Research Article
Research Article
Description of a new Tegenaria Latreille, 1804 from southern Turkey with remarks on the Tegenaria ariadnae species-complex (Arachnida, Araneae)
expand article infoDragomir Dimitrov
‡ National Museum of Natural History, Sofia, Bulgaria
Open Access


A new cave-dwelling species of Tegenaria, T. lazarovi sp. nov., is described from southern Turkey, based on both sexes. The new species belongs to the T. ariadnae species-complex which is distributed in the Eastern Mediterranean (Crete, northern Libya). The new species is compared to its morphologically closest congeners. New taxonomically relevant pictures are given for two of them. The distribution of the Tegenaria ariadnae species-complex is summarized and discussed.


Cave fauna, endemic, funnel weaver spiders, new species, taxonomy


With 112 valid species (WSC 2020), Tegenaria Latreille, 1804 is one of the largest genera in the spider family Agelenidae. The genus is very species-rich in Turkey. Demir and Seyyar (2017) listed 31 species, Özkütük et al. (2017) and Topçu and Demircan (2018) added two more, increasing the number of known species from the country to 33. Many of these species are known by one sex only. Especially high is the number of species where only the female is known (12 spp.), while in just one species only the male is known. The remaining 20 species are known by both sexes. The species known only by females are described mostly from caves by Brignoli (1972b, 1977, 1978a, 1978b) and the absence of the male sex is a cause of certain difficulties in the taxonomy of the genus.

While processing unidentified material collected in 2006 by my colleagues Stoyan Lazarov and Pavel Stoev in Turkish caves, I discovered an unknown Tegenaria species captured in an unnamed cave situated between Anamur and Silifke, southern Turkey. The species is described below and its possible relationships, as well as the distribution of the T. ariadnae species-complex, are discussed.

Material and methods

The material was preserved in vials with 80% ethanol in the field. The specimens were examined and measured using a Wild M5A stereomicroscope; all measurements are in mm. Pictures were taken with a Canon EOS 1100D digital camera attached to a Carl Zeiss Amplival microscope. The drawings were executed on a Wacom tablet and using Adobe Illustrator graphic design software. The map was generated with the SimpleMappr API. Colour was described from specimens preserved in ethanol. The male palp and epigyne were dissected in order to be studied and illustrated. The epigyne was cleared in lactic acid. Leg measurements formula: total length (coxa + trochanter, femur, patella, tibia, metatarsus, tarsus). Tarsus length includes claws.

Abbreviations: Morphology. ALE – anterior lateral eyes, AME – anterior median eyes, C – conductor, CO – copulatory openings, DBTA – dorsal branch of the tibial apophysis, DPC – dorsal part of terminal end of the conductor, LBTA – lateral branch of the tibial apophysis, MA – median apophysis, MPE – median plate of epigyne, PLE – posterior lateral eyes, PME – posterior median eyes, R – receptacles, VPC – ventral part of terminal end of the conductor.

Institutions. MBCGMuseo Civico Scienze Naturali Enrico Caffi, Bergamo, Italy; MCSNMuseo Civico di Storia Naturale, Verona, Italy; NMNHSNational Museum of Natural History, Sofia, Bulgaria; SMFSenckenberg Research Institute, Frankfurt, Germany.


Family Agelenidae C. L. Koch, 1837

Genus Tegenaria Latreille, 1804

Tegenaria lazarovi sp. nov.

Figs 1–4, 5–6

Type material

♂ holotype, 2 ♀ paratypes, Turkey, Silifke distr., Karatepe village, unnamed cave on the left side of the road Anamur-Silifke, Akçalı Dağları Mts. 36; 36°10'55"N, 33°26'41"E, altitude 182 m, wet sand; 16.07.2006; P. Stoev and S. Lazarov leg. (NMNHS); 1 ♀ paratype, the same data as holotype (SMF).

Other material

3 ♀ juveniles, the same data as holotype (NMNHS).

Comparative material examined

Tegenaria vallei Brignoli, 1972. ♂ holotype, Libya, Cyrenaica, Lete Cave, Benghasi, 06.04.1966, Valle and Bianchi leg., 1 ♂ paratype, the same locality as holotype, 31.12.1967, Valle leg. (MBCG); 1 ♀ paratype, the same locality as holotype, 31.12.1967, Valle leg. (MCSN); Tegenaria pieperi Brignoli, 1979. ♀ holotype, Crete, Sitia, Agios Georgios, Megalo Katafigi Cave, 21.05.1977, H. Pieper leg. (MCSN).


The species is dedicated to my colleague, Bulgarian arachnologist Stoyan Lazarov who provided me with the type material. He was chosen over Pavel Stoev by tossing a coin.


The new species fits well in the genus Tegenaria as defined by Bolzern, Burckhardt and Hänggi (2013) according to its straight trochanters, the absence of dorsal spines on the patellae and the shape of the conductor. It appears closest to Tegenaria ariadnae Brignoli, 1984. The males can be separated by the following characters:(1) The DBTA of Tegenaria lazarovi sp. nov. is claw-shaped, with a sharp tip (Figs 2, 3, 9, 10), while in T. ariadnae it is more massive and with a blunt tip (Bolzern, Burckhardt and Hänggi 2013: 769, fig 14R); (2) A lighter, less sclerotized LBTA (Figs 1, 2, 8, 9), more sclerotized in T. ariadnae (Bolzern, Burckhardt and Hänggi 2013: 769, fig 14R, 16M); (3) A pointed, triangular VPC (Figs 1, 8), trapezoid in T. ariadnae (Bolzern, Burckhardt and Hänggi 2013:769, fig 14Q); the females of the two species can be separated by (4) the trapezoid epigynal median plate (MPE) with a broader distal part in Tegenaria lazarovi sp. nov. (Figs 5, 11), which in T. ariadnae is broader in the basal part (Bolzern, Burckhardt and Hänggi 2013:769, fig 14S); (5) The copulatory openings are perpendicular to the MPE and positioned to its distal part (Figs 5, 11) while in T. ariadnae they are horizontal, positioned much higher (Bolzern, Burckhardt and Hänggi 2013: 769, fig 14S); (6) The receptacles are larger, kidney-shaped (Figs 6, 12) while being smaller and more oval in T. ariadnae (Bolzern, Burckhardt and Hänggi 2013: 769, fig 14T, 16D).

Figures 1–4. 

Tegenaria lazarovi sp. nov. male holotype. Palp ventral (1), palp retrolateral (2), palp dorsal (3), habitus (4).

Figures 5–7. 

Tegenaria lazarovi sp. nov. female paratype. Epigyne ventral (5), vulva dorsal (6), habitus (7).


Male. Measurements. Total length (including spinnerets) 7.66; carapace length 3.23, width 2.50; chelicerae length 1.43; clypaeus height 0.22; eye diameters AME 0.075, ALE 0.090, PME 0.090, PLE 0.090; AE separated from each other by 0.020, ALE almost touching PLE, PME separated from each other by 0.14 and from PLE by 0.080; abdomen length 4.43 (including spinnerets), width 2.05; Leg measurements I 20.71 (1.65, 5.55, 1.13, 4.80, 4.80, 2.40), II 16.96 (1.50, 4.13, 1.25, 3.75, 4.15, 2.18), III 15.79 (1.45, 3.75, 1.13, 3.45, 3.90, 2.10); IV 22.55 (1.58, 4.88, 1.13, 4.60, 5.40, 2.48). Leg spination typical for the genus. Coloration (Fig. 4). Carapace light brown to yellow, darker in the anterior half, gradually lightening posteriorly. Chelicerae light brown. Legs I, II light brown, legs III, IV yellow. Sternum without pattern, yellow in the center, gradually darkening to light brown at the edges. Palpal femur light brown, other segments gradually lightening, yellowish. Abdomen white, without pattern. Other somatic characters. Chelicerae with 2–3 promarginal and 5 retromarginal teeth. All trochanters straight. Colulus is a single trapezoid plate, slightly notched in the middle of the distal part. Palp (Figs 1–3, 8–10). Femur length 1.80; patella length 0.60; tibia length 2.03; cymbium length 2.93. Tibia with short retrolateral apophysis with dorsal and lateral branches. Dorsal branch (DBTA) claw-shaped with sharp end. Lateral one (LBTA) rounded, less chitinized, whitish, surrounded by a light brown more sclerotized strip (Figs 2, 3, 9, 10). Cymbium long and narrow with a slight depression dorsally (Figs 2, 9). Embolus comparatively long and thin, originating at 9 o’clock and ending at 2 o’clock position. Conductor short and broad, distal portion rounded, both dorsal and ventral part of terminal end sharp. MA membranous, long and narrow, ending in a more chitinized plate, situated between the dorsal and ventral part of the conductor’s terminal end (Figs 1, 8).

Figures 8–12. 

Tegenaria lazarovi sp. nov. Male holotype (8–10). Palp ventral (8), palp retrolateral (9), palp dorsal (10). Female paratype (11, 12). Epigyne ventral (11), vulva dorsal (12) Scale bars: 1.0 mm.

Female. Measurements. Total length (including spinnerets) 8.30; carapace length 3.80, width 2.50; chelicerae length 0.88; clypaeus height 0.29; eye diameters and arrangement as in male; abdomen length 4.50 (including spinnerets) width 2.25; Leg measurements I 19.14 (1.58, 4.50, 1.13, 5.63, 4.50, 1.80), II 16.71 (1.58, 4.05, 1.13, 3.90, 3.90, 2.15), III 15.41 (1.50, 3.60, 1.13, 3.38, 3.90, 1.90); IV 22.81 (1.73, 4.80, 1.13, 4.65, 5.25, 2.25). Leg spination typical for the genus. Female palpal tibia with 2 dorsal and 2 prolateral spines. Coloration (Fig. 7). Carapace, chelicerae and sternum as in male. All legs yellow. Palpal femur, patella and tibia yellow, tarsus light brown. Abdomen whitish to light gray, darker than in male, without pattern. Median plate of epigyne light brown, framed laterally by dark brown spots. Other somatic characters. Chelicerae with 3 promarginal and 5 retromarginal teeth. All trochanters straight. Colulus is a single trapezoid plate, slightly notched in the middle of the distal part. Epigyne and vulva (Figs 5, 6, 11, 12). Width 0.98. Epigynal median plate trapezoid, with M-shaped base, broader in the distal part. Copulatory openings vertical, situated on both sides of the median plate (Figs 5, 11). Posterior sclerite absent. Receptacles large and oval (Figs 6, 12).

Figures 13–18. 

Tegenaria vallei Brignoli, 1972 (13–17) Male holotype (13–15) palp ventral (13) palp retrolateral (14) palp dorsal (15) Female paratype (16, 17) epigyne ventral (16) vulva dorsal (17) Tegenaria pieperi Brignoli, 1979 female holotype, epigyne ventral (18).


Known only from the type locality in southern Turkey.


Two Tegenaria species known from Crete, namely Tegenaria pieperi Brignoli, 1979 and Tegenaria schmalfussi Brignoli,1976 are also similar to T. ariadnae and T. lazarovi sp. nov. Tegenaria pieperi Brignoli, 1979 is known only by the female which differs from T. lazarovi sp. nov. by the rectangular MPE and the smaller and much higher positioned receptacles (Fig. 18). The male of T. schmalfussi differs from T. lazarovi sp. nov. by the lack of VPC and the smaller DBTA and LBTA (Bosmans et al. 2013, figs 50–52); the female can be distinguished by the smaller MPE and different shape of the receptacles (Bosmans et al. 2013, figs 53–54). I would include in this species complex also Tegenaria vallei Brignoli, 1972, known from a cave near Benghazi, Libya. Its male can be distinguished by having conductor with entirely missing VPC (Fig. 13) and different DBTA and LBTA (Figs 14, 15). The female differs by the oval MPE (Fig. 16) and the longer receptacles (Fig. 17). The T. ariadnae species-complex has a typical Eastern Mediterranean distribution with three species known from Crete, one from northern Libya and one from southern Turkey (Fig. 19). It is interesting that T. lazarovi sp. nov. appears more closely related to species inhabiting Crete and northern Libya than to any of the Tegenaria species known from the Turkish mainland. However, the current knowledge of the spider fauna of the easternmost Mediterranean (especially in north-eastern Africa) is insufficient to provide an explanation for this observation.

Figure 19. 

Distribution of the Tegenaria ariadnae species-complex.


I thank my colleagues Stoyan Lazarov and Pavel Stoev (NMNHS) for collecting the type material, Leonardo Latella (MCSN) and Paolo Pantint (MBCG) for sending me comparative material of T. vallei and T. pieperi, and Zdravko Kolev (NMNHS) for the linguistic improvements. Many thanks also to Angelo Bolzern (Naturhistorisches Museum, Basel, Switzerland) and another anonymous reviewer for reviewing the manuscript and suggesting some useful improvements.

This study was partially supported by the Bulgarian Ministry of Education and Science under the National Research Program “Young scientists and postdoctoral students” approved by DCM # 577/17.08.2018, and by the projects “Cybertaxonomic approach to phylogenetic studies of model invertebrate genera (Invertebrata, Arachnida, Insecta), clarifying the problems of origin, formation and conservation of the invertebrate fauna of the Balkan Peninsula” (National Science Fund, Ministry of Education, Youth and Science of the Republic of Bulgaria, Grant KP-06-H21/1-17.12.2018).


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