RNDr. Milan Řezáč, Ph.D.
RNDr. Vlastimil Růžička, CSc.
Gnaphosa modestior Kulczyński, 1897 CR

Members of the genus Gnaphosa belong to the largest gnaphosid spiders. They are particularly interesting in nature conservation as their distribution is mainly restricted to disappearing natural non-forest habitats. In Europe, several Gnaphosa species groups occur. The exclusively Palaearctic group G. bicolor is characterised by a retrolaterally-shifted embolus, which occupies at least part of the middle one-third of the palpal bulb
females have laterally expanded epigyne and often have very elongated median epigynal ducts (Ovtsharenko et al. 1992). So far four species of this group have been identified in Europe, with a fifth species found in Central Asia (G. tarabaevi Ovtsharenko, Platnick &
Song, 1992). Two of the European species, G. bicolor (Hahn, 1831) and G. badia (L. Koch, 1866), are well known and their taxonomy and nomenclature is stable, but the same does not hold true for the other two.

The taxonomy and nomenclature of the rare European gnaphosid spiders Gnaphosa alpica and Gnaphosa modestior have been confused. Simon (1878) first described females of G. alpica from southwestern Alps. Almost twenty years later, Władysław Kulczyński described two more species, Gnaphosa modestior (single male from northeastern Croatia, and females from central Hungary and southwestern Romania) and G. laeta (single female from northeastern Hungary) (Chyzer &
Kulczyński 1897), however the author expressed doubts about the species status of G. laeta and suggested that it may be an abberant female Gnaphosa modestior. Ovtsharenko et al. (1992) later published a review of the north Asian Gnaphosa, including the species from Europe, in which they come to incorrect conclusions regarding the identities of the three aforementioned species/names due to a lack of available material. Recently, we were given the opportunity to review this group of species through the study of new material. We redescribe Gnaphosa modestior and G. alpica (including designation of the lectotype and first description of a male) and describe a new, closely related species G. dolanskyi sp. n. from the southeastern Europe and adjacent regions of Asia. Further, we remove G. laeta from synonymy of G. alpica and suggest it to be a synonym of Gnaphosa modestior.
Řezáč M., Růžička V., Oger P. & Řezáčová V. (2018): European species of the Gnaphosa alpica complex (Araneae, Gnaphosidae). Zootaxa 4370 (3): 289–294. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.4370.3.9