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Zelotes electus  (C. L. Koch, 1839)
≤ 1900   1901-1979   1980-2005   2006 ≤
Description: Zelotes electus has stout legs compared to other Zelotes species and therefore appear robust. The species is also characterised by compactly grouped eyes, where the anterior medials are contiguous with the anterior laterals. The pigmentation of the legs aids in distinguishing the species in this genus as well as for a few closely related genera. Zelotes electus has femora brown but darkened apically, dark patella, dark tibia, brown or orange metatarsi and tarsi. Size: Female 4-5.5 mm; male 3.5-4.5 mm.

Genus: Zelotes Gistel, 1848. Characters of genus: Brownish-black to black spiders without markings. Resemble dark species of Drassyllus. Posterior medial eyes are of about the the same size as the laterals. Posterior eyerow is straight, rarely procurved and eyes equidistant. The eye rows are short due to a narrow head region, the width of an eyerow less than one third of the width of the carapace at its widest point. The carapace is usually shiny and shinier than the abdomen. Some species of the genus have been moved to other genera probably because it used to be species rich with more than fifty species known from France. Several species are almost identical and needs microscopic examination of the genitialia to be separated with certainity. Some species may in some cases be identified by the markings on the legs.

Family: Gnaphosidae Pocock, 1898 (Ground Spiders). Characters of family: The gnaphosids are rather stout ecribellate spiders with a flattened and elongate abdomen. The carapace is ovoid and rather low being smoothly convex and with a distinct fovea in most species. The head is not sharply set off from the thoracic region. Gnaphosids are fairly easily recognized by their cylindrical and parallel spinners, the anterior pair being slightly longer, and more heavily sclerotized than the posterior pair. The anterior spinners are separated from each other by approximately one spinner diameter with some exceptions, e.g. Micaria in which genus anterior spinners are closer. They have 8 eyes in 2 rows. The posterior medial eyes are often not round, but oval, triangular or reduced to slits. All eyes are with a silvery sheen except for the anterior medials, which are dark. The sternum is ovoid, pointed posteriorly. The chelicerae are robust, and the fang furrows are provided with teeth. The retromargin may have a sclerotized lamina (flat, keel-like plate) in place of teeth. This lamina is serrated in some genera. The curvature of the posterior row of eyes and the position and shape of cheliceral lamina and teeth are important characters when keying gnaphosids to genus level under the stereomicroscope. The endites usually have an oblique or transverse depression. They are provided with a serrula (row or cluster of tiny teeth on the front margin). Gnaphosids are also characterized by having 2 tarsal claws, claw tufts, and scopulae. Legs are stout and in some species there are small brushes of more and less stiff hairs present distally on metatarsus IV. Female palp is furnished with small spines and a finely toothed claw. The abdomen is often provided with dense coverage of short sleek hairs giving the abdomen a mousy-like appearance. Sometimes erect, curved setae are present, particularly at the anterior edge (see for example images of Gnaphosa lucifuga). Many species are uniformly coloured in greyish-brown or blackish colours. However, abdomens of some species have striking white patterns of spots or lines while abdomens of others are iridescent. Most males have a scutum at the anterior end. The spiracle is situated close to the spinners. Gnaphosids are entelegyne spiders often having rather large epigynes with sclerotized structures. They are somewhat variable and closely related species may be difficult to identify. Male palps are usually provided with a large tibial apophysis and the shape of this is important when identifying the species.
Female
Female
Female
Female
Female
Female
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