Four new troglophilic species of Loxosceles Heinecken & Lowe, 1832: contributions to the knowledge of recluse spiders from Brazilian caves (Araneae, Sicariidae)

Four new species of recluse spiders from Brazilian caves are described with both males and females. Loxosceles ericsoni Bertani, von Schimonsky & Gallao, sp. n. and L. karstica Bertani, von Schimonsky & Gallao, sp. n. both occur in caves in the Peruacu region, located in the northern area of the state of Minas Gerais; L. karstica sp. n. is additionally found in the Serra do Ramalho karst area, located in the southwestern region of the state of Bahia. These two species belong to the gaucho group. Loxosceles carinhanha Bertani, von Schimonsky & Gallao, sp. n. and L. cardosoi Bertani, von Schimonsky & Gallao, sp. n. occur exclusively in caves of the Serra do Ramalho karst area and belong to the rufescensl amazonica species group. The discovery of two additional and highly distinct species in the rufescensl amazonica group (L. carinhanha sp. n. and L. cardosoi sp. n.) increases the debate on the origin, evolution, and geographical distribution of this widely distributed group of recluse spiders in the New and Old World. The presence of three species (L ericsoni sp. n., L. carinhanha sp. n., and L. cardosoi sp. n.) with marked differences in morphological characters in a relatively small area indicates that the region seems to be an important center for Loxosceles diversity, which remains poorly studied.
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Bahia;  brown spider;  karst area;  Minas Gerais;  taxonomy

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Bertani R, von Schimonsky DM., Gallão JE., Bichuette ME.. Four new troglophilic species of Loxosceles Heinecken & Lowe, 1832: contributions to the knowledge of recluse spiders from Brazilian caves (Araneae, Sicariidae). Zookeys. 2018;806:47-72. doi:10.3897/zookeys.806.27404.
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