Otto & Japoshvili (2018): The spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) of the Lagodekhi Reserve, Georgia: faunistic results of a transect study and an updated checklist
Abstract: In the largest systematic spider collection effort in a single location in the Caucasus Ecoregion, across several altitudinal zones and throughout the entire vegetation period of one year, 426 juvenile and 359 adult spiders belonging to 69 species from 48 genera and 19 families were collected in the Lagodekhi Reserve (Georgia) in 2014, using Malaise traps on a transect with seven study plots between 666 and 2559 m in the montane, subalpine and alpine vegetation zones. Phoroncidia pilula (Karsch, 1879) is recorded in the Western Palaearctic for the first time. Thirty-eight species are recorded in the Lagodekhi Reserve for the first time, raising the number of spider species of this reserve to 202 species, five additions are first records for the Caucasus Ecoregion and ten species are first records for Georgia. Diagnostic drawings and analyses are provided for 13 species, e.g. Megalepthyphantes pseudocollinus Saaristo, 1997, Phoroncidia paradoxa (Lucas, 1846), P. pilula (Karsch, 1879) and Trochosa cachetiensis Mcheidze, 1997. An updated checklist of the spiders in the Lagodekhi Reserve is provided.
Otto, S. & Japoshvili, G. (2018): The spiders (Arachnida: Araneae) of the Lagodekhi Reserve, Georgia: faunistic results of a transect study and an updated checklist. Arachnology 17(8) 375-391. [PDF link]
[soon to be updated: -> link to this publication’s page on https://caucasus-spiders.info/]
Mikhailov et al. 2017, full-text PDF
Clubiona caucasica Mikhailov & Otto, 2017 has been described from the Caucasus in Mikhailov et al. (2017). Apparently all former records of Clubiona caerulescens from the Caucasus actually belong to this new species and C. caerulescens does not occur in the Caucasus Ecoregion.
Visit the species page of Clubiona caucasica on caucasus-spiders.info.
Habitus of the male of Incestophantes shetekaurii Otto & Tanasevitch 2015
Otto, S. & Tanasevitch, A.V. (2015): A new Incestophantes Tanasevitch, 1992 from the high mountains of the Caucasus Major (Arachnida: Aranei: Linyphiidae). Arthropoda Selecta 24(1): 107-112 (PDF)
Chimghisklde Ridge in Assa Valley (Khevsureti) – with alpine scree as the habitat of the new species.
Abstract: The new species, Incestophantes shetekaurii sp.n., is described from the high mountains of the Caucasus Major (Georgia, 2500 m a.s.l.). This new species is similar to the European-West Siberian I. crucifer (Menge, 1866) and to the Crimean I. australis Gnelitsa, 2009, but differs noticeably in the details of the genitalia in both sexes. The generic position of Bolyphantes lagodekhensis (Tanasevitch, 1990), and its differences to I. shetekaurii sp.n., is briefly discussed and illustrated.
Chaladze, G., S. Otto & S. Tramp (2014): A spider diversity model for the Caucasus Ecoregion. Journal of Insect Conservation 18(3): 407-416 DOI 10.1007/s10841-014-9649-1 PDF
Species richness distribution of all species with a valid distribution model across the study area. Darker shades indicate higher predicted numbers of species
Abstract: Precise information on spatial patterns of species richness and endemic species distribution is important for effective species conservation. In the Caucasus Ecoregion such information is virtually non-existent for invertebrate taxa. Using occurrence data from a large database we calculated species distribution models with the GARP algorithm for 471 spider species to visualize the diversity distribution of spider species in this region. Overall species diversity was highest in mountain forests of the North Caucasus, east-central Georgia, the southern slopes of the eastern Great Caucasus and south-east Azerbaijan. A regression tree analysis Chi squared automatic interaction detector method revealed the mean temperature of the driest quarter and precipitation parameters to be the main environmental factors shaping these patterns. Diversity of endemic species was correlated with overall species diversity but hotspots of endemic species (10+ percent of all species) exists in high-mountain areas, suggesting post-glacial speciation events in the high mountains as the main sources of high endemism in Caucasus. Further information on the spatial distribution of species diversity of invertebrate taxa in the Caucasus Ecoregion is needed to improve conservation efforts in this biodiversity hotspot.