Central African Pholcidae

Published in
European Journal of Taxonomy Vol 81, 2014

After revisions of the major Central African pholcid taxa (Pholcus, Smeringopina, Smeringopus), this paper describes a few further species and summarizes current knowledge about Central African pholcids. The area studied is the Lower Guinean subregion of the Guineo-Congolian rainforests. This includes all of Gabon, Equatorial Guinea, and São Tomé and Príncipe, most of Cameroon and Congo Republic, and parts of the neighboring countries.  The emphasis, however, is on Gabon and Cameroon, as a large part of the material studied herein was collected during expeditions to to these countries in 2009 and 2011 (see Cameroon; Gabon)

Distribution and diversity patterns are compared with data on West and East Africa. While West Africa contains a similar set of genera it is significantly less diverse than Central Africa. East Africa is taxonomically more distinct. It has similar levels of diversity as Central Africa, but appears to be less undersampled.


Biogeographically, the area considered is roughly limited by the Cross River Gap in the west and the Sangha River Gap in the east. The drawings show the male palps of a new Pholcus species from Gabon.