Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society (2003) 139: 477-527.

Southern African pholcid spiders: revision and cladistic analysis of Quamtana gen. nov. and Spermophora Hentz (Araneae: Pholcidae), with notes on male-female covariation

Bernhard A. Huber


The southern African pholcid spiders previously assigned to Pholcus and Spermophora are revised and their phylogenetic position within Pholcidae is analyzed cladistically. Two distinct groups are recognized: one restricted to the Cape region and probably correctly placed in Spermophora; including Spermophora peninsulae Lawrence and four new species. The second group is more widely distributed in southern and eastern South Africa, and reaches as far north as Cameroon, Congo D. R. and Uganda; this group is assigned generic status (Quamtana n. gen.), and includes two species transferred from Pholcus [Q. leptopholcica (Strand), Q. ciliata (Lawrence)] as well as 23 new species. A key to the pholcid spiders of South Africa is presented. A tight correlation between a male character (distance between cheliceral apophyses) and a female character (distance between pockets on epigynum) is documented in Quamtana.

Additional key words: biodiversity, Pholcus, South Africa