Southeast Asian leaf-dwellers: revision of Calapnita
(published in Zootaxa, vol. 4219, 2017)

Calapnita spiders are common and ubiquitous leaf-dwellers in Southeast Asian forests, yet due to their cryptic coloration and lifestyle they are relatively poorly representated in collections. No fresh specimens were available for previous molecular phylogenies of Pholcidae (Bruvo-Mađarić et al. 2005; Dimitrov et al. 2013), and morphological data had only provided some very rough ideas about the phylogenetic placement of the genus (Huber 2011).

Male Calapnita from Loksado, South Kalimantan (photo BAH).

The latest revision of the genus (Huber 2011) counted seven species, yet it was fairly obvious that some species would have to be split, pending further collecting and study. For example, specimens previously assigned to the type species C. vermiformis are here considered to represent seven species.

The present revision is thus primarily a reevaluation of the species diversity of Calapnita, based on a much larger sample than previously available (almost 1300 adult specimens, most of which were collected during recent expeditions). It provides a more accurate picture of the alpha diversity and distribution of the genus, gives further data about the natural history of several species, presents an updated morphological phylogeny of the genus, and provides formal names for the upcoming next version of the molecular phylogeny of Pholcidae.

Known distribution of Calapnita.