Biospeleology of the Piemonte
(North-western Italy)

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Arthropoda, Arachnida, Araneae

Arachnida, Araneae, Pimoidae, Pimoa rupicola (=Louisfagea rupicola) (Simon, 1884) - This spider has a peculiar systematic position. During the last century it has been assigned to several families, like the Metidae, Tetragnathidae, Linyphiidae and, recently (1994), it has been classified in a new taxon, the Pimoidae family, by the american specialist Gustavo Hormiga. This Araneae has been also assigned subsequently to different genus: Labulla, Metella (this name was abandoned because of a synonymy with a crustacean) and Louisfagea (dedicated to the French arachnologist Louis Fage) and finally, always by Hormiga in 1994, to the genus Pimoa. Claudio Arn˛, during the determination of specimens of this species picked up by the author in the Partisans Cave of Rossana (July 2000), has verified that exist a remarkable difference between the female genitals (epiginus and vulva) represented by Brignoli in 1971 and those ones drawed by other authors that have described afterwards the species. We can define this spider as a troglophile since usually it lives in cave environments where it weaves its irregular webs with a drape shape situated generally near the ground, with them it hunts insects and other Arthropods living in this environment. The size of this spider are remarkable (more than 3 cm when it rests, while the legspan can reach 7 cm); its bearing is soaring and elegant. The geographic distribution of this species is described in several texts from the French Alps to the Toscana (central Italy) and in Piemonte there are not much citations in caves of the Ligurian, Maritime e Cottian Alps. The recent search of the author have documented the biology of this species (like the copulation represented in the photo below) and besides the stations already citated in literature (Partisans Cave and Rio Martino Cave), the author has documented the presence of this spider in cavities of the middle-higher Po Valley and Sangone Valley. (Real size of the body: about 10-12 mm).



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