Organisms Diversity & Evolution

, Volume 19, Issue 2, pp 211–276 | Cite as

Taxonomic revision of the dwarf spider genus Shaanxinus Tanasevitch, 2006 (Araneae, Linyphiidae, Erigoninae), with new species from Taiwan and Vietnam

  • Shou-Wang LinEmail author
  • Lara Lopardo
  • Martin Haase
  • Gabriele Uhl
Original Article


Dwarf spiders are of special interest due to their sexually dimorphic prosomal structures in males. Glandular secretions within these structures serve as nuptial gifts, and thus sexual selection may have contributed to their high species richness. However, species diversity of dwarf spiders in East Asia is yet understudied. Here, we review the erigonine genus Shaanxinus Tanasevitch, 2006, and describe 13 new species from Taiwan: S. magniclypeus sp. n. (♂♀), S. shihchoensis sp. n. (♂♀), S. shoukaensis sp. n. (♂♀), S. hirticephalus sp. n. (♂♀), S. mingchihensis sp. n. (♂♀), S. makauyensis sp. n. (♂♀), S. lixiangae sp. n. (♂♀), S. curviductus sp. n. (♂♀), S. tsou sp. n. (♂♀), S. hehuanensis sp. n. (♂♀), S. seediq sp. n. (♂♀), S. meifengensis sp. n. (♂♀), and S. atayal sp. n. (♂♀). In addition, one new species from Vietnam, S. tamdaoensis sp. n. (♂), is described from museum material. We reconstructed the dimension of glandular tissues associated with male prosoma modifications in Shaanxinus, as well as the detailed palpal structure by micro-computer tomography. Placement within Shaanxinus and intrageneric relationships were inferred by means of a cladistic analysis based on morphological characters. Sequences of COI, 16S, and 28S genetic markers corroborated the monophyly of some species, as well as male-female matching. Poly-/paraphyly of morphologically delimitated species in the mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) trees led to the discovery of two seemingly identical species, for which diagnostic morphological features could then be further identified. We discuss incomplete lineage sorting and introgression as possible causes of mtDNA poly-/paraphyly in morphologically indistinguishable specimens.


Erigonines Phylogeny Arboreal spiders Gustatorial courtship Sexual selection 



We are very grateful to Theo Michael Schmitt, Anja Junghanns, and Pierick Mouginot for suggestions on the manuscript. For kindly loaning material, we would like to thank Julia Altmann, Peter Jäger (both Senckenberg Museum Frankfurt, DE; SMF) and Nikolaj Scharff (Zoological Museum, University of Copenhagen, DK; ZMUC). We also thank the University of Greifswald (International Office) for a stipend to visit the aforementioned two museums. For providing facility for preserving and identifying newly collected material, we would like to thank Shiuh-Feng Shiao (National Taiwan University, Taiwan). For support in collecting specimen, we sincerely thank Li-Xiang Huang, the first author’s mother. For support in molecular lab work, we thank Silke Fregin; for imaging assistance, we thank Peter Michalik and Tim Dederichs (all Zoological Institut and Museum, Greifswald, DE; ZIMG). For micro-CT imaging and reconstruction, we cordially thank Stefan Bock. The SEM images were taken by Carsten Müller at the Image Center of Biology, Greifswald. For critical reviews and constructive advice, we thank Andrei D. Tanasevitch and Gustavo Hormiga.


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© Gesellschaft für Biologische Systematik 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Zoological Institute and Museum, Department of General and Systematic ZoologyUniversity of GreifswaldGreifswaldGermany

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