When Otto Kraus erected the genus Smeringopina in 1957, only eight adult specimens from five species were available to him, originating from Cameroon and Benin. In the meantime, the situation has changed dramatically. Recent focused collecting trips to Guinea, Ghana, Cameroon, and Gabon have provided over 1000 adult specimens of Smeringopina from numerous localities. This fresh material finally allows redescriptions of poorly known ‘old’ species, reasonable estimates of the actual species diversity, and phylogenetic analyses.
This paper gives redescriptions of all nine previously known species and descriptions of 35 new species. Smeringopina is largely restricted to the tropical forests of West and Central Africa. It includes both large species that build their domed sheet-webs in protected spaces near the ground, and small (probably derived) litter-dwelling species.