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The Leiobunum rupestre species group: resolving the taxonomy of four widespread European taxa (Opiliones: Sclerosomatidae)

By Jochen Martens and Axel L. Schönhofer

Abstract

Within the central European opilionid fauna the widely used species names <em>Leiobunum rupestre</em> Herbst, 1799 and <em>Leiobunum tisciae</em> Avram, 1968 pose taxonomic and distributional problems. In addition, <em>Nelima apenninica</em> Martens, 1969 is close to <em>L. tisciae</em> in terms of external and genital morphology, but is specifically distinct. While coxal denticulation is largely lacking in <em>N. apenninica</em>, the validity of the genus <em>Nelima</em> Roewer, 1910 is questioned again. In addition, <em>Leiobunum subalpinum</em> Komposch, 1998, a recently described novelty from the eastern Alps, is closely related to <em>L. rupestre</em>. The four species are combined as the morphologically defined <em>Leiobunum rupestre</em> species group. Except for <em>L. subalpinum</em>, they were found to be allopatrically distributed from the Carpathians across central and Northwest Europe to the south-western Alps. The latter species is locally sympatric and partly elevationally parapatric to <em>L. rupestre</em>. <em>Leiobunum tisciae</em> is a recently introduced name and here recognized as a junior synonym of a number of taxa described much earlier, of which <em>L. gracile</em> Thorell, 1876 is re-introduced as oldest available name. Detailed morphological and distributional data for all taxa are presented

Topics: Taxonomy, synonymy, Leiobunum, Nelima, Europe, Zoology, QL1-991, Botany, QK1-989
Publisher: Consortium of European Natural History Museums
Year: 2016
DOI identifier: 10.5852/ejt.2016.216
OAI identifier: oai:doaj.org/article:413a33ee7e8a4ba6bb2ff80ebea6a0a7
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