Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

A new cryptic spider species from Africa

Date:
March 7, 2013
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
A revision of the cryptic, ground-dwelling spider genus Copa for the continental Afrotropical Region adds a new species to the genus, but altogether reduces the number of species in the region from four to two. A close look at the biology of the two described regional representatives display astonishing extremes in their vagility and ecological flexibility.

This is a picture of a male Copa kei from Cwebe Nature Reserve, South Africa.
Credit: Charles Richard Haddad/CC-BY 3.0

The species from the genus Copa are very common spiders found in the leaf litter of various habitats. Being predominantly ground-living, they occur widely in savanna woodlands but also occasionally in forests, where they are well camouflaged. They usually share the litter microhabitats with several other species of the family Corinnidae. The spiders from this cryptic, ground-dwelling genus in the continental Afrotropical Region are revised in a study published in the open access journal Zookeys.

Related Articles


The number of continental species in the Afrotropical Region has been reduced from four to two, one of which is newly described. While C. flavoplumosa is widespread throughout the region (from Guineι in the west to Tanzania in the east, and from Nigeria in the north to South Africa in the south), the new species, C. kei, is endemic to southeastern South Africa.

The two species represent extremes regarding both vagility and ecological flexibility. C. flavoplumosa provides a useful example of extreme habitat flexibility, occupying habitats from forests to semi-deserts. It is particularly prevalent in savanna habitats on the continent, but also occurs in various forest types and grasslands. They have been occasionally collected in agroecosystems, specifically from the canopies of orchard crops in South Africa (avocadoes, macadamias and pistachios), which is in stark contrast to their almost exclusive ground-dwelling habits in natural habitats. The reasons for this ecological divergence, however, are unknown.

The newly described species, C. kei, is very closely associated and believed to be endemic to the Afromontane and coastal forests in South Africa. The species has a distribution falling entirely within the Maputaland-Pondoland-Albany Centre of Endemism in South Africa, where an extraordinary amount of endemic species is found, with around 30 endemic reptiles and emblematic mammals such as the blue duiker antelope.

The new species, C. kei, can be easily recognised by a distinct dorsal black spot on the anterior of the abdomen. The specific name of the species refers to the type locality, the town Kei Mouth, located at the estuary of the Great Kei River in the Eastern Cape Province.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Charles Haddad. A revision of the continental species of Copa Simon, 1885 (Araneae, Corinnidae) in the Afrotropical Region. ZooKeys, 2013; 276 (0): 1 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.276.4233

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "A new cryptic spider species from Africa." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 7 March 2013. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307124703.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2013, March 7). A new cryptic spider species from Africa. ScienceDaily. Retrieved October 25, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307124703.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "A new cryptic spider species from Africa." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2013/03/130307124703.htm (accessed October 25, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Deep Sea 'mushroom' Could Be Early Branch on Tree of Life

Reuters - Innovations Video Online (Oct. 24, 2014) — Miniature deep sea animals discovered off the Australian coast almost three decades ago are puzzling scientists, who say the organisms have proved impossible to categorise. Academics at the Natural History of Denmark have appealed to the world scientific community for help, saying that further information on Dendrogramma enigmatica and Dendrogramma discoides could answer key evolutionary questions. Jim Drury has more. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Black Bear Cub Goes Sunday Shopping

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Oct. 23, 2014) — Price check on honey? Bear cub startles Oregon drugstore shoppers. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

Dances With Wolves in China's Wild West

AFP (Oct. 23, 2014) — One man is on a mission to boost the population of wolves in China's violence-wracked far west. The animal - symbol of the Uighur minority there - is under threat with a massive human resettlement program in the region. Duration: 00:41 Video provided by AFP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Breakfast Debate: To Eat Or Not To Eat?

Newsy (Oct. 23, 2014) — Conflicting studies published in the same week re-ignited the debate over whether we should be eating breakfast. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
 
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:  

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories

 

Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:  

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile iPhone Android Web
Follow Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins