00); leg IV length 10.70 (0.62 + 2.70 + 0.40 + 2.63 + 3.00 + 1.35). Eyes: Both eye rows straight; AME smaller than other eyes, touching each other. Other eyes approximately equal in size. AME diameter 0.05; ALE, PLE, PME diameter 0.09; ALE separated from AME by 0.03. PME separated from PLE and each other by 0.08, ALE touching PLE. Chelicerae with 2 large distal and 2 small apical teeth on promargin and with 1 large distal tooth on retromargin. Coloration: carapace, sternum, chelicerae and legs yellow-brown. Abdomen grey, with white pattern (not very well preserved). Leg chaetotaxy: leg I (1p, 1d, 2d2p1v1r, 1d1r); leg II (-, 1d, 2d1r1v, 1d1p); leg III (-, 1d, 2d1r, 1d); leg IV (-, 1d, 2d1r, 1d). Palps (Figs 1–6, 16–19): Cymbium with one big and one small tubercle in its basal part, visible in dorsal view (Figs 3, 6, 19). Paracymbium connected to cymbium with its flat internal part. Lamella characteristica broad and incised, bifid. It's narrow distal branch gradually widening to a fan shaped apical part (Figs 1, 4, 16). Embolus bent, sickle-shaped, bearing small teeth near its base (Figs 4–5, 17).

  • Description of female (paratype): Measurements: Total length 4.05; cephalothorax length 1.60, width 1.25; sternum length 0.85, width 0.75; chelicera length 0.72, width 0.30; abdomen length 2.66, width 1.70; leg I length 10.47 (0.65 + 2.95 + 0.47 + 2.50 + 2.50 + 1.40); leg II length 9.45 (0.63 + 2.40 + 0.47 + 2.30 + 2.40 + 1.25); leg III length 7.00 (0.54 + 2.00 + 0.40 + 1.35 + 1.85 + 0.86); leg IV length 9.35 (0.56 + 2.40 + 0.40 + 2.25 + 2.52 + 1.22). Eye arrangement and coloration as in male. Chelicerae with 4 large teeth on promargin and 4 small apical teeth on retromargin. Leg chaetotaxy: leg I (1p, 1d, 2d1p2v1r, 1d1p1r); leg II (-, 1d, 2d1v2r, 1d1p1r); leg III (-, 1d, 2d1v1r, 1d); leg IV (-, 1d, 2d1r, 1d).

  • Epigyne (Figs 10–12, 20–22): Lateral wall without teeth (Figs 10–11, 20–21). Scape long and narrow, widening at the end (Figs 10, 20). Two lateral lobes on each side of scape (Figs 10–11, 20–21).

  • Distribution: Known only from the type locality.

  • Remarks: As already stated by Helsdingen (2009), the splitting of Lepthyphantes s. l. into several distinct genera by Saaristo & Tanasevitch (1996, 1999, 2000, 2001) not only makes species identification difficult and user-unfriendly, but also leaves Lepthyphantes s. str. as a heterogeneous group containing all species that could not be placed with certainty in any of the present genera close to Lepthyphantes. This is also the case with Lepthyphantes leprosus. Previously it was listed as part of the Lepthyphantes nebulosus group. Meanwhile most of the species from this group have been transferred to Megalepthyphantes Wunderlich, 1994, but Lepthyphantes leprosus remained in Lepthyphantes along with some other species, most of which are clearly not related to each other. Since the new species described here is very close to Lepthyphantes leprosus, it is provisionally also placed in Lepthyphantes.

  • Figs 1–9.

    Lepthyphantes rossitsae sp. n., male holotype (1–3), male paratype (4–6); Lepthyphates leprosus, male (7–9). (1, 4, 7) Palp, retrolateral view. (2, 5, 8) Palp, dorsal view. (3, 6, 9) Palp, prolateral view. Scale 0.2 mm.


    Figs 10–15.

    Lepthyphantes rossitsae sp. n., female paratype (10–12); Lepthyphantes leprosus, female (13–15). (10, 13) Epygine, ventral view. (11, 14) Epygine, lateral view. (12, 15) Epygine, dorsal view. Scale 0.2 mm.


    Figs 16–22.

    Lepthyphantes rossitsae sp. n., male holotype (16–17, 19), male paratype (18), female paratype (20–22). (16) Palp, retrolateral view. (17) Embolus. (18) Lamella characteristica. (19) Palp, dorsal view. (20) Epygine, ventral view. (21) Epygine, lateral view. (22) Epygine, dorsal view. Scale 0.2 mm.



    I am grateful to Petar Beron (National Museum of Natural History, Sofia) for collecting the material and to Christo Deltshev (National Museum of Natural History, Sofia) for reading the manuscript and making some critical comments. I am much obliged to Jason Dunlop (Museum für Naturkunde, Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung, Berlin) for proposing linguistic improvement and providing valuable comments and advice, and to Andrei Tanasevitch (A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution, Moscow) for review and discussion. I also thank my daughter Alissa for her help in processing the images.



    Helsdingen P.J. van 1965. Sexual behaviour of Lepthyphantes leprosus (Ohlert) (Araneida, Linyphiidae), with notes on the function of the genital organs. Zoologische Mededelingen 41: 15–42. Google Scholar


    Helsdingen P.J. van 2009. Lepthyphantes christodeltshev, a new species from Greece (Araneae, Linyphiidae). ZooKeys 16: 301–308. Google Scholar


    Ohlert E. 1865. Arachnologische Studien. Programm zur öffentlichen Prüfung der Schüler der höheren Burgschule Königsberg 1865: 1–12. Google Scholar


    Saaristo M.I., Tanasevitch A.V. 1996. Redelimitation of the subfamily Micronetinae Hull, 1920 and the genus Lepthyphantes Menge, 1866 with descriptions of some new genera (Aranei, Linyphiidae). Berichte des Naturwissenschaftlich-Medizinischen Vereins in Innsbruck 83: 163–186. Google Scholar


    Saaristo M.I., Tanasevitch A.V. 1999. Reclassification of the mughi-group of the genus Lepthyphantes Menge, 1866 (sensu lato) (Araneae: Linyphiidae: Micronetinae). Berichte des Naturwissenschaftlich-Medizinischen Vereins in Innsbruck 86: 139–147. Google Scholar


    Saaristo M.I., Tanasevitch A.V. 2000. Systematics of the Bolyphantes-Poeciloneta genus-group of the subfamily Micronetinae Hull, 1920 (Arachnida: Araneae: Linyphiidae). Reichenbachia 33: 255–265. Google Scholar


    Saaristo M.I., Tanasevitch A.V. 2001. Reclassification of the pallidus-, insignis- and spelaeorum-groups of Lephthyphantes Menge, 1866 (sensu lato) (Arachnida: Araneae: Linyphiidae: Micronetinae). Reichenbachia 34: 5–17. Google Scholar


    Wunderlich J. 1994. Beschreibung der neuen Spinnen-Gattung Megalepthyphantes aus der Familie der Baldachinspinnen und einer bisher unbekannten Art aus Griechenland (Arachnida: Araneae: Linyphiidae). Entomologische Zeitschrift, Frankfurt a.M. 104: 168–171. Google Scholar
    Dragomir Dimitrov "Description of Lepthyphantes rossitsae sp. n. from Turkey (Arachnida: Araneae: Linyphiidae)," Revue suisse de Zoologie 125(2), 277-281, (1 January 2020).
    Accepted: 23 July 2018; Published: 1 January 2020
    cave fauna
    Back to Top