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The spiny theridiid genus Meotipa Simon, 1895 in India, with description of a strange new species with translucent abdomen and a phylogenetic analysis about the genus placement (Araneae, Theridiidae)



A characteristic new species Meotipa sahyadri n. sp. with tall and white translucent abdomen in females is described in detail based on morphology of both sexes, based on specimens collected from the Western Ghats of Maharashtra, Gujarat and Goa. The new species has epigynal projection which is known only in Meotipa picturata Simon, 1895, but differs in shape (trifid vs. quadrangular respectively). Males have longest straight embolus exceeding conductor length. Observations of its natural history are provided. Meotipa picturata is newly recorded from Goa, which extends its north-westward distribution from the previously known records from ‘Kodei Kanal’, India (type locality), Ratchasima Province, Thailand and East Kalimantan, Indonesia. A new combination Meotipa andamanensis (Tikader, 1977) n. comb. (=Argyrodes andamanensis) is proposed based on the comparison of description and illustrations provided in the original paper to that of the characters of the type species M.picturata. 242 morphological characters studied in the previous literature and one additional character ‘epigynal projection’ were scored for Meotipa sahyadri n. sp. and Meotipa picturata. These species were obtained monophyletic, placed within Theridiinae as sister to Chrysso cf. nigriceps using parsimony analysis and Bayesian inference.



Araneae, Taxonomy, Comb-footed Spiders, Morphology, Phylogeny, Asian Tropics, Western Ghats

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ISSN 1175-5326 (Print Edition) & ISSN 1175-5334 (Online Edition)
Published by Magnolia Press, Auckland, New Zealand
A founding journal of Biotaxa