A new genus and new species of diplurid spider
(Araneae: Mygalomorphae: Dipluridae) from northeast India
Zeeshan A. Mirza
, Rajesh V. Sanap, Krushnamegh Kunte
National Centre for Biological Sciences, Tata Institute for Fundamental Research, Bangalore 560065, Karnataka, India
Received 15 February 2016
Received in revised form
14 March 2016
Accepted 17 March 2016
Available online 31 March 2016
Orientothele gen. nov.
Orientothele alyratus sp. nov.
A new diplurid genus and species is described from northeast India based on a single female specimen
from Jampui hills. Orientothele gen. nov. is placed in the subfamily Diplurinae based on the presence of
one row of teeth on the chelicerae. The new genus and species can be diagnosed from most diplurid
genera in lacking lyra on the prolateral face of maxilla, paired claw with one row of teeth, maxilla with
numerous cuspules, scopulae absent on all legs, and spermathecae consisting of two elongate stalks
with bulbous receptacles at their tips which are bent inwards. Ischnothele indicola Tikader, 1969 is
here treated as incertae sedis with regards to its generic placement in light of the discovery of Ori-
entothele gen. nov.
Copyright Ó2016, National Science Museum of Korea (NSMK) and Korea National Arboretum (KNA).
Production and hosting by Elsevier. This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (http://
The mygalomorph spider family Dipluridae Simon, 1889 is
represented globally by 188 species in 24 genera (World Spider
Catalog 2016). Members of this family are presently known to be
distributed in the Neotropical, southern Nearctic, Afrotropical,
Madagascar, Oriental, Sino-Japanese, Oceanian, and Australian
realms with its greatest diversity in Australia and the Neotropical
region. These spiders possess long posterior lateral spinnerets
which are used to make an irregular web with a retreat within it
(Schwendinger 2009). In Asia, however, their diversity seems to be
poorly represented largely due to the fact that only a handful of
investigations have been made on mygalomorph spiders as a whole
(Coyle 1995; Mirza et al 2014; Raven 1985; Sanap and Mirza 2015;
Siliwal et al 2015b). In India, this family is represented by 2 genera
and 4 species namely: Indothele dumicola Pocock, 1900; Indothele
mala Coyle, 1995;Indothele rothi Coyle, 1995;Ischnothele indicola
Tikader, 1969 (Hadole and Rajoria 2012). Of these, the generic
allocation of Ischnothele indicola is here called into doubt (see
Northeast India is a biodiversity hotspot (Myers et al 2000) and
several vertebrate centric studies have been carried out in this area.
However, with a few invertebrate inventories, the arthropod
assemblage remains poorly documented. With regards to this, we
visited the northeast Indian state of Tripura during which we
collected a specimen of a diplurid spider. The collected specimen
differs from all known species and genera from Asia. A detailed
comparison of museum material aids us to conclude that the
specimen is a new species and we also propose a new genus to
Materials and methods
Specimens were collected and preserved in 70% ethanol and the
holotype was deposited in the collection of the National Centre of
Biological Sciences, Bangalore. Measurements were taken using a
Mitutoyo digital caliper (Mitutoyo Corporation, Japan). Sperma-
thecae were dissected and cleaned using a needle. Specimens were
examined using an Olympus SZ40 stereo-binocular microscope.
Photographs were taken using a Canon 70D (Canon Inc, Tokyo)
mounted with a 100-mm macro. Eye measurements were taken
using the software ImageJ (National Institutes of Health, USA)
(http://imagej.nih.gov/ij/). All measurements were given in
millimeters and with a standard error of 0.01 mm. To study the
morphology of spigots, an apical segment of one of the posterior
E-mail address: email@example.com (Z.A. Mirza).
Peer review under responsibility of National Science Museum of Korea (NSMK) and
Korea National Arboretum (KNA).
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Journal of Asia-Paciﬁc Biodiversity 10 (2017) 32e38
lateral spinnerets was removed for scanning electron microscopy.
The segment was processed in a critical point drier to remove traces
of ethanol and water following coating with gold. Scanning electron
microscopy imaging was done using a Zeiss Merlin Compact (Carl
Zeiss Microscopy GmbH, Göttingen). Comparative material of the
genus Indothele spp. was examined from the collection of the Na-
tional Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore. The Life Science
Identiﬁers (LSID) for the manuscript is: urn:lsid:zoobank.org:
Family Dipluridae Simon, 1889
Subfamily Diplurinae Simon, 1889
Orientothele gen. nov.
Type species: Orientothele alyratus gen. et. sp. nov.
Diagnosis.Orientothele gen. nov. is here placed in the subfamily
Diplurinae based on the presence of one row of teeth on the
chelicerae. The new genus and species can be diagnosed from most
diplurid genera in lacking lyra on the prolateral face of the maxilla,
paired claw with one row of teeth, maxilla with numerous cus-
pules, scopulae absent on all legs, and spermathecae consists of two
elongate stalks with bulbous receptacles at their tips which are
bent inwards. Male unknown.
Description. A medium sized spider in relation to members of
this family reaching a total length of 17.2 mm excluding chelicerae
length. All legs bearing three claws, superior tarsal claws with a
single row of sigmoid dentition and inferior tarsal claw with three
dentitions. Scopulae absent. Two pairs of spinnerets and the
posterior lateral spinneret long and widely spaced. Apical segment
of posterior lateral spinnerets entire, no pseudosegmentation
seen. Metatarsi of all legs with distal preening combs. Chelicerae
with 13 promarginal teeth in a row of teeth and with 28 basoso-
mal teeth. Maxillary and labial cuspules present. Labio-sternal
Figure 1. Orientothele alyratus gen. et. sp. nov. holotype female NCBS AR142 in life.
Figure 2. Orientothele alyratus gen. et. sp. nov. holotype female NCBS AR142. A, carapace; B, sternum and coxa; C, eyes; D, prolateral maxilla.
ZA Mirza et al. / Journal of Asia-Paciﬁc Biodiversity 10 (2017) 32e38 33
collar well developed. Sternum cordate and the posterior edge
nearly separating coxa IV. Carapace smooth, glabrous, with soft
golden setae. Caput low. Fovea transverse, short. Spermathecae
consists of two elongate stalks with bulbous receptacles at their
tips which are bent inwards. Spigots on posterior lateral spinnerets
fused and ﬂagelliform. Base of spigot smooth with undulating
grooved surface. Filiform trichobothria 13e20 present in a row on
tarsi of all legs and palp. Spines present on all legs including tarsi
of all legs.
Distribution. Presently known from borders of Tripura and
Mizoram in northeast India
Comparisons. The new genus cannot be placed in the known
subfamilies following diagnosis provided by Raven (1985).However,
with an amended diagnosis by Drolshagen and Bäckstam (2009) the
new genus may be placed in the subfamily Diplurinae in bearing the
synapomorphy of a single row of teeth on chelicerae. Within
Diplurinae the Orientothele gen. nov. differs from Metriura in bearing
a single row of teeth on superior tarsal claws (vs.2inMetriura), from
Diplura,Trechona, and Harmonicon in lacking prolateral maxillary
lyra (vs. absent in Diplura,Trechona, and Harmonicon).
Etymology. The proposed generic name is a compound work
formed by the word ‘Oriento’¼Oriental referring to the location of
the type locality and the later word is a term assigned to members of
the family Dipluridae. The sex of the proposed name is masculine.
Orientothele alyratus sp. nov.
Type. Holotype:\, NCBS AR142 collected from Belianchip, Jampui
Hills in North Tripura district, Tripura, India (23.968854
; elevation 644 m). Collected by Rajesh Sanap and
Zeeshan Mirza on November 30, 2014.
Diagnosis. As for the genus
Description of holotype female NCBS AR142 (Figure 1). Holotype in
general good condition with an exposed ventral cavity from a
dissection to retrieve spermathecae. The abdomen is laterally
compressed likely an artifact of preservation. The posterior lateral
spinnerets lack the apical segment which has been removed for
scanning electron imaging.
Carapace 8.27 long, 7.58 wide (L/W ratio 1.2), chelicerae 5.25
long. Sternum 3.95 long, 3.80 wide (L/W 1.2). Abdomen 8.89 long,
5.05 wide (L/W 1.4). Spinnerets: PMS, 2.26 long, 0.48 wide, 0.88
apart; posterior lateral spinnerets, 3.09 basal, 2.31 middle, 3.12
distal; midwidths 1.07, 0.70, 0.44, respectively, apart 1.99.
Coloration (Figures 1 and 2). Carapace, legs and teguments black;
abdomen and spinnerets dark brown. Soft golden setae radiating
from foveae along lateral edges of caput. Coloration in preservative
is more faded and is in a shade of brown to reddish brown.
Figure 3. Claws of Orientothele alyratus gen. et. sp. nov. holotype female NCBS AR142. A, leg III ventral view; B, leg III lateral view; C, leg IV lateral view; D, palp claw lateral view.
ZA Mirza et al. / Journal of Asia-Paciﬁc Biodiversity 10 (2017) 32e3834
Carapace (Figure 1A). Overall ﬂat with slightly raised caput.
Fovea transverse. Sloping caput covered with short, soft golden
setae. Carapacial borders edged with long black setae.
Eyes (Figure 1C). Ratio of ocular quadrant width to length 2.2.
Anterior lateral eye (ALE) largest, other eyes equal. Eye diameter:
ALE, 0.58; anterior median eye (AME), 0.34; posterior lateral eye
(PLE), 0.35; posterior median eye (PME), 0.31. Distance between the
eyes: AME-AME, 0.23; PME-PLE, 0.12; AME-ALE, 0.14; PME-PME,
0.87; ALE-PLE, 0.18. Ocular quadrate, 0.95 long, 1.95 wide. Median
ocular quadrate: length, 0.75; front width, 0.85; back width, 1.25.
Maxilla (Figures 1B and 1D). Front length 2.42, back length 2.49
and 1.70 wide. Anterior maxillary lobe well developed. Prolateral
face of maxilla smooth, glabrous, with a few long black setae
scattered below the maxillary suture. Cuspules: over 110 in anterior
corner in roughly triangular region.
Labium (Figure 1B). 1.06 long, 1.67 wide with nearly 52 cuspules
in band for half of anterior length; cuspules ca. similar in size to
maxillary. Labio-sternal collar distinct and well developed.
Chelicera (Figures 2A and 2B). Basal oral fringe of chelicerae
lacking modiﬁed setae. Promarginal teeth 13 with a parallel row of
28 basesomal teeth gradually decreasing in size.
Sternum (Figure 1B). Cordate in its shape, slightly longer than
wide, slopping gradually, with long black setae sparsely present.
Posterior edge pointed fairly separating coxae IV. Pedicel not clearly
Sigilla (Figure 1B). Three pairs almost submarginal, posterior
0.64 diameter, ca. 1.09 lengths apart; ca. 0.20 dist. from margin;
middle 0.30 diameter, ca. 2.69 lengths apart; ca.0.11 dist. from the
margin; anterior 0.3 diameter, ca. 2.71 apart, marginal.
Coxae (Figure 1B). I, long 3.38 wide 1.54; II, long 3.29 wide 1.73;
III, long 2.75 wide 1.70; IV, long 3.25 wide 1.97.
Leg. Formula 4321. Leg lengths (tadtarsus, mtdmetatersus,
tidtibia, padpatella, fedfemur, total): leg I 2.22, 3.67, 4.76, 3.64,
5.78, 20.07; leg II 2.37, 4.75, 4.50, 3.54, 6.30, 21.46; leg III 2.59, 5.69,
4.47, 3.38, 5.40, 21.53; leg IV 2.96, 7.57, 5.54, 3.41, 6.45, 25.93; palp
4.11, e, 3.09, 2.39, 5.56, 15.15. Midwidths (fe, ti): leg I 1.33, 1.30; leg
II 1.42, 1.20; leg III 1.38, 1.11; leg IV 1.13, 1.14; palp 0.89, .94. Spines
(rdretrolateral, pdprolateral, vdventral) leg I, ta, r 2, p 3, mt, p 2, r
4, ti, v 1; leg II, ta, p 4, r 5, mt, r 3, p 3, ti 1; leg III, ta, p 5, r 4, mt, r 8, p
8, v 1, ti v 2, p 3, r 2; leg IV, ta, r 4, p 8, mt, r 5, p 6, ti, p 5, r 2,v 2, palp
ta, r 5, p 6, ti p 3, v 1.
Scopulae. Absent on all legs
Trichobothria. Tarsi I, 13e14 long and short ﬁliform in one rows,
entire; tarsi II, 15e16 long and short ﬁliform in one rows, entire;
tarsi III 17e18 long and short ﬁliform in one rows, entire; tarsi IV,
18e19 long and short ﬁliform in one rows, entire; palp tarsi 20e21
long and short ﬁliform in one rows, entire.
Claws (Figures 3AeD). Inferior tarsal claw with three dentitions.
Superior tarsal claws on all legs with sigmoid dentition; single claw
on palp with dentition.
Abdomen pilosity. Cuticle not exposed dorsally and ventrally;
dorsal and ventral aspect covered with ﬁne layer of black setae
intermixed with long and short black spike setae.
Spinnerets (Figures 2D and 4AeD). Two pairs, pale yellowish,
covered with sparsely placed black setae. Spigots spread across the
ventral aspect of all segments. Spigots on posterior lateral spin-
nerets fused and ﬂagelliform. Base of spigot smooth with undu-
lating grooved surface.
Spermathecae (Figure 5E). Two elongate stalks with bulbous
receptacles at their tips which are bent inwards.
Natural history and distribution. A single specimen of this species
was found in a cavity on a tree trunk ca.1.5 m above the ground. The
Figure 4. Scanning electron microsropy of spigots of Orientothele alyratus gen. et. sp. nov. holotype female NCBS AR142. A, base; B, surface of ﬂagiliform stalk; C and D, tip of spigot.
ZA Mirza et al. / Journal of Asia-Paciﬁc Biodiversity 10 (2017) 32e38 35
cavity was lined with a thick layer of web. The type locality is sit-
uated on the border on Mizoram and Tripura and is the highest
elevation in Tripura (Figure 6). The Jampui hills run parallel to other
low hills in Tripura as well as Mizoram in addition to Bangladesh.
These low hills share a similar biotope and it is likely that the new
species will be found in both these states, Bangladesh, and other
parts of northeast India. The forest type at the collection locality
and is of semi-evergreen type, but is largely degraded and domi-
nated by Jhum cultivation.
Etymology. The speciﬁc epithet is a Latinized compound word
for “alyrate”with a Latin sufﬁx‘us’referring to the absence of lyra
on the prolateral face of maxilla.
Description of the new genus is not really surprising as north-
east India is poorly surveyed to document its arachnid fauna and
investigations by recent researchers have resulted in discoveries of
several new species and also a new genus (Mirza et al 2016; Siliwal
et al 2015a, 2015b, 2009). This is not just the case with spiders
alone, but a parallel scenario for scorpions (Mirza et al 2016).
Furthermore, spiders of the family Dipluridae are one of the least
studied group among mygalomorph spiders globally, as is evident
from the description of several new species and genera in the
recent past (Coyle 1988,1995; Main and Framenau 2009; Raven and
Platnick 1978; Schwendinger and Zonstein 2011; Schwendinger
Tikader (1968) described Ischnothele indicola from Shillong
now in Meghalaya based on a male and female specimen. During
a visit to the head ofﬁce of the Zoological Survey of India in
Kolkata, attempts were made to locate the types but the speci-
mens were not found. The author stated that the specimens
would eventually be deposited at Zoological Survey of India,
Kolkata (ZSIK) but likely they were not deposited and hence the
exact identity of this species remains in question. Based on the
description and illustrations, it is impossible to comment on the
taxonomic status. In light of the present discovery of the new
genus, we presume that Ischnothele indicola would likely belong
to the new genus and not certainly Ischnothele. This must be
formally executed after examining type or topotypic material
from the type locality. Examination of topotypic material is out of
the scope of the present study and hence we propose Ischnothele
Figure 5. Orientothele alyratus gen. et. sp. nov. holotype female NCBS AR142. A, retrolateral chelicerae; B, prolateral chelicerae; C, ventral view of chelicerae showing teeth; D,
spinnerets; E, spermathecae.
ZA Mirza et al. / Journal of Asia-Paciﬁc Biodiversity 10 (2017) 32e3836
indicola be treated as incertae sedis with regards to its generic
placement as the genus Ischnothele is restricted to the new world
The family Dipluridae is well represented by the genus Indothele
in the peninsular region, however, the northeast had thus far
remained undersurveyed. It is likely that additional species of the
new genus as well as Intothele will be found across India with
dedicated surveys across the country.
Thanks are due to Atul Kumar Gupta (PCCF & CWLW, Member
Secretary, Tripura Biodiversity Board) and Ajith Kumar (NCBS) for
initiating the Tripura biodiversity surveys. This work was in
collaboration with the Tripura Biodiversity Board, which facilitated
and funded this project. Survey and collection permits
[No.F.8.(163)/For-WL-2012/Part/38802-08] were granted by the
Principal Chief Conservator of Forests, Department of Forest, Gov-
ernment of Tripura. Forest department staff at Kanchanpur and
Manu Forest Divisions provided logistical support. The voucher
specimen is deposited in the research collections of the National
Centre for Biological Sciences, Bangalore. Special thanks to Ajith
Kumar and Atul Kumar Gupta for comments on the manuscript.
Zeeshan Mirza was supported by a generous grant from the Rufford
Small Grant (14300-1). We acknowledge the Electron Microscopy
Facility at NCBS for help with SEM imaging of the type specimen.
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Figure 6. Map showing type locality on the border of Tripura and Mizoram in northeast India. Inset map shows northeast India with Tripura highlighted in black.
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