Saturday 27 October 2018

Pahangone mirabilis: A new species of Dwarf Spider from Pahang State, Peninsula Malaysia.

Dwarf Spiders, Erigoninae, are one of the largest Spider groups, with over 2000 described species. As their name suggests, they tend to be very small, often less than a millimetre in length, and never longer than six, and are typically found in soil or leaf litter, where they produce sheat webs in which to catch their prey. The group are at their most diverse in cold regions of the Northern Hemisphere, with over 300 species in northern Europe and over 650 from North America, but are much less common in the Southern Hemisphere, being completely absent from Australia and New Zealand. The group is less studied in Southeast Asia, but the local fauna appears to be quite distinct from that of more northerly parts of Eurasia.

In a paper published in the journal Raffles Bulletin of Zoology on 23 July 2018, Andrei Tanasevitch of the A.N. Severtsov Institute of Ecology and Evolution of the Russian Academy of Sciences, describes a new species of Dwarf Spider from Pahang State in Malaysia.

The new species is named Pahangone mirabilis, where 'Pahangone' derives from 'Pahang', where the species was discovered and 'Erigone' the genus which gives its name to the Erigoninae, and 'mirabilis' means 'amazing'. The species is described from two specimens, one male and one female, both collected from Frazer’s Hill in Pehang State. The male is 2.25 mm in length and pale brown in colour, with enlarged eyes, the female 2.30 mm long, and pale brown with yellow legs.

 Pahangone mirabilis, male specimen in dorsal view. Tanasevitch (2018).

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