Alma D. Saucedo, Darrell Ubick, Charles E. Griswold
American Museum Novitates 2015 (3822), 1-71, (16 January 2015) https://doi.org/10.1206/3822.1
A new genus of goblin spider from Madagascar, Volborattella Saucedo and Ubick, is proposed and its five included species newly described and illustrated: V. teresae, the type species, V. guenevera, V. nasario, V. paulyi, and V. toliara. These species differ from other oonopids in several unusual characters, especially the variously modified setae: abdominal scutes having thick recumbent setae with large bases and conspicuous pits; the pedicel region with mats of plumose setae and associated cuticular projections; and anterior metatarsi with prolateral combs. The male palp of Volborattella appears to be unique in having a terminal projection (embolar superior prong, ESP) that forms an abrupt spiral and the female a receptaculum with an accessory duct (curved tube). Volborattella resemble members of the Gamasomorpha complex in lacking leg spines and having a flattened abdomen with complete scutes, but differ genitalically. The Volborattella female has a receptaculum that is wider than long (as opposed to longer than wide in the Gamasomorpha complex) and the male has the embolar region sharply bent (as opposed to evenly curved), which places the genus in the Pelicinus complex. The relationship of Volborattella to other pelicinoids is not resolved. Although the genus most closely resembles some Silhouettella Benoit, Noideattella Álvarez-Padilla et al. and Lionneta Benoit in various genitalic features, somatically it shares with Tolegnaro Álvarez-Padilla et al. and two undescribed Malagasy genera the gamasomorphoid body form and plumose setae. Volborattella females are unusual in having antisymmetrical internal genitalia, with the CTs occurring in either a left or right position, and that these differences in handedness (antisymmetry) are evenly distributed. The shape and size of the CT, as examined through light and scanning microscopy, suggest that it is a coupling pocket for the ESP; if so, Volborattella females are either righties or lefties in their palpal preference.