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Research Article
Notes on two closely related spider species of the Pholcus phungiformes species group (Araneae, Pholcidae) from Beijing, China
expand article infoXiang Wang, Shumaila Shaheen, Qiaoqiao He, Zhiyuan Yao§|
‡ Shenyang Normal University, Shenyang, China
§ Liaoning Key Laboratory of Evolution and Biodiversity, Shenyang, China
| Liaoning Key Laboratory for Biological Evolution and Agricultural Ecology, Shenyang, China
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Abstract

The Pholcus phungiformes species group is highly diverse and currently contains 53 species. In this study, Pholcus tongyaoi Wang & Yao, sp. nov. (male, female) from Huairou District, Beijing, China is described while similar congener Pholcus lexuancanhi Yao, Pham & Li, 2012 from neighboring Haidian District (type locality) is redescribed; the female of P. lexuancanhi is described for the first time. In addition, the DNA barcode COI for the two species was obtained to estimate p-distance.

Keywords

daddy-long-leg spider, DNA barcode, morphology, Pholcinae, taxonomy

Introduction

The spider family Pholcidae C.L. Koch, 1850 contains 94 genera and 1768 species (World Spider Catalog 2020). It is among the most species-rich families and has a worldwide distribution (World Spider Catalog 2020). It is composed of five subfamilies: Ninetinae Simon, 1890, Arteminae Simon, 1893, Modisiminae Simon, 1893, Smeringopinae Simon, 1893, and Pholcinae C.L. Koch, 1850 based on recent morphological and molecular phylogenetic analyses (Huber 2011a; Dimitrov et al. 2013; Eberle et al. 2018). Pholcid spiders occupy a wide range of habitats in a variety of ecosystems, e.g., in buildings, under rocks, in crevices, in caves, in leaf litter, and in webs between trunks and twigs of trees (Huber 2005; Yao and Li 2012). Pholcus Walckenaer, 1805 is the most diverse genus in Pholcinae and Pholcidae, with 338 described species mainly distributed in the Palaearctic, Indo-Malayan, Afrotropical, and Australasian Region (Huber 2011b; Yao and Li 2012; World Spider Catalog 2020). These species belong to 21 species groups, of which the Pholcus phungiformes species group is highly diverse, including 53 known species definitively assigned to this species group (Huber 2011b; Peng and Zhang 2013; Kim and Ye 2015; Zhang et al. 2016; Huber et al. 2018; Zhu et al. 2018). The P. phungiformes species group is largely restricted to northeastern China and the Korean Peninsula; only P. phungiformes Oliger, 1983 occurs in Maritime Territory, Sakhalin Island, and Kurile Islands, Russia, probably as a result of human transport (Huber 2011b; World Spider Catalog 2020). This species group can often be found in caves, at cave entrances or on rock walls (Figs 1, 2), and diagnosed by the following characters: eight eyes, carapace with radiating marks, cylindrical opisthosoma, male chelicerae usually with frontal apophyses, male pedipalpal tibia with prolatero-ventral projection, procursus usually with dorsal spines, appendix absent, sometimes with ‘pseudo-appendix’, external female genitalia sclerotized, with knob (Huber 2011b; Zhu et al. 2018).

In this study, we describe one new species based on males and females from Huairou District, Beijing, China assigned to the P. phungiformes species group and redescribe its similar species Pholcus lexuancanhi Yao, Pham & Li, 2012 from a neighboring locality. The female of P. lexuancanhi is reported for the first time and the DNA barcode COI for the two species was obtained to estimate p-distance.

Figure 1. 

Distribution records of two Pholcus species 1 P. tongyaoi sp. nov. 2 P. lexuancanhi Yao, Pham & Li, 2012.

Figure 2. 

Pholcus tongyaoi sp. nov., live specimens and habitat A, B adult and juvenile males in old house C, D adult male and female with egg-sac on rock walls E, F habitat. Photographs by T Jiang (IZCAS).

Materials and methods

Specimens were examined and measured with a Leica M205 C stereomicroscope. Left male pedipalps were illustrated. External female genitalia were photographed before dissection. Vulvae were previously treated in a 10% warm solution of potassium hydroxide (KOH) to dissolve soft tissues before illustration. Images were captured with a Canon EOS 750D wide zoom digital camera (24.2 megapixels) mounted on the stereomicroscope mentioned above, and assembled using Helicon Focus 3.10.3 image stacking software (Khmelik et al. 2005). All measurements are given in millimeters (mm). Leg measurements are shown as: total length (femur + patella + tibia + metatarsus + tarsus), missing data were coded as ‘–’. Leg podomeres were measured on their dorsal side. The distribution map was generated with Google Earth Pro 7.3.2 (Google Limited Liability Company). The specimens studied are preserved in 75% ethanol and deposited in the College of Life Science, Shenyang Normal University (SYNU) in Liaoning, China and the Institute of Zoology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (IZCAS) in Beijing, China.

Terminology and taxonomic descriptions follow Huber (2011b) and Yao et al. (2015). The following abbreviations are used in the descriptions:

ALE anterior lateral eye,

AME anterior median eye,

PME posterior median eye,

L/d length/diameter.

DNA barcode was obtained for estimation of p-distance between P. tongyaoi sp. nov. and P. lexuancanhi. A partial fragment of the mitochondrial cytochrome oxidase subunit I (COI) gene was amplified and sequenced, using the following primers: forward: LCO1490-oono (5’-CWACAAAYCATARRGATATTGG-3’) and reverse: C1-N-2776 (5’-GGATAATCAGAATANCGNCGAGG-3’). DNA sample is preserved in TE buffer and stored at -20 °C. The sequences are deposited in GenBank. COI p-distance is computed with MEGA 5 (Tamura et al. 2011). For additional information on extraction, amplification, and sequencing procedures, see Yao et al. (2016).

Taxonomic accounts

Family Pholcidae C.L. Koch, 1850

Subfamily Pholcinae C.L. Koch, 1850

Pholcus Walckenaer, 1805

Type species

Aranea phalangioides Fuesslin, 1775.

Pholcus phungiformes species group

Diagnosis and description

See Huber (2011b).

Remarks

The ‘appendix’ in the original figures of four species apparently arises from the uncus: P. papilionis Peng & Zhang, 2011, P. chiakensis Seo, 2014, P. gajiensis Seo, 2014, and P. palgongensis Seo, 2014. We consider this a divided ‘pseudo-appendix’ and assign them to the P. phungiformes species group. Moreover, although the species P. xianrendong Liu & Tong, 2015 does not possess a prolatero-ventral projection on the male pedipalpal tibia, the bulb without appendix, the locality of this species is within the range of the P. phungiformes species group. Therefore, we tentatively assigned P. xianrendong to this species group. In total, this species group now contains 59 species. Of these, one species is newly described below.

Pholcus tongyaoi Wang & Yao, sp. nov.

Figs 3, 4

Type material

Holotype : male (SYNU-Ar00016), Pool and Valley Natural Park (40°32.600'N, 116°40.687'E, elevation 574 m), Huairou District, Beijing, China, 26 April 2019, T Jiang leg. Paratypes: 2 males (SYNU-Ar00017, Ar00018, GenBank number in SYNU-Ar00017: MT843113), same data as holotype; 2 females (SYNU-Ar00019, Ar00020), same data as holotype but 23 April 2019.

Etymology

The specific name is a patronym in honor of the collector Tongyao Jiang (IZCAS) and is a noun (name) in genitive case.

Diagnosis

The species resembles P. lexuancanhi Yao, Pham & Li, 2012 (Figs 5, 6; Yao et al. 2012: 313, figs 1–15) with similar bulbal apophyses (Fig. 4C) and external female genitalia (Fig. 4A), but can be easily distinguished by procursus with large, semicircular, ventral membranous process (arrowed in Fig. 3A; prolateral membranous lamella in P. lexuancanhi, arrowed 1 in Fig. 5C), small, prolateral membranous lamella provided with sawtooth (arrowed 1 in Fig. 3C; large, dorsal membranous lamella in P. lexuancanhi, arrowed 2 in Fig. 5C), and small, angular ventral sclerite provided with curved tip (arrowed in Fig. 3B; large ventral sclerite and its tip not curved in P. lexuancanhi, arrowed in Fig. 5B), by male chelicerae with pair of frontal apophyses (arrowed fa in Fig. 4D; absent in P. lexuancanhi, Fig. 6D), and by vulva with n-shaped anterior arch without median sclerite (Fig. 4B; slightly curved anterior arch with median sclerite in P. lexuancanhi, arrowed in Fig. 6B) and elliptic pore plates (Fig. 4B; oval in P. lexuancanhi, Fig. 6B). This species can also be distinguished from P. lexuancanhi by COI p-distance 0.106 between them.

Figure 3. 

Pholcus tongyaoi sp. nov., holotype (A, B, D) and paratype (C) males A, B pedipalp (A prolateral view, arrow indicates ventral membranous process B retrolateral view, arrow indicates ventral sclerite) C, D distal part of procursus (C prolateral view, arrow 1 indicates prolateral membranous lamella, arrow 2 indicates spine-shaped prolateral apophysis, arrow 3 indicates ventral membranous process D dorsal view, arrow indicates dorsal spine). Abbreviations: b = bulb, e = embolus, pr = procursus, u = uncus. Scale bars: 0.20 (A, B), 0.10 (C, D).

Description

Male (holotype, SYNU-Ar00016): Total length 4.75 (4.93 with clypeus), carapace 1.56 long, 1.75 wide, opisthosoma 3.19 long, 1.34 wide. Leg I: – (11.62 + 0.75 + – + – + –), leg II: 30.89 (8.50 + 0.55 + 7.84 + 12.75 + 1.25), leg III: 20.62 (6.40 + 0.60 + 5.12 + 7.60 + 0.90), leg IV: 28.58 (8.40 + 0.62 + 7.12 + 11.12 + 1.32). Distance PME-PME 0.20, diameter PME 0.12, distance PME-ALE 0.05, distance AME-AME 0.02, diameter AME 0.08. Sternum wider than long (1.04/0.96). Habitus as in Fig. 4E, F. Carapace yellowish, with brown radiating marks and marginal brown bands; ocular area yellowish, with median and lateral brown bands; clypeus yellowish; sternum yellowish, with marginal brown marks. Legs yellowish, but dark brown on patellae and whitish on distal parts of femora and tibiae, with darker rings on subdistal parts of femora and proximal and subdistal parts of tibiae. Opisthosoma yellowish, with dorsal and lateral spots. Ocular area elevated, without eye stalks. Thoracic furrow absent. Chelicerae (Fig. 4D) with pair of proximo-lateral apophyses, pair of distal apophyses provided with two teeth each, and pair of frontal apophyses. Pedipalps as in Fig. 3A, B; trochanter with long, retrolaterally strongly bulged ventral apophysis; femur with indistinct ventral protuberance; tibia with prolatero-ventral projection; procursus simple proximally but complex distally, with large, semicircular, ventral membranous process (arrowed in Fig. 3A), small, prolateral membranous lamella with sawtooth (arrowed 1 in Fig. 3C), small, angular ventral sclerite with curved tip (arrowed in Fig. 3B), spine-shaped prolateral apophysis (arrowed 2 in Fig. 3C), and dorsal spine (arrowed in Fig. 3D); bulb with short curved ‘pseudo-appendix’ (arrowed in Fig. 4C); uncus with scaly edge (Fig. 4C); embolus weakly sclerotized, with some transparent distal projections (Fig. 4C). Legs with short vertical setae on tibiae, metatarsi, and tarsi, without spines or curved setae.

Female (paratype, SYNU-Ar00019): Similar to male, habitus as in Fig. 4G, H. Total length 5.31 (5.56 with clypeus), carapace 1.43 long, 1.14 wide, opisthosoma 3.88 long, 2.43 wide; tibia I: 5.90; tibia I L/d: 54. Distance PME-PME 0.18, diameter PME 0.12, distance PME-ALE 0.04, distance AME-AME 0.03, diameter AME 0.08. Sternum wider than long (1.07/0.83). Clypeus brown. External female genitalia (Fig. 4A) curved posteriorly, with short knob. Vulva (Fig. 4B) with sclerotized, n-shaped anterior arch and pair of elliptic pore plates. Retrolateral trichobothrium of tibia I at 4% proximally; tarsus I with 22 distinct pseudosegments.

Figure 4. 

Pholcus tongyaoi sp. nov., holotype male (C–F) and paratype female (A, B, G, H) A external female genitalia, ventral view B vulva, dorsal view C bulbal apophyses, prolateral view, arrow indicates ‘pseudo-appendix’ D chelicerae, frontal view E–H habitus (E, G dorsal view F lateral view H ventral view). Abbreviations: da = distal apophysis, e = embolus, fa = frontal apophysis, pa = proximo-lateral apophysis, pp = pore plate, u = uncus. Scale bars: 0.20 (A–D), 1.00 (E–H).

Variations

Ventral membranous process on procursus nearly crescent-shaped (arrowed 3 in Fig. 3C) in one paratype male (SYNU-Ar00017). Leg I missing in two paratype males (SYNU-Ar00017, Ar00018), total length 5.36 (5.52 with clypeus) in SYNU-Ar00017, total length 4.50 (4.60 with clypeus) in SYNU-Ar00018. Tibia I in another paratype female (SYNU-Ar00020): 5.75.

Distribution

China (Beijing, type locality; Fig. 1).

Natural history

The species was found in an old house and on rock walls.

Pholcus lexuancanhi Yao, Pham & Li, 2012

Figs 5, 6

Pholcus lexuancanhi Yao et al. 2012: 313, figs 1–15. Yao et al. 2015: 15.

Material examined

2 males (IZCAS-Ar40901, Ar40902, GenBank number in IZCAS-Ar40901: MT843112) and 2 females (IZCAS-Ar40903, Ar40904), Beijing Botanical Garden (40°00'N, 116°12'E; type locality), Haidian District, Beijing, China, 30 July 2017, Z Yao leg.

Diagnosis

See diagnosis for P. tongyaoi sp. nov.

Redescription

Male (IZCAS-Ar40901): Total length 5.13 (5.38 with clypeus), carapace 1.41 long, 1.75 wide, opisthosoma 3.72 long, 1.44 wide. Leg I: 47.97 (14.47 + 0.80 + 11.41 + 18.53 + 2.76), leg II: 30.06 (8.46 + 0.78 + 7.24 + 11.79 + 1.79), leg III: 21.37 (6.35 + 0.59 + 5.13 + 8.08 + 1.22), leg IV: 28.03 (8.33 + 0.78 + 7.05 + 10.51 + 1.36); tibia I L/d: 76. Distance PME-PME 0.25, diameter PME 0.10, distance PME-ALE 0.05, distance AME-AME 0.05, diameter AME 0.10. Sternum wider than long (1.05/0.88). Habitus as in Fig. 6E, F. Carapace yellowish, with brown radiating marks and marginal brown bands; ocular area yellowish, with median and lateral brown bands; clypeus yellowish; sternum brown. Legs yellowish, but dark brown on patellae and whitish on distal parts of femora and tibiae, with darker rings on subdistal parts of femora and proximal and subdistal parts of tibiae. Opisthosoma yellowish, with dorsal and lateral spots. Ocular area elevated, without eye stalks. Thoracic furrow absent. Chelicerae (Fig. 6D) with pair of proximo-lateral apophyses and pair of distal apophyses provided with two teeth each. Pedipalps as in Fig. 5A, B; trochanter with long, retrolaterally strongly bulged ventral apophysis; femur with indistinct ventral protuberance; tibia with prolatero-ventral projection; procursus simple proximally but complex distally, with large, prolateral membranous lamella (arrowed 1 in Fig. 5C), large, dorsal membranous lamella with sawtooth (arrowed 2 in Fig. 5C), large, angular ventral sclerite (arrowed in Fig. 5B), spine-shaped prolateral apophysis (arrowed 3 in Fig. 5C), and dorsal spine (arrowed in Fig. 5D); bulb with short curved ‘pseudo-appendix’ (arrowed in Fig. 6C); uncus with scaly edge (Fig. 6C); embolus weakly sclerotized, with some transparent distal projections (Fig. 6C). Retrolateral trichobothrium of tibia I at 5% proximally; legs with short vertical setae on tibiae, metatarsi, and tarsi, without spines or curved setae; tarsus I with 33 distinct pseudosegments.

Figure 5. 

Pholcus lexuancanhi Yao, Pham & Li, 2012, male A, B pedipalp (A prolateral view B retrolateral view, arrow indicates ventral sclerite) C, D distal part of procursus (C prolateral view, arrows 1 and 2 indicate prolateral and dorsal membranous lamella, respectively, arrow 3 indicates spine-shaped prolateral apophysis D dorsal view, arrow indicates dorsal spine). Abbreviations: b = bulb, e = embolus, pr = procursus, u = uncus. Scale bars: 0.20 (A, B), 0.05 (C, D).

Female (IZCAS-Ar40903): Similar to male, habitus as in Fig. 6G, H. Total length 5.19 (5.38 with clypeus), carapace 1.36 long, 1.66 wide, opisthosoma 3.83 long, 1.68 wide; tibia I: 8.50; tibia I L/d: 54. Distance PME-PME 0.20, diameter PME 0.10, distance PME-ALE 0.05, distance AME-AME 0.05, diameter AME 0.08. Sternum wider than long (1.08/0.92). Clypeus brown. External female genitalia (Fig. 6A) curved posteriorly, with short knob. Vulva (Fig. 6B) with slightly curved, sclerotized anterior arch provided with median sclerite (arrowed in Fig. 6B) and pair of oval pore plates.

Figure 6. 

Pholcus lexuancanhi Yao, Pham & Li, 2012, male (C–F) and female (A, B, G, H) A external female genitalia, ventral view B vulva, dorsal view, arrow indicates median sclerite of anterior arch C bulbal apophyses, prolateral view, arrow indicates ‘pseudo-appendix’ D chelicerae, frontal view E–H habitus (E, G dorsal view F lateral view H ventral view). Abbreviations: da = distal apophysis, e = embolus, pa = proximo-lateral apophysis, pp = pore plate, u = uncus. Scale bars: 0.20 (A–D), 1.00 (E–H).

Variations

Tibia I in another male (IZCAS-Ar40902): 11.54. Tibia I in another female (IZCAS-Ar40904): 9.12.

Distribution

China (Beijing, type locality; Fig. 1).

Natural history

The species was found on rock walls.

Discussion

The P. phungiformes species group is highly diverse and currently contains 59 species including one new species in this study. These species are mainly distributed in three large mountain ranges (see the checklist below): the Mountain Taihang from southern North China (22 spp.), the Mountain Changbai (also called Mountain Paekdu in North Korea) from the border between northeastern China and North Korea (15 spp., of which P. phungiformes also occurs further east), and the Mountain Taebaek from Korean Peninsula (22 spp.) (Huber 2011b; Peng and Zhang 2011; Yao and Li 2012; Yao et al. 2012; Peng and Zhang 2013; Seo 2014; Kim and Ye 2015; Liu and Tong 2015; Zhang et al. 2016; Zhu et al. 2018). Nevertheless, the survey of the P. phungiformes species group is uneven. The highest diversity (43 spp.) concentrates in the Mountain Taihang and the southern Mountain Taebaek (South Korea). In contrast, only 15 species from the Mountain Changbai and one species from the northern Mountain Taebaek (North Korea) are recorded. Based on the high diversity of this species group from the southern Mountain Taebaek and the Mountain Taihang, as well as the similar landforms and habitats in neighboring northern Mountain Taebaek and Mountain Changbai, we strongly believe that additional species diversity likely remains undiscovered in the neighboring areas (e.g., Li 2020). Further survey in these areas is needed to fully understand the diversity that exists within this group.

A checklist of the P. phungiformes species group from three large mountain ranges is provided (for the complete list of references, see World Spider Catalog 2020):

The Mountain Taihang:

1. Pholcus alloctospilus Zhu & Gong, 1991

2. Pholcus auricularis Zhang, Zhang & Liu, 2016

3. Pholcus babao Tong & Li, 2010

4. Pholcus beijingensis Zhu & Song, 1999

5. Pholcus brevis Yao & Li, 2012

6. Pholcus chicheng Tong & Li, 2010

7. Pholcus clavimaculatus Zhu & Song, 1999

8. Pholcus curvus Zhang, Zhang & Liu, 2016

9. Pholcus datan Tong & Li, 2010

10. Pholcus exilis Tong & Li, 2010

11. Pholcus jinniu Tong & Li, 2010

12. Pholcus lexuancanhi Yao, Pham & Li, 2012

13. Pholcus luya Peng & Zhang, 2013

14. Pholcus papilionis Peng & Zhang, 2011

15. Pholcus papillatus Zhang, Zhang & Liu, 2016

16. Pholcus pennatus Zhang, Zhu & Song, 2005

17. Pholcus suizhongicus Zhu & Song, 1999

18. Pholcus tongyaoi sp. nov.

19. Pholcus triangulatus Zhang & Zhang, 2000

20. Pholcus wangxidong Zhang & Zhu, 2009

21. Pholcus wuling Tong & Li, 2010

22. Pholcus zhuolu Zhang & Zhu, 2009

The Mountain Changbai:

1. Pholcus decorus Yao & Li, 2012

2. Pholcus fengcheng Zhang & Zhu, 2009

3. Pholcus foliaceus Peng & Zhang, 2013

4. Pholcus gaoi Song & Ren, 1994

5. Pholcus hamatus Tong & Ji, 2010

6. Pholcus jiuwei Tong & Ji, 2010

7. Pholcus lingulatus Gao, Gao & Zhu, 2002

8. Pholcus ningan Yao & Li, 2018

9. Pholcus phoenixus Zhang & Zhu, 2009

10. Pholcus phungiformes Oliger, 1983

11. Pholcus sublingulatus Zhang & Zhu, 2009

12. Pholcus tongi Yao & Li, 2012

13. Pholcus wangi Yao & Li, 2012

14. Pholcus wangtian Tong & Ji, 2010

15. Pholcus xianrendong Liu & Tong, 2015

The Mountain Taebaek:

1. Pholcus acutulus Paik, 1978

2. Pholcus cheongogensis Kim & Ye, 2015

3. Pholcus chiakensis Seo, 2014

4. Pholcus crassus Paik, 1978

5. Pholcus extumidus Paik, 1978

6. Pholcus gajiensis Seo, 2014

7. Pholcus gosuensis Kim & Lee, 2004

8. Pholcus joreongensis Seo, 2004

9. Pholcus juwangensis Seo, 2014

10. Pholcus kwanaksanensis Namkung & Kim, 1990

11. Pholcus kwangkyosanensis Kim & Park, 2009

12. Pholcus montanus Paik, 1978

13. Pholcus nodong Huber, 2011

14. Pholcus okgye Huber, 2011

15. Pholcus palgongensis Seo, 2014

16. Pholcus parkyeonensis Kim & Yoo, 2009

17. Pholcus pojeonensis Kim & Yoo, 2008

18. Pholcus simbok Huber, 2011

19. Pholcus socheunensis Paik, 1978

20. Pholcus sokkrisanensis Paik, 1978

21. Pholcus woongil Huber, 2011

22. Pholcus yeongwol Huber, 2011

Acknowledgements

The manuscript benefited greatly from comments by Gergin Blagoev, Marc Milne, and John TD Caleb. We are grateful to Tongyao Jiang for providing the ecological photographs and specimens. Abid Ali kindly checked the English. This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (NSFC-31872193) and the Liaoning Revitalization Talents Program (XLYC1907150). Part of the laboratory work was supported by the Research Fund for the Doctoral Program of Shenyang Normal University (BS201841) and the Shenyang Youth Science and Technology Project (RC200183).

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