Pholcidae in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest
(c) B.A. Huber, October 2015
in cooperation with L. Souza Carvalho, A. Pérez González, C. Rheims, J. Ricetti, and M. Alves Dias

The Atlantic Forest along the eastern Brazilian coast is considered one of the "hottest hotspots" on earth. Only about 12% of the original Atlantic Forest remain, but the highly fragmented remnants still combine extreme levels of species diversity and endemism. Seven expeditions between 2003 and 2015 have been dedicated to explore pholcid spider diversity in these forests, and nine of the 48 localities visited
(see map below) are among the few localities worldwide with more than 10 species per locality.
A complete list of species and specimens per locality is available here
For diagnostic photos of most species (work in progress), click here

Atlantic Forest remnants (green) and original extension (yellow) (map from, the 48 localities visited, and number of species found at each locality

But not only the diversity is extraordinary, also endemism (or species-turnover among localities) is extremly high: of the 132 species collected, 76 were found at only one locality, 112 (85%!) at only one to three localities (see graphic below). This suggests that the entire Atlantic Forest (ranging about 3000 km from Rio Grande do Norte to Rio Grande do Sul), may contain several hundred species of Pholcidae, many of which are probably endangered (or already extinct).