First record of the jumping spider Epocilla praetextata Thorell, 1887 (Araneae: Salticidae) from India


A. Kananbala 1, M. Bhubaneshwari 2, O. Sandhyarani 3 & Manju Siliwal 4


1,2,3 P.G. Department of Zoology, D.M. College of Science, Imphal

4 Wildlife Information Liaison Development Society, 96, Kumudham Nagar, Vilankurichi Road, Coimbatore, Tamil Nadu 641035, India

1 (corresponding author), 2, 3, 4



doi: | ZooBank:


Editor: D.B. Bastawade, Pune, India Date of publication: 26 November 2014 (online & print)


Manuscript details: Ms # o3777 | Received 18 September 2013 | Final received 23 May 2014 | Finally accepted 17 October 2014


Citation: Kananbala, A., M. Bhubaneshwari, O. Sandhyarani & M. Siliwal (2014). First record of the jumping spider Epocilla praetextata Thorell, 1887 (Araneae: Salticidae) from India. Journal of Threatened Taxa 6(12): 6582–6584;


Copyright: © Kananbala et al. 2014. Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License. JoTT allows unrestricted use of this article in any medium, reproduction and distribution by providing adequate credit to the authors and the source of publication.


Funding: Funded by UGC (MRP ref. No. - F. No. 39/589 (SR) Dt. 10.01.2011).


Competing Interest: The authors declare no competing interests.


Acknowledgements: A. Kananbala would like to thank the UGC grant for financial support, during which the spider was found.




The jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae) are easiest to recognize in the field. They play an important role in the biological control of insects. The unique characteristic of salticids is its very large prominent forwardly directed anterior median eyes accompanied by small anterior lateral eyes arranged in the front row or in some genera from the second row. Two posterior laterals, almost the same as anterior laterals constitute the last row.

The genus Epocilla Thorell, 1887 includes medium sized salticids. They are represented by 10 species in the world of which only two species, namely, E. aurontiaca (Simon, 1885) and E. xylina Simon, 1906 have been reported from India (Platnick 2013). While carrying out spider diversity survey in Manipur, a northeastern state, which geographically shares an international border with Myanmar, we came across male specimens of Epocilla, later identified as E. praetextata Thorell, 1887 based on palp structure and tibial apophysis provided in Jastrzebski (2007). E. praetextata have been previously reported from Bhutan, Nepal (Jastrzevbski 2007), Myanmar (Proszynski 2007) and Java (Thorell 1887). The present paper deals with the report of the occurrence of E. praetextata from Manipur, which is the first record for India along with the description of the species.


Nine male spiders were collected during an UGC sponsored Spider Project Survey [MRP ref. No. – F. No. 39/589 (SR) Dt. 10.01.2011] from different districts of Manipur, the northeastern state of India with an area of 22,356km2, 92059’00”–94045’00”E & 23056’00”N–25041’00”N, elevation ranges 700–3000 m.

The collected specimens were brought and studied in the Entomology Research Laboratory, P.G. Department of Zoology, D.M. College of Science, Imphal. Morphometry of the spider was taken with a vernier caliper and ocular meter. All measurements in mm. This species was identified by Manju Siliwal. Three male specimens are deposited at the Wildlife Information Liaison Development Society (WILD), Coimbatore and the remaining are deposited in the museum of Entomology Research Laboratory, D.M. College of Science, Imphal. Taxonomy includes standard abbreviations followed by Siliwal et al. 2013

Epocilla praetextata Thorell, 1887

(Fig. 1–3, images 1–6)

Epocilla praetextata Thorell 1877: 378; 1892:310; Proszynski, 1984:39; Jastrzebski, 2007:16.

Materials examined

WILD-10-AR539-540, two males, 11.vii.2010, Ishikha, Imphal East District, Manipur, elevation 782m, coll. M. Bhubaneshwari and O. Sandhyarani; WILD-10-ARA-541. one male, 2.iv.2010, from Mount Everest College campus, Senapati District, Manipur, elevation 1043m, coll. A. Kananbala and M. Bhubaneshwari.



Description of male (WILD-10-ARA-541)

Total length: 6.42; cephalothorax: 2.56 long, 2.22 wide; abdomen: 3.86 long, 1.76 wide; morphometry of legs and palp given in Table 1; leg formula: 1243.

Colour in Alcohol: Cephalothorax dark brown, yellow laterally, chelicerae brown, eyes reddish-brown, labium reddish-brown, maxilla yellow, sternum pale yellow, legs pale yellow except 1st leg. Abdomen brown in the middle and pale yellow laterally, ventrum greyish on the middle and yellowish-grey laterally.

Cephalothorax: Slightly wider than long, carapace broad, oval, flat with the thorax and sides sloping away to the margin 1.17 in thickness, ocular quad 1.62 long, 1.48 wide dark brown and black at the base of the eyes. Eyes eight in four rows with very large prominent anterior median eyes in the first row (Image 2).




Eyes: Diameter AME: ALE: PME: PLA = 0.048: 0.28: 0.47: 0.39; distance between AME-AME-0.16, PME-PME-1.12, PME-PLE-0.54, AME-ALE-0.37, ALE-PLE-0.37, ALE-ALE-1.13. Clypeus reddish-brown, height 0.67, glabrus, very narrow. Chelicera 0.94 long, small fang folded with cheliceral teeth, Promargin 2, retromargin 1, labium 0.34 long, longer than wide, maxilla 0.65 long, 0.46 wide, anterior end wider with a groove near the apex, scopulae present, sternum 1.18 long, 0.98 wide, no distinct hairs, legs long, first leg dark brown with swollen femora, patella and tibia as compared with all other segments. Tibia I provided with four big strong spines prolaterally. Apex of all tarsi rounded with black spot. All leg segments are clothed with trichobothria.

Spinnation: Leg I fe r=1, p=1; ti p=4 (strong spines), 1 small spine; Leg II fe r-2, d=2, p=2; mt p=2; Leg III fe p=2, d=3, r=1; ti p=2, r=2; mt p=1; Leg IV fe r=1, d=3.

Pedipalp: Yellow elongated with moderately broad cymbium. Bulbus broad with smaller blunt embolus, double tibial apophysis retrolateral flat, dorsolateral slightly curved.

Abdomen: Slender elongated, brownish-orange along the middle dorsal area and yellow laterally. Ventrum grayish colour on the middle with yellowish-grey laterally. Anterior spinnerets 0.34 long, posterior 0.52 long.


We have considered the present species as E. praetextata based on the palp structure tibial apophysis and tibial spur structure provided in Jastrzebski (2007). We noticed that the male of E. praetextata closely resembled that of E. calcarata (Karch, 1880). On looking at the recently published literature (Jastrzebski 2007), epigyne and male structure of P. praetextata from Bhutan and Nepal were very much similar to E. calcarata (Proszynski 2007). The difference between the two species is in the tibial apophysis and tibial spine, which seems to be a weak characteristic to differentiate between the two species (Jastrzebski 2007; Proszynski 2007). As stated by Jastrzebski (2007) male E. praetextata can be differentiated from E. calcarata in having blunt embolus and double apophysis. Similarly, the difference in the female epigyne is based on weak characteristics like width of copulatory duct opening and insemination duct’s angle of attachement with spermathecae (Jastrzebski 2007). Interestingly, embolus is blunt even in E. calcarata and there is double tibial apophysis which could be clearly seen in the literature provided by Proszynski (2007). Similar is the case with illustrations provided for epigyne of both the species, basic structure is very similar. Based on the literature available on both the species, it is likely that these two are the same species with slight geographical variations in the tibial apophysis and spine structure or even it could be differences in the drawings by different authors. Therefore, a revision of this genus is required based on the type specimens.


India (present record), Bhutan, Nepal, Myanmar to Java.


Jastrzebski, P. (2007). Salticidae from the Himalayas. The genus Epocilla Thorell, 1887 (Arachnida: Araneae). Acta Arachnologica 56(1): 15–19.

Proszynski, J. (2007). Monograph of the Salticidae (Araneae) of the World. (Accessed on 07 August 2013)

Platnick, N.I. (2013). The world spider catalog, version 14.0. American Museum of Natural History, online at (Accessed on 31 December 2013);

Siliwal, M., N. Gupta & S. Molur (2013). The Striated Parachute Spider Poecilotheria striata Pocock, 1895 (Araneae: Theraphosidae): a note on taxonomy, distribution and conservation status. Journal of Threatened Taxa 5(12): 4630–4640;

Thorell, T. (1887). Viaggio di. Fea in Birmani e. r-egioni vicine. II Primo saggio sui ragni birmani. Ann. Mus. Civ. Stor. Nat. Geneva 25: 5–417.