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Definition and revision of the Enoplognatha ovata (Clerck) group (Araneae: Theridiidae)

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image of Insect Systematics & Evolution

The monophyletic Enoplognatha ovata group is defined on the basis of the following synapomorphic characters: subapical first metatarsal trichobothrium, sclerotized and modified apex of the conductor in the male palpal bulbus, and strongly developed copulatory pockets in the female vulva. In the group the male conductor and the female epigynal openings together with the copulatory pockets form a coadapted functional unit which might prevent interspecific copulation. The hitherto known range of the group covers the western Palaearctic and, apparently through recent introduction by man, the eastern and western Nearctic. Three species are included: E. ovata (Clerck) (Palaearctic, Nearctic), E. latimana n. sp. (southern Middle Europe, Nearctic) and E. penelope n. sp. (Mediterranean). The characteristics of the species are described and discussed both at the individual and population levels.

Affiliations: 1: H. Hippa and I. Oksala, Department of Biology, University of Turku, SF-20500 TURKU 50, Finland


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