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The faunistic diversity of cave-dwelling spiders (Arachnida, Araneae) of Greece

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The faunistic diversity of cave-dwelling spiders (Arachnida, Araneae) of Greece


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Until today, from Greek caves a total of 109 species of spiders belonging to 25 families are known. One species, the linyphiid Porrhomma convexum (Westring, 1861) was recorded here for the first time in Greece. The 109 species are distributed in caves of different geographic territories as follows: Thrace – 8 species, Macedonia – 18, Epirus – 1, Thessaly – 6, Central Greece – 3, Attiki-Saronic Islands – 24, Peloponnese – 15, Evoia-Vories Sporades – 1, Eastern Aegean Islands – 5, Cyclades – 3, Dodecanese – 6, Ionian Islands – 23, Crete – 47. The largest fraction of troglobite species were encountered mainly in the territories of Crete – 15 species (5 of which are anophthalmic), the Ionian Islands – 4, Thrace – 2 (both anophthalmic), the Attiki-Saronic Islands – 2 (both anophthalmic), the Peloponnese – 2 (one anophthalmic), and Macedonia, Thessaly, and the Cyclades – each with 2 species. The richness of the troglobitic spiders in these regions strengthens the assumption that they were major centres of speciation and evolution for the species of this group. According to their current distribution, the established 109 species can be classified into 12 zoogeograpical categories, grouped into 4 complexes (widely distributed, European, Mediterranean, endemics). The largest number of species belong to the endemic complex (53.2 %) and are also the most characteristic and reflect the local character of the cave-dwelling spiders.


cave-spiders fauna; endemics; troglobites; zoogeography