Short Communication
Short Communication
First description of the male of Barylestis saaristoi Jäger, 2008 (Araneae, Sparassidae) from China
expand article infoYang Zhong§, Ye-Jie Lin|, Jie Liu§
‡ Hubei University of Science and Technology, Xianning, China
§ Hubei University, Wuhan, China
| Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China
Open Access


The male of Barylestis saaristoi Jäger, 2008 is described for the first time from Menglun Town, Yunnan Province, China. This is the first record of this genus from China. An illustrated morphological description of this species is given.


biodiversity, Yunnan, huntsman spiders, taxonomy


The genus Barylestis was established by Simon (1910). Currently, of all 11 known Barylestis species, 10 from tropical Africa (Cameroon, Congo, Central Africa, Equatorial Guinea, Gabon, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sudan, Uganda, West Africa) and one from Southeast Asia (Thailand, Myanmar) have been recorded (Jäger 2002; World Spider Catalog 2018). This genus had long been recognized as a purely African genus by Jäger (2002) until Barylestis saaristoi Jäger, 2008 was first described based on female specimens from Thailand and Myanmar. Jäger and his colleagues tried to collect the male of B. saaristoi specifically because of its potential contribution to zoogeographic and phylogenetic relationships of this genus, but the search was not successful (Jäger 2008). Recently, the authors examined specimens collected from Yunnan Province and found three females and one male belonging to this species. This is also the first record of this genus from China.

Materials and methods

Specimens were examined and measured with a Leica M205C stereomicroscope. Epigynes were examined and illustrated after dissection from the spider bodies. All photos were taken with a Leica DFC450 digital camera attached to a Leica M205C stereomicroscope, with 10–20 photographs taken in different focal planes and combined using image stacking software (Leica LAS). Photographic images were edited using Adobe Photoshop. Left palps are depicted. Most hairs and macrosetae are omitted in the palp drawings. All specimens examined in this study are deposited in the College of Life Sciences, Hubei University.

Leg measurements are shown as: total length (femur, patella, tibia, metatarsus, tarsus). Number of spines is listed for each segment in the following order: prolateral, dorsal, retrolateral, ventral (in femora and patellae ventral spines are absent and the fourth digit is omitted in the spination formula). Abbreviations follow Zhong et al. (2017, 2018):

ALE anterior lateral eyes;

AME anterior median eyes;

AW anterior width of prosoma;

CH clypeus height;

FE femur;

Mt metatarsus;

OL opisthosoma length;

OW opisthosoma width;

Pa patella;

PL prosoma length;

PLE posterior lateral eyes;

PME posterior median eyes;

Pp palp;

PW prosoma width;

Ta tarsus;

Ti tibia I, II, III, IV—legs I to IV.

Abbreviations for the collection depositories:

HBU Hubei University, Wuhan, China;

SMF Research Institute Senckenberg, Frankfurt, Germany


Family Sparassidae Bertkau, 1872

Genus Barylestis Simon, 1910

Barylestis saaristoi Jäger, 2008

Figures 1–3, 4–8, 9–21, 22–25, 26

Barylestis saaristoi Jäger, 2008: 106, figs 1–14 (holotype female from Mae Hong Son Province, Thailand, deposited in SMF 58342).

Material examined

1 male and 1 female (HBU), Mengxin Farm [21.89°N, 101.36°E, 736m], Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna, China, 4 May 2018, Yiwu Zhu leg.; 2 females (HBU), Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden [21.96°N, 101.22°E, 757m] Dai Autonomous Prefecture of Xishuangbanna, China, 30 May 2015, Wancheng Li leg.


Male of B. saaristoi can be separated from B. montandoni (Lessert, 1929) and B. occidentalis (Simon, 1887) by embolus arising from tegulum in an 11-o’clock-position (3-o’clock-position in B. montandoni and B. occidentalis, Figs 2, 5), separated from B. fagei (Lessert, 1929) and B. variatus (Pocock, 1900) by the long and slender dRNA (short and wide in B. fagei and B. variatus, Figs 3, 6), separated from B. scutatus (Pocock, 1903) by tegulum partly covered embolic base (wholly covered in B. scutatus). Females of this species can be recognised as this particular species by the following combination of characters: 1. Epigyne with V-shaped pit; 2. Vulva with tips of lateral coils pointing mediad and first part of copulatory ducts slender, running parallel (Jäger 2008).

Figures 1–3. 

Barylestis saaristoi Jäger, 2008. 1–3 Left male palp (1 prolateral 2 ventral 3 retrolateral). Abbreviations: C—conductor; dRTA—dorsal retrolateral tibial apophysis; E—embolus; ST—subtegulum; T—tegulum, vRTA—ventral retrolateral tibial apophysis. Scale bar: 0.5 mm.

Figures 4–8. 

Barylestis saaristoi Jäger, 2008. 4–6 Left male palp (4 prolateral 5 ventral 6 retrolateral) 7 epigyne, ventral 8 vulva, dorsal. Abbreviations: AB–anterior bands, CD–copulatory ducts, CO–copulatory opening, GS–glandular structures of internal duct system, LW–lateral winding of internal duct system, PP–posterior pits of lateral lobes. Scale bar: 0.5 mm.


Male. PL 6.4, PW 7.5, AW 4.0, OL 5.4, OW 3.9. Eyes: AME 0.34, ALE 0.43, PME 0.26, PLE 0.44, AMEAME 0.26, AMEALE 0.15, PMEPME 0.59, PMEPLE 1.03, AMEPME 0.55, ALEPLE 0.97, CH AME 0.47, CH ALE 0.62. Spination: Palp: 131, 101, 2021; Fe: I 333, II 000, III 333, IV 331; Pa: I 101, II 000, III 101, IV 000; Ti: I 2226, II 0004, III 2116, IV 2014; Mt: I 1014, II 0004, III 1014, IV 1016. Measurements of palp and legs: Palp 9.5 (2.9, 1.2, 1.6, –, 3.8), I 32.5 (8.6, 3.2, 8.7, 9.4, 2.6), II 27.1 (7.5, 2.3, 7.5, 7.1, 2.7), III 29.0 (9.1, 2.4, 8.4, 7.1, 2.0), IV 29.1 (9.3, 2.5, 8.1, 6.8, 2.4). Leg formula: I-IV-III-II (second leg may have fractured before collection, as it is very tiny; Figs 18–21). Cheliceral furrow with 3 anterior and 4 posterior teeth, without denticles. Claws of leg I with long and slightly curved teeth in both male and female. Female palpal claws with seven long teeth, almost same size as those of leg I (Figs 9–15). Dorsal carapace reddish-brown, posterior margins dark. Chelicerae, sternum, gnathocoxae and labium deep reddish-brown to black. Legs reddish -brown without spots and patches. Dorsal opisthosoma covered by long and dense hairs. Ventral opisthosoma uniformly yellowish-brown (Figs 22, 23). Cymbium significantly longer than tibia. Conductor membranous, arising from direction of tegulum 11:30. Embolus running 1.25 coils around tegulum, with tip situated near conductor. RTA arising medially from tibia, vRTA developed, almost rectangle-shaped and dRTA finger-shaped in ventral view (Figs 16).

Figures 9–21. 

Barylestis saaristoi Jäger, 2008. 9, 10 Cheliceral dentition, ventral view (9 male 10 female) 11 palpal claw of female, retrolateral view 12–15 leg I prolateral and retrolateral view of two claws (12, 13 male 14, 15 female) 16, 17 eye arrangement, dorsal view (16 male 17 female) 18–21 Leg I–IV (male, right). Scale bars: 1 mm (9, 10, 16, 17); 0.2 mm (11–15); 2 mm (18–21).

Figures 22–25. 

Barylestis saaristoi Jäger, 2008. 22, 23 Male (22 dorsal 23 ventral) 24, 25 female (24 dorsal 25 ventral). Scale bar: 2 mm.

Female. For details see Jäger (2008).


China (Yunnan Province, new record) (Fig. 26), Thailand (Mae Hong Son Province), Myanmar (Karen, Kayin State).

Figure 26. 

Collection localities of Barylestis saaristoi in Yunnan Province, China.


We thank Mr Wancheng Li and Yiwu Zhu for providing the Sparassidae specimens. This study was financially supported by the National Natural Sciences Foundation of China (NSFC- 31572236/31272268/31772420) and a PhD grant from Hubei University Science and Technology (BK201811).


  • Jäger P (2008) Barylestis Simon, 1910 – first record in Asia with comments on its zoogeography (Araneae: Sparassidae: Heteropodinae). Arthropoda Selecta 17: 105–110.
  • Simon E (1910) Arachnides recueillis par L. Fea sur la côte occidentale d’Afrique. 2e partie. Annali del Museo Civico di Storia Naturale di Genova 44: 335–449.
  • World Spider Catalog (2018) World Spider Catalog. Version 19.5. Natural History Museum Bern. [Accessed on 17 September 2018]
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