Skip to main content Skip to main navigation menu Skip to site footer
Published: 2021-09-23

On the taxonomic validity of Indian ground spiders: V. Genera Megamyrmaekion Reuss, 1834, Sosticus Chamberlin, 1922 and Gaviphosa gen. nov. (Araneae: Gnaphosidae)

Division of Arachnology, Department of Zoology, Sacred Heart College, Thevara, Cochin, Kerala 682 013, India.
Zoological Survey of India, Prani Vigyan Bhawan, M-Block, New Alipore, Kolkata, West Bengal 700 053, India.
Araneae India new genus synonymy transfer type material Zoological Survey of India


Indian Megamyrmaekion and Sosticus species are revised, mostly based on the type material available in the National Zoological Collection, Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata. The following new synonymies are recognised: Megamyrmaekion ashae syn. nov. is synonymised with Megamyrmaekion caudatum Reuss, 1834, Megamyrmaekion kajalae syn. nov. with Drassodes luridus (O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1874), Sosticus jabalpurensis syn. nov. and Sosticus sundargarhensis syn. nov., both with the liocranid species Sphingius barkudensis Gravely, 1931 and Sosticus poonaensis syn. nov. with the liocranid species Sphingius caniceps Simon, 1906. The following new combinations are recognised: Poecilochroa jodhpurense (Gajbe, 1993) comb. nov., ex. Megamyrmaekion, Urozelotes pawani (Gajbe, 1993) comb. nov., Sphingius dherikanalensis (Gajbe, 1979) comb. nov., Sphingius nainitalensis (Gajbe, 1979) comb. nov. and Sphingius solanensis (Gajbe, 1979) comb. nov., all ex. Sosticus. All the examined type material are imaged and supplementary descriptions for P. jodhpurense comb. nov. and U. pawani comb. nov. are provided. A new monotypic genus, Gaviphosa Sankaran, 2021 gen. nov. for Gaviphosa kera Sankaran, 2021 gen. et sp. nov., featured by dorsal tibial apophysis is described and illustrated in detail from the southern Western Ghats of India.



  1. Azevedo, G.H.F, Griswold, C.E. & Santos, A.J. (2018) Systematics and evolution of ground spiders revisited (Araneae, Dionycha, Gnaphosidae). Cladistics, 34, 579–626.
    Bhandari, R. & Gajbe, P. (2001) Description of four new species of spiders of the families Uloboridae, Philodromidae, Gnaphosidae and Lycosidae (Arachnida: Araneae) from Madhya Pradesh, India. Records of the Zoological Survey of India, 99, 87–93.
    Biswas, B. & Biswas, K. (1992) Araneae: Spiders. State Fauna Series, 3, Fauna of West Bengal 3, 357–500.
    Caleb, J.T.D. & Sankaran, P.M. (2021) Araneae of India. Version 2021. Available from: (accessed 9 January 2021)
    Caleb, J.T.D., Karthikeyani, R. & Muthuchelian, K. (2014) Description of Drassodes luridus O. P. Cambridge (Araneae: Gnaphosidae): First record from Tamil Nadu, India. Journal of Entomology and Zoology Studies, 2, 135–138.
    Dankittipakul, P., Tavano, M.L. & Singtripop, T. (2011) Neotype designation for Sphingius thecatus Thorell, 1890, synonymies, new records and descriptions of six new species from Southeast Asia (Araneae, Liocranidae). Zootaxa, 3066 (1), 1–20.
    Deeleman-Reinhold, C.L. (2001) Forest spiders of South East Asia: with a revision of the sac and ground spiders (Araneae: Clubionidae, Corinnidae, Liocranidae, Gnaphosidae, Prodidomidae and Trochanterriidae [sic]). Brill, Leiden, 591 pp.
    Gajbe, P.U. (2004) Spiders of Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh (Arachnida: Araneae). Records of the Zoological Survey of India, Occasional Paper, 227, 1–154.
    Gajbe, U.A. (1979) Studies on some spiders of the genus Sosticus from India (Araneae: Gnaphosidae). Bulletin of the Zoological Survey of India, 2, 69–74.
    Gajbe, U.A. (1987) A new Scopodes spider from India (Araneae: Gnaphosidae). Bulletin of the Zoological Survey of India, 8, 285–287.
    Gajbe, U.A. (1993) A new Megamyrmecion spider from India (Araneae: Gnaphosidae). Records of the Zoological Survey of India, 91, 231–233.
    Gajbe, U.A. (2007) Araneae: Arachnida. In: Fauna of Madhya Pradesh (including Chhattisgarh). State Fauna Series. Vol. 15. Zoological Survey of India, Kolkata, pp. 419–540.
    Gravely, F.H. (1931) Some Indian spiders of the families Ctenidae, Sparassidae, Selenopidae and Clubionidae. Records of the Indian Museum, Calcutta, 33, 211–282.
    Levy, G. (1999) Spiders of six uncommon drassodine genera (Araneae: Gnaphosidae) from Israel. Israel Journal of Zoology, 45, 427–452.
    Lin, Y.J. & Li, S.Q. (2020) Description on Solitudes dushengi gen. nov et sp. nov. from Xinjiang, China (Araneae: Gnaphosidae). Zoological Systematics, 45, 312–315.
    Majumder, S.C. & Tikader, B.K. (1991) Studies on some spiders of the family Clubionidae from India. Records of the Zoological Survey of India, Occasional Paper, 102, 1–175.
    Pickard-Cambridge, O. (1874) On some new species of Drassides. Proceedings of the Zoological Society of London, 42, 370–419, pls. LI–LII.
    Platnick, N.I. (1989) Advances in Spider Taxonomy 1981–1987: A Supplement to Brignoli’s A Catalogue of the Araneae described between 1940 and 1981. Manchester University Press, Manchester, 673 pp.
    Platnick, N.I. (1991) A revision of the ground spider family Cithaeronidae (Araneae, Gnaphosoidea). American Museum Novitates, 3018, 1–13.
    Platnick, N.I. & Murphy, J.A. (1984) A revision of the spider genera Trachyzelotes and Urozelotes (Araneae, Gnaphosidae).  American Museum Novitates, 2792, 1–30.
    Platnick, N.I. & Shadab, M.U. (1976) A revision of the spider genera Drassodes and Tivodrassus (Araneae, Gnaphosidae) in North America. American Museum Novitates, 2593, 1–29.
    Reuss, A. (1834) Zoologische Miscellen. Museum Senckenbergianum, Abhandlungen aus dem Gebiete der beschreibenden Naturgeschichte, 1, 195–276.
    Sankaran, P.M. & Sebastian, P.A. (2018) New species of gnaphosid spiders (Araneae: Gnaphosidae) from the Western Ghats of India. Journal of Natural History, 52, 1733–1744.
    Sankaran, P.M., Caleb, J.T.D. & Sebastian, P.A. (2019) On the taxonomic validity of Indian ground spiders: I. Genus Scopoides Platnick, 1989 (Araneae: Gnaphosidae). Zootaxa, 4648 (1), 155–164.
    Sankaran, P.M., Caleb, J.T.D. & Sebastian, P.A. (2020) A review of the genus Sphingius Thorell, 1890 from India (Araneae: Liocranidae). Zootaxa, 4896 (4), 505–522.
    Sankaran, P.M., Caleb, J.T.D. & Sebastian, P.A. (2021) On the taxonomic validity of Indian ground spiders: IV. Genera Apodrassodes Vellard, 1924, Herpyllus Hentz, 1832 and Sergiolus Simon, 1892 (Araneae: Gnaphosidae). Journal of Natural History, 54, 2839–2857.
    Sankaran, P.M., Malamel, J.J., Joseph, M.M. & Sebastian, P.A. (2017) A new species of Paratus Simon, 1898 (Araneae: Liocranidae, Paratinae) from India. Zootaxa, 4286, 139–144.
    Simon, E. (1906) Voyage de M. Maurice Maindron dans l’Inde méridionale (mai à novembre 1901). 8me Mémoire. Arachnides (2e partie). Annales de la Société Entomologique de France, 75, 279–314.
    Tikader, B.K. (1982). Part 2. Family Gnaphosidae. In: The fauna of India. Spiders: Araneae. Vol. II. Zoological Survey of India, Calcutta, pp. 295–536.
    Tikader, B.K. & Gajbe, U.A. (1977) Studies on some spiders of the genera Scopodes Chamberlin, Megamyrmecion Reuss, Scotophaeus Simon and Liodrassus Chamberlin (family: Gnaphosidae) from India. Records of the Zoological Survey of India, 73, 13–22.
    Walckenaer, C.A. (1837) Histoire naturelle des insectes. Aptères. Tome premier. Roret, Paris, 682 pp., pls. 1–15.
    World Spider Catalog (2021) World Spider Catalog. Version 22.5. Natural History Museum Bern. Available from: (accessed 12 August 2021)
    Zamani, A., Mirshamsi, O., Dolejš, P., Marusik, Y.M., Esyunin, S.L., Hula, V. & Ponel, P. (2017) New data on the spider fauna of Iran (Arachnida: Araneae), part IV. Acta Arachnologica, 66, 55–71.
    Zhang, F. & Fu, J.Y. (2010) A new species of the genus Sphingius (Araneae, Liocranidae) from China, and first description of the female: Sphingius hainan Zhang, Fu & Zhu, 2009. ZooKeys, 49, 23–31.
    Zhang, F., Fu, J.Y. & Zhu, M.S. (2009) Spiders of the genus Sphingius (Araneae: Liocranidae) from China, with descriptions of two new species. Zootaxa, 2298 (1), 31–44.