largely restricted to warm climates. Their highest diversity is
strongly concentrated in the tropics and subtropics. However, some
species are surprisingly cold-tolerant and occur far from the equator
above sea level. Recently, we documented a highest record from the
Andes in Argentina. The lowest records are from near the Dead Sea in
Until recently, the highest record worldwide had been held by an unidentified species (presumably genus Chibchea) collected by Andrés Taucare-Ríos in Northern Chile at 4150 m above sea level. Below are photos he took showing the magnificent landscape as well as the exact locality where the spiders were found.
The new highest record (March 2019) is again from the Andes, in Argentina near Paso de San Francisco, at 4454 m a.s.l. Among the few spiders we found there, a new species of Nerudia was the most abundant one, and our impression was that we had not yet reached the upper limit of this species.
In November 2010 I walked up Ruwenzori Mountain in Uganda up to about 4000 m in an effort to see up to which altitude I could find pholcids. Below are photos of the otherworldly vegetation at about 3500 m and of the exact spot where the highest specimen (of Smeringopus bujongolo) was found at 3780 m above sea level.
In September 2013 I visited Israel and Jordan, including the lowest dry point on earth, the shore of the Dead Sea. In caves and canyons on both sides there are two pholcid species, one of them common and easy to find (Holocnemus pluchei), the other also common but much more difficult to collect (Artema nephilit). Below is one of the caves we visited in Israel (Arubatayim Cave, at about 370 m below sea level), and the magnificent Mujib Canyon in Jordan, with its lowest part at about 380 m below sea level.