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The Malagasy Goblin Spiders of the New Genus Malagiella (Araneae, Oonopidae)

Journal / Magazine

Series: Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH Bulletins) Volume: 356

By: Darrell Ubick(Author), Charles E Griswold(Author)

American Museum of Natural History

Paperback | Jan 2011 | #208251
Availability: Usually dispatched within 1-2 months Details
NHBS Price: £15.99 $21/€18 approx

About this book

A new oonopid genus endemic to Madagascar, Malagiella, is proposed and its 10 constituent species newly described and illustrated: M. ambalavo (♀), M. andringitra (♂♀), M. fisheri (♂♀), M. goodmani (♀), M. nikina (♀), M. ranavalona (♀), M. ranomafana (♂♀), M. toliara (♂♀), M. valterova (♂♀), and M. vohiparara (♂♀).

Malagiella is most similar to the Asian genus Camptoscaphiella in both somatic and genitalic features, but differs in some important characters. Unlike Camptoscaphiella, the Malagiellamale has a palpal bulb completely fused with the tarsus and a sternum bearing stiff bristles; the female has a round copulatory opening and bifid 4th claws.

The species may be recognized by the genitalia. Male palpi are fairly uniform, but differ in segment proportion and details of the embolus complex, which consists of a broad dorsal embolus connected to a laminar ventral prong. Female genitalia are more variable, especially in the curvature of the receptaculum, which spans the range from nearly straight to widely sinuous and occurs in mirror-image versions having opposite coiling. These torsional variants, with females having either left- or right-handed receptacula, probably occur in all species, although they are not evident in species with straight receptacula and (obviously) unknown in species represented by singleton female specimens.

Malagiella species are very diverse somatically, ranging from dark, big, and large-eyed species to pale, small, and reduced-eyed ones. Our preliminary clustering uses mostly these somatic features, with some genitalic support, to identify three species groups: ranomafanavohiparara, and toliara. Other genitalic characters that suggest different groupings are discussed.

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