|When I collected
the two species below in northern Borneo
in 2014, I thought I was dealing with litter-dwelling
representatives of the genus Aetana. In addition to the
general similarity, also their geographic origin pointed
towards this genus (ranging from Borneo and the Philippines to Fiji)
than to other similar genera on the Southeast Asian mainland and
Sumatra (Savarna; Khorata).
Photos: B.A. Huber
However, closer examination and cladistic analyses revealed that these two species were not only different from Aetana in many details but in fact closer to Khorata and Savarna (Huber, Nuñeza, Leh Moi Ung 2015). At the same time, the two species do not share any of the distinctive characters of Khorata and Savarna. As a consequence, I proposed them as a new genus, named for the Hantu Rimba, deep-forest ghosts in traditional Malaysian mythology.
Males of one species (Hantu kapit) have curiously modified 'heads', with two pairs of long horns arising from the eye triads (photos below). Unfortunately, we know nothing about the function of these horns and of many similar sexual modifications of male pholcid 'heads'.
(c) B.A. Huber