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Article
Published: 2021-04-07

Two new species of the genus Nemaspela Šilhavý from caves in Georgia (Opiliones: Nemastomatidae)

Johannes Gutenberg-Universität, Institut für Organismische und Molekulare Evolutionsbiologie (iomE), D-55099 Mainz, Germany; Senckenberg Research Institute, Arachnology, D-60325 Frankfurt am Main, Germany
Institute of Zoology, Ilia State University, Giorgi Tsereteli 3, 0162, Tbilisi, Georgia
Institute of Zoology, Ilia State University, Giorgi Tsereteli 3, 0162, Tbilisi, Georgia
Opiliones Arachnida harvestman new taxa troglobites Caucasus

Abstract

Two highly specialized endemic troglobiotic harvestman species of the genus Nemaspela Šilhavý, 1966 are described. N. melouri sp. nov. from Melouri Cave and N. prometheus sp. nov. from Prometheus Cave (Sataplia-Tskaltubo karst massif, Imereti region, western Georgia), respectively. Despite the fact that the entrances of the caves are positioned only 2.5 km apart, the new taxa differ from each other distinctly by presence vs. absence of male cheliceral apophysis, which is lacking in the second species. A key to the Caucasian species of the genus is provided. Relationships of Nemaspela species within the genus and with hypothetical epigean ancestors are discussed.

 

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