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Article
Published: 2020-07-23

Caves as a key habitat for rare and endemic species of the west coast of North America: a taxonomic revision of the spider genus Oaphantes (Araneae: Linyphiidae)

Scienceinfuse Inc., 12 Chemin Saxby Sud, Shefford, Québec, J2M 1S2, Canada.
Department of Arachnology, Centrum für Naturkunde, Universität Hamburg, Germany.
16-3415 Calder Crescent, Saskatoon Saskatchewan, S7J 5A3, Canada.
California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, California, USA
troglobite relict distribution single-cave endemic cryophilic affinities Araneae

Abstract

The genus Oaphantes is known from the West Coast of North America. Here we revise the genus which now includes three species, two of which are new: O. cryophilus n. sp. and O. prometheus n. sp. All Members of the genus Oaphantes show affinities for cave habitats. Oaphantes pallidulus is known from caves of the Coast Ranges of California and also from epigean records. Oaphantes cryophilus n. sp. is restricted to caves in the southern limit of its distribution in the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California, but in the north it is known from epigean records in Oregon, Washington and British Columbia. Oaphantes prometheus n. sp. is an eyeless troglobite endemic to a single cave in the Sierra Nevada of California. The distribution and relationships of the three species suggest an evolutive scenario likely due to climatic variations and affinities for colder conditions.

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