pholcid species are currently recorded from Morocco but from unublished
I knew that the country harbors a rich endemic fauna. Several
have sent me specimens over the years, but it was never clear to me
whether they should be classified as Holocnemus
or as Crossopriza. Without
molecular data the generic assignment seemed ambiguous, and no fresh
material for sequencing was available.
In September 2018 I finally visited Morocco myself, and drove over 4000 km to visit most of the localities where pholcids had previously been found plus several 'new' localities. I was fascinated by the rich diversity of landscapes, the vibrant and colorful culture, the delicious food, and the frieldy and open-minded people. But of course my focus was on pholcid spiders, and these proved to be almost everywhere.
|At first sight,
Morocco is full of just one species of ubiquitous pholcid spider,
namely Holocnemus caudatus.
This species thrives in a variety of conditions, often in high
abundance and with the web easily seen from the distance. The more
interesting species are much more cryptic, mainly hidden under large
rocks, in caves, and in rock shelters. Below are some of the
undescribed species I found, in the genera Artema (1), Crossopriza/Holocnemus (2-3), Micropholcus (4-5), and Pholcus (6).