Cladistic analysis of Malagasy pholcid spiders reveals generic level endemism: Revision of Zatavua n. gen. and Paramicromerys Millot (Pholcidae, Araneae)
Bernhard A. Huber
The six-eyed pholcid spiders of Madagascar are revised. Two genera are recognised: (1) Paramicromerys Millot, 1946, with 14 species described, 11 of them new, two transferred from Spermophora; (2) Zatavua n. gen., with 17 species described, 10 of them new, seven transferred from Spermophora. Both genera are widely distributed in Madagascar and are absent in large collections of East African and Comoran pholcids, suggesting they are both endemic. A data matrix with 53 characters and 64 taxa (including 19 Malagasy species and 19 additional Spermophora and “Spermophora-like” species) is cladistically analysed. Two conclusions are supported both by analyses using equally weighted characters and by two differential weighting schemes: (1) Malagasy taxa are not closely related to, and certainly not congeneric with, “true” Spermophora; and (2), the island is inhabited by two taxa that are not closely related to each other and certainly not congeneric. Rather than that, Zatavua is seen as the sister clade of all other pholcines, whereas Paramicromerys is more distal and more closely related to (currently misplaced) “Spermophora” species from East Africa and the Comoros. Two additional Malagasy species are described that are tentatively assigned to Spermophora.
Additional key words: Madagascar, Spermophora