ZooKeys 137: 89–101, doi: 10.3897/zookeys.137.1783
A survey of East Mediterranean Dasumia (Araneae, Dysderidae) with description of new species
Kadir Boğaç Kunt1,†, Recep Sulhi Özkütük2,‡, Mert Elverici3,§
1 Poligon Sitesi 71/27-B TR-06810 Dodurga, Çayyolu, Ankara, Turkey
2 Department of Biology, Faculty of Science, Anadolu University, TR- 26470 Eskişehir, Turkey
3 Department of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Arts and Sciences, Middle East Technical University, TR-06531 Ankara, Turkey

Corresponding author: Kadir Boğaç Kunt (chaetopelma@gmail.com)

Academic editor: D. Logunov

received 7 June 2011 | accepted 20 September 2011 | Published 14 October 2011

(C) 2011 Kadir Boğaç Kunt. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited.

For reference, use of the paginated PDF or printed version of this article is recommended.


Dasumia gasparoi sp. n. isdescribed based on specimens of both sexes. The new species is compared with the similar Dasumia crassipalpis (Simon, 1882), described from Syria; and with Dasumia mariandyna Brignoli, 1979, the only previously known species of the genusrecordedfrom Turkey. Furthermore, we point out that, due to some contradictions to the original description of the genus, Dasumia mariandyna may necessarily belong to another genus. Detailed morphological descriptions, diagnosis and figures of the copulatory organs of the new species are presented.


Harpacteinae, spider, Turkey


Dasumia is a genus of the family Dysderidae and includes 13 previously described species (Platnick 2011). Ten are distributed in Europe, two in the Middle East and one in Turkey. Dasumia belongs in the subfamily Harpacteinae, and differs from other genera by the absence of ventral spines on the metatarsi and anterior tibiae; the posterior tarsi with either two claws or with an additional single tiny claw; by the typical arrangement of the cheliceral dentition and by having an abruptly curled embolus in males or more or less sclerotized posterior diverticulum of vulva in females (Thorell 1875; Dunin 1992; Deeleman-Reinhold 1993).

During our survey of the Turkish spider fauna, we encountered some interesting dysderid specimens in Kahramanmaraş province, a region that constitutes a transition zone between the Turkish Mediterranean region and the south-eastern region of Anatolia. Initially, examination of the sternum morphology suggested the specimens were members of the subfamily Harpacteinae. However, the structure of copulatory organs did not conform with the known species of Harpactea Bristowe, 1939 and Stalagtia Kratochvíl, 1970 from Turkey, nor did they show any similarity with those of Dasumia mariandyna Brignoli, 1979, which represented the only known Dasumia species recorded from Turkey. Kahramanmaraş is located close to Syria, so we then examined members of Harpacteinae known from Syria and the Middle East. This revealed similarities between our specimens and those of Dasumia crassipalpis from Syria, which had previously been described as Harpactes crassipalpis by Simon (1882) and later transferred to Dasumia by Alicata (1974), based on the structure of the previously unknown female genitalia.

The purpose of this study is to describe and illustrate a new species of Dasumia from Turkey and to discuss its placement in the genus together with the Syrian Dasumia crassipalpis and the Turkish endemic Dasumia mariandyna.

Materials and methods

All specimens were collected from Kahramanmaraş province of Turkey (Fig. 1). The specimens were collected from under stones using a hand aspirator. Digital images of the pedipalps and vulvae were taken with a Leica DFC295 digital camera attached to a Leica S8AP0 stereomicroscope, with 5–15 photographs taken in different focal planes and combined using image stacking software. Photographic images were edited using PHOTOSHOP CS2 and COREL-DRAW X3 was used to create the plates. All measurements are in mm. Terminology for the body measurements follows Chatzaki and Arnedo (2006). Terminology for the copulatory organs is adapted from Alicata (1974) and Deeleman-Reinhold (1993). On the male copulatory organ, additional apophyses developed on the structure called the “Apophysisa" are named as “Apophysisa1, a2, etc" relating to their sequential order relative to that of Apophysisa1. The following abbreviations are used in the text: AL, abdominal length; CL, carapace length; CWmax, maximum carapace width; CWmin, minimum carapace width; AME, anterior median eyes; PLE, posterior lateral eyes; PME, posterior median eyes; AMEd, diameter of anterior median eyes; PLEd, diameter of posterior lateral eyes; PMEd, diameter of posterior median eyes; ChF, length of cheliceral fang; ChG, length of cheliceral groove; ChL, total length of chelicera (lateral external view); Ta, tarsus; Me, metatarsus, Ti, tibia; Pa, patella; Fe, femur; Tr, trochanter; C, coxa; D, dorsal; pl, prolateral; rl, retrolateral; V, ventral; cKBK, Personal collection of Kadir Boğaç Kunt, Ankara, Turkey; AUZM, Anadolu University, Zoology Museum, Eskişehir, Turkey; SMF, Senckenberg Museum, Frankfurt am Main, Germany.

Figure 1.

Collecting localities of Turkish Dasumia species.  terra typica, Dasumia gasparoi sp. n. Dasumia mariandyna


Dasumia Thorell, 1875

In Thorell, 1875: 100, type species Dasumia taeniifera Thorell, 1875

Material examined.

Holotype. ♂ (AUZM), TURKEY, Kahramanmaraş Province, Pazarcık District, c. 5 km S of Narlı Town [37°19'11.78"N; 37°10'16.19"E], 07.03.2008, under stones, leg. E.A.Yağmur. Paratypes: 1 ♀ (AUZM); 1 ♀ (SMF), together with holotype.

Derivatio nominis.

The new species is named in honour of the Italian geologist & arachnologist Dr. Fulvio Gasparo, who has made great contributions to the taxonomy of the family Dysderidae.


Dasumia gasparoi sp. n. can be readily identified by the unique structure of male and female copulatory organs. It is most similar to Dasumia crassipalpis from which it can be differentiated as follows:

1. In Dasumia gasparoi sp. n. the transition zone between the tegulum and the distal appendages is more notable than in Dasumia crassipalpis.

2. In Dasumia gasparoi sp. n.the tip of the falciform embolus is sharper and taller and the embolus extends beyond Apophysisb, whereas in Dasumia crassipalpis, the embolus only reaches the middle of Apophysisb.

3. Apophysisa and Apophysisb show explicit differences in structure between the two species.

4. In Dasumia gasparoi sp. n. the spermatheca are relatively wider. Distal crest of spermatheca is shorter and thicker in Dasumia gasparoi sp. n. than in Dasumia crassipalpis (see Alicata 1974).


(Holotype ♂ / Paratype n=2 ♀): AL 3.50 / 4.47-4.50; CL 3.20 / 3.25-3.50; CWmax 2.50 / 2.75-2.80; CWmin 1.25 / 1.59-1.44 ; AMEd 0.16 / 0.17-0.18; PLEd 0.15 / 0.14-0.15; PMEd 0.11 / 0.14-0.12 ; ChF 0.58 / 0.66-0.66; ChG 0.47 / 0.52-0.53 ; ChL 1.37 / 1.60-1.62. Leg measurements are given in Table 1.

Table 1.

Leg measurements of Dasumia gasparoi sp. n.

(Holotype/ Paratype) Fe Pa Ti Me Ta
Leg I 3.00 / 3.08 1.80 / 1.88 2.76 / 2.60 2.68 / 2.48 0.63 / 0.48
Leg II 2.50 / 2.56 1.60 / 1.68 2.40 / 2.24 2.60 / 2.50 0.63 / 0.60
Leg III 2.10 / 2.16 1.05 / 1.12 1.75 / 1.68 2.05 / 2.04 0.55 / 0.44
Leg IV 2.96 / 3.00 1.40 / 1.60 2.50 / 2.56 2.64 / 3.20 0.63 / 0.64

Carapace dark brown anteriorly, yellowish brown posteriorly and blackish brown laterally. AME, PLE and PME in a circular arrangement. AME separated. PLE and PME clearly separated. Sternum, labium, gnathocoxae and chelicerae yellowish brown. Sternum blackish brown laterally (Figs 2–5). Cheliceral groove with two retromarginal and two promarginal teeth. Teeth on the promargin originate at the base of the groove and end in the middle. Retromarginal teeth originate in alignment with the point at which the promarginal teeth stop, and continue to the top of the cheliceral groove. Teeth on retromargin relatively smaller and more widely separated, when compared with those on the promargin (Figs 6, 7). Cheliceral groove long, top of the labium and gnathocoxae covered with short hairs. In males, joint of trochanter to gnathocoxa thicker and deeper (see Fig. 3). Abdomen greyish to light brown, with short, thin blackish hair over the entire surface. Females with a strongly developed linear postpedicelar and trapezoid epigastric scutum (Fig. 8). Males also have these structures, but they appear thinner and have less colour. Legs yellowish to light brown with sparse blackish setae. Periphery of articulation points dark brown.

Figures 2–5.

Dasumia gasparoi sp. n. 2, 3 (♂) carapace, sternum 4, 5 (♀) ditto. Scale lines: 0.25 mm.

Figures 6–8.

Dasumia gasparoi sp. n. 6, 7 cheliceral teeth 8 female, ventral view Scale line: (6, 7) 0.1 mm.

Leg IV > Leg I > Leg II > Leg III. Tarsi with three claws. Bent claws and middle claws are well developed (Figs 9, 10, 11, 12).

Tarsi III and IV with fine scopulae (Figs 9-12). Legs III and IV with fine metatarsal scopulae along the ventral surface, covering slightly less than the distal half of the segment. Dorsal part of coxae III and IV with 1-4 spines. Details of leg spination are given in Table 2.

In males, palpal tibia almost double the size of the tarsus. Tarsus bullet-shaped in lateral view. Tegulum yellowish brown; approximately as long as wide, and with a spherical shape. Between the distal appendages and tegulum, there is a visible transition region, peripherally sclerotized in places (Figs 13, 14). Tip of embolus adjacent to Apophysisb (Figs 13, 15). Embolic base wide and triangular. Embolus falciform, tapering distally, blackish and well sclerotized along its length (Figs 15, 16). Apophysisa triangular, separated from embolus and Apophysisb (Fig. 13). Details of palp in ventral view: Apophysisa1 short and sharp, beak-shaped at the right corner; Apophysisa2 semicircular at the left corner; Apophysisa3 (which is stubbier than apophysesa1 and Apophysisa4) ear-shaped at the rear corner. All of these apophyses with well sclerotized margins (Fig. 15).

Figures 9–12.

Leg tarsi of Dasumia gasparoi sp. n. 9 Leg I 10 Leg II 11 Leg 3 12 Leg IV Scale line: 0.25 mm.

Figures 13–16.

Male palp of Dasumia gasparoi sp. n. Abbreviations: Apa Apophysisa Apb Apophysisb E embolus. Scale lines: 0.25 mm.

Vulva generally well sclerotized. Distal crest medium-sized and butt-ended. Distal expansion of the spermatheca wider than distal crest and visually hump-shaped. Rod-shaped part of the anterior spermatheca short and broader towards the base. Basal transverse part of the anterior spermatheca appears merged with the anterior basal arc. Both structures well sclerotized from centre to periphery. In dorsal view, anterior basal arc arc-shaped; basal transverse part of the anterior spermatheca forming a downward chevron shape. Transverse bar longer than the anterior basal arc. The surface area of the posterior spermatheca is wider than the anterior spermatheca. Transverse bar ends with one snake head-shaped structure at either side; and in contact with posterior diverticulum over complex membranous channel network (Figs 17, 18, 19).

Figures 17–20.

Vulva of Dasumia gasparoi sp. n. 17, 18 dorsal view 19, 20 ventral view. Abbreviations: aba anterior basal arc btas basal transverse part of the anterior spermatheca dc distal crest des distal expansion of the spermatheca pd posterior diverticulum rsas rod-shaped part of the anterior spermatheca tb transverse bar. Scale lines: 0.5 mm.

Figures 24–25.

Dasumia mariandyna (topotype). 24 male palp 25 cheliceral teeth. Scale line: (24) 0.25 mm.


In ventral view, and looking at an angle of 70° from the surface to the vulva, we observed symmetrically located, reniform structures consisting of helicoidal canals inside both sides of the vulva (Fig. 20). The origin and function of these structures is unknown.


Samples were collected during early spring from under stones (using a hand aspirator) in steppe habitat with scrubs of Quercus coccifera and with pine woods located close by. The collection locality was on low land at the middle of a mountainous region, which may enhance the probability of this species being an endemic.

Dasumia crassipalpis (Simon, 1882)


Harpactes crassipalpis: Simon, 1882: 224, f. 7-8 (D ♂).
Harpactocrates crassipalpis: Reimoser, 1919: 11.
Dasumia crassipalpis: Alicata, 1974: 40, f. 1-4 (T ♂ from Harpactocrates, D ♀).
Material examined.

1 ♂ (AUZM), ISRAEL, Mount Meron, 17.XII.2010, leg. C. Drees

Detailed comparison of Dasumia gasparoisp. n. andDasumia crassipalpis.

Unfortunately, due to lack of material, we were unable to compare females of the two species. Here we comment on general similarities and differences observed from comparison of male specimens from both species; and from the description of female Dasumia crassipalpis given by Alicata (1974) with the female of Dasumia gasparoi sp. n., as follows:

Body coloration and general appearance similar in both species.

Arrangement of cheliceral teeth on cheliceral groove similar, but in Dasumia crassipalpis, distance between teeth on promargin and retromargin relatively wider.

In the original description of Dasumia crassipalpis, carapace width for males was given as 3.2 mm (see Simon 1882, page 224). Our Dasumia crassipalpis specimen from Israel has a carapace width of 3.26 mm. Based on the body measurements of Dasumia gasparoi sp. n., there are no significant differences between the two species. However, the legs of Dasumia crassipalpis from Israel are relatively shorter than Dasumia gasparoi sp. n. (see Table 3).

Leg spination similar in both species. Legs III and IV of female Dasumia gasparoi sp. n. and leg IV of male Dasumia crassipalpis exhibit trochanteric retrolateral spines, which is an interesting observation (see Table 2 and 4).

Linear postpedicelar and trapezoid epigastric scutum present in males of both species, in Dasumia gasparoi sp. n. pale; in Dasumia crassipalpis even paler.

Table 2.

Leg spination of Dasumia gasparoi sp. n.

(Holotype) Leg I Leg II Leg III Leg IV
C 0 0 2 pl 3 pl 1 D
Tr 0 0 0 0
Fe 4 pl 5 pl 3 D 4 rl 9 D
Pa 0 0 2 D 1 rl 0
Ti 0 0 2 pl 1 D 4 rl 5 V 4 pl 4 rl 5 V
Me 0 0 3 pl 6 rl 2 V 4 pl 1 D 5 rl 6 V
C 0 0 1 pl 2 pl
Tr 0 0 1 rl 1 rl
Fe 2 pl 1 pl 3 D 3 rl 8 D
Pa 0 0 2 D 1 rl 0
Ti 0 0 2 pl 1 D 3 rl 2 V 4 pl 1 D 3 rl 5 V
Me 0 0 4 pl 6 rl 2 V 4 pl 4 rl 5 V
Table 3.

Leg measurements of Dasumia crassipalpis

Fe Pa Ti Me Ta
Leg I 2.67 1.85 2.65 2.57 0.64
Leg II 2.69 1.66 2.54 2.49 0.62
Leg III 2.20 1.16 1.75 2.24 0.57
Leg IV 3.12 1.49 2.60 3.06 0.58

In Dasumia crassipalpis, morphology of the distal appendages distinctive on male palp. Apophysisb longer and wider. Also, in Dasumia gasparoi sp. n., Apophysisa1 shorter and projecting downwards; while in Dasumia crassipalpis it is well developed, apparent and projected upwards. In Dasumia crassipalpis palp when viewed ventrally, except for Apophysisa1, the remaining apophyses are located at the right corner of Apophysisa, close to Apophysisa1 (Figs 21, 22, 23).

Figures 21–23.

Male palp of Dasumia crassipalpis. Abbreviations: Apa Apophysisa Apb Apophysisb E embolus. Scale line (21, 22): 0.25 mm.

Even though there are structural differences apparent, the vulvae of both species are similar and generally well sclerotized (see Alicata 1974).

A short assessment on the distribution of

Dasumia crassipalpis.First described as Harpactes crassipalpis by Simon (1882) on the basis of male specimens collected from Syria, females were subsequently described by Alicata (1974); and based on the previously unknown female genitalia, the species was transferred to the genus Dasumia. Simon reported the terra typica of Dasumia crassipalpis as “Syria", without giving any further detail (see Simon 1882). Moreover, Syria was the land of the Ottoman Empire in those days, and some provinces today known as Turkish were included with the rest of the region then known as Syria. For this reason, it is hard to draw a northern border line for the distribution of the species. However, considering that the only male specimen examined for the purpose of this study was collected in Israel, it may be assumed that Dasumia crassipalpis is distributed along the line of Syria, Lebanon and Israel. Although we have not yet collected this species during our extensive arachnological field studies at the Turkey-Syria border, it is possible that this species reaches Turkey at the north and Jordan at the south of its range.

Dasumia mariandyna Brignoli, 1979


Dasumia mariandyna: Brignoli, 1979: 312, f. 9-11 (D ♂♀).
Dasumia mariandyna: Le Peru, 2011: 222, f. 240 (♂♀).
Material examined.

1 ♂ (AUZM) TURKEY, Düzce Province, Akçakoca District, c. 1 km south of Kepenç Village [41°4'11.89"N; 31°7'9.06"E], 22.V.2008, under leaf litter, leg. K.B. Kunt; 1 ♂ (AUZM), Bolu Province, Abant [40°40'39.36"N; 31°28'18.78"E], 13.IX.2009, under leaf litter, leg. K.B. Kunt.

Comparison of Dasumia gasparoi sp. n. and Dasumia mariandyna.

Brignoli defined the relation of Dasumia mariandyna to other species of the genus as follows: “The new species is not related to the Greek and Near Eastern species; it can be easily distinguished from all known species by the genitalia" (see Brignoli 1979, page 313). Indeed, Dasumia mariandyna can be easily distinguished by the copulatory organs from the Middle Eastern representative of the genus, Dasumia crassipalpis and from Dasumia gasparoi sp. n. which is very close to Dasumia crassipalpis. Another very important issue is that the arrangement of cheliceral teeth in Dasumia mariandyna clearly does not conform with the characteristic arrangement of cheliceral teeth in this genus. Nevertheless, Dasumia mariandyna justlike Dasumia gasparoi sp. n. and Dasumia crassipalpis, also possesses 3 claws on tarsi III and IV. In accordance with the data mentioned above and by considering embolus/bulbus proportion of the species, the place of Dasumia mariandyna in the subfamily Harpacteinae should be rediscussed, for it is possible that Dasumia mariandyna may belong to another genus.

Table 4.

Leg spination of Dasumia crassipalpis

Leg I Leg II Leg III Leg IV
C 0 0 1 pl 1 D 7 pl 2 D
Tr 0 0 0 1 rl
Fe 4 pl 1 pl 3 D 3rl 9 D
Pa 0 0 2 D 1 rl 1 D
Ti 0 0 2 pl 1 D 3 rl 5 V 4 pl 1 D 3 rl 5 V
Me 0 0 3 pl 6 rl 2 V 5 pl 5 rl 5 V
Results and discussion

With the description ofDasumia gasparoi sp. n., the total number of Dasumia species is now 14 and the total number of dysderid spiders known from Turkey is raised to 47. Even if we ignore Dasumia sancticedri Brignoli, 1978 (described in the genus Dasumia and associated with Dasumia crassipalpis by Brignoli) which has a suspiciously differentpalpal structure questioning its correct placement in the genus Dasumia (see Brignoli, 1978, page 173. figures 1, 2); it is not unreasonable to think that spiders exist in the Eastern Mediterranean basin includes similar but different species which are slightly different from the European taxa in the structure of copulatory organs. The relationships between the European and Eastern Mediterranean representatives of the genus will be clarified following future revisions and with studies including molecular systematics.


This work was supported by the Research Foundation of Anadolu University (Project Number: 1001F31). We are very grateful to Dr. Ersen Aydın Yağmur (Turkey) for providing type specimens of the new species and Dr. Sergei Zonstein (Israel) for sending comparison material of Dasumia crassipalpis from Israel. We would like to thank Dr. Murat Bilecenoğlu (Turkey) for translations of Latin texts and Mr. Ahmet Bozardıç (Turkey) for his important help during field trips. The English of the final draft was kindly checked by Dr. David Penney (United Kingdom).

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