oa Annals of the Natal Museum - A revision of the African huntsman spider genus Palystes L. Koch, 1875 (Araneae: Heteropodidae) (Part 2: pp. 90-122)

Volume 37, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 0304-0798



Palystes L. Koch, 1875, type genus of Palystinae (Heteropodidae), is revised and a cladogram proposed for the 15 species recognised, including 6 new species. A key to the species is provided. Palystes occurs in eastern and southern Africa. Patterns of biogeography and relationships in a redefined Palystinae, compared with sequences of hypothesised vicariance events during the evolution of the African landscape, suggest a southern African, minimum late Miocene-Pliocene origin for the genus. Three species groups, defined by markings and forms of male and female genitalia, are recognised: castaneus group (western Cape Province of South Africa - 3 species), lunafus group (eastern and interior western Cape Province of South Africa, Lesotho and Transkei - 6 species); superciliosus group (eastern and southern Africa - 6 species). Seventeen nominal species previously attributed to Palystes, including 11 from the Indo-Australasian region, are transferred to other genera, including a new genus, Parapalystes, which is also descriptionbed. These genera are discussed; annotated lists are provided for the African genera and for a resurrected Oceanian genus, Gnathopalystes Rainbow, 1899. Definitions of the family Heteropodidae and three subfamilies (Palystinae, Heteropodinae and Staianinae) affected by the revision, are reviewed. New genus: Parapalystes (type species: Parapalystes euphorbiae sp. n. from the north-western Cape, South Africa). Resurrected genus: Gnathopalystes Rainbow, 1899 (type species: Gnathopalystes ferox Rainbow, 1899, from Santa Cruz, Oceania), previously synonymised under Palystes. Valid, named Palystes species: P. castaneus (Latreille, 1819); P. superciliosus L. Koch, 1875; P. hoehneli Simon, 1890; P. lunatus Pocock, 1896; P. johnstoni Pocock, 1896; P. ellioti Pocock, 1896; P. perornatus Pocock, 1900; P. leppanae Pocock, 1902; P. crawshayi Pocock, 1902. New species: Palystes stilleri, P. martinfilmeri, P. karooensis, P. stuarti, P. ansiedippenaarae, P. leroyorum and Parapalystes euphorbiae, all from South Africa. New synonyms: Palystes chaperi Simon, 1880 = P. castaneus (Latreille, 1819); P. natalius (Karsch, 1878), P. spenceri Pocock, 1896, P. modificus Strand, 1906, and P. superciliosus var. fasciiventris Strand, 1907 = P. superciliosus L. Koch, 1875; P. kibonotensis Lessert, 1921, and P. bornemiszai Caporiacco, 1947 = P. hoehneli Simon, 1897; P. amanicus Strand, 1907 and P. affinis Lessert, 1921 = P. ellioti Pocock, 1896; Palystes incanus Thorell, 1890 = Gnathopalystes kochi (Simon, 1880). New combinations: Palystes speciosus Pocock, 1898, P. dasyurinus Hogg, 1914 and P. ledleyi Hogg, 1922, transferred to Heteropoda Latreille, 1804; Palystes pilipodus Strand, 1913, transferred to Anchonastus Simon, 1898; Palystes scutatus Pocock, 1902, transferred to Panaretella Lawrence, 1937; Palystes ignicomus L. Koch, 1875, P. crucifer Simon, 1880, P. kochi Simon, 1880, P. rutilans Simon, 1899, P. nigriventer Kulczynski, 1910 and P. nigrocornutus Merian, 1911, transferred to Gnathopalystes Rainbow, 1899; Palystes cultrifer Pocock, 1900, P. lycosinus Pocock, 1900, P. whiteae Pocock, 1902, and Remmius megacephalus (C. Koch, 1845), transferred to Parapalystes gen. n. Neotype designations: The holotype of Thomisus castaneus Latreille, 1819, is designated the neotype for Palystes frenatus L. Koch, 1875, making them objective synonyms; an adult female from the type locality (Maseru, Lesotho) is designated as neotype for Palystes crawshayi Pocock, 1902. Lectotype designations: Palystes superciliosus L. Koch, 1875; P. cultrifer Pocock, 1900; P. lycosinus Pocock, 1900; P. ellioti Pocock, 1896; P. johnstoni Pocock, 1896; P. rutilans Simon, 1899, P. peromatus Pocock, 1900; P. kibonotensis Lessert, 1921; Gnathopalystes ferox Rainbow, 1899. Species incertae sedis: Palystes pinnotherus (Wa1ckenaer, 1837); P. fornasinii (Pavesi, 1881); P. flavidus Simon, 1897; P. reticulatus Rainbow, 1899; P. spiralis Strand, 1907 and P. convexus Strand, 1907.

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