Masirana glabra (Komatsu, 1957)



Taxonomy & Nomenclature

Synonym/s: Sarutana glabra Komatsu, 1957 (basionym)


The genus Sarutana (with S. glabra as the type species) was synonymised with Masirana by (Irie & Ono, 2005).


Conservation Status

Rediscovered at the type locality after 65 years, on 4 March 2022 (Ballarin & Eguchi, 2022).



Saruta-dô cave, Kochi Prefecture, Shikoku, Japan



"M. glabra shows clear morphological adaptations for the life in dark, subterranean habitats such as depigmentation, reduction of eyes and elongation of legs."

(Ballarin & Eguchi, 2022:57)



Biology & Ecology

"Notes on habitat and ecology. Specimens used in this study were collected in the dark zone of the upper branch of the cave, approximately 30 m far from the secondary entrance, in a humid area (temp: 15°C, humidity: 91.8%) with clay and large rocks on the floor (Fig. 14). Adult and juveniles were observed spinning simple irregular webs in narrow recesses of the walls of the cave and in empty spaces between the rocks on the floor... Komatsu (1961, pp. 40, 43) suggested that Masirana glabra is a permanent cave-dwelling spider only living in the inner section of the cave. Our observations mentioned above further support M. glabra as a true troglobiont."

(Ballarin & Eguchi, 2022:56,57)



Originally described from a single male (Komatsu, 1957), the species' rediscovery resulted in a further male and the first two females of the species to be collected (Ballarin & Eguchi, 2022:54).






Original scientific description:

Komatsu, T. (1957). Some new cave spiders in Japan. Acta Arachnologica 14: 67-73.


Other references:

Ballarin, Francesco and Eguchi, Katsuyuki. (2022). Rediscovery of the troglobitic midget-cave spiders Masirana glabra (Komatsu 1957) with redescription of the male and first description of the unknown female (Araneae: Leptonetidae). Acta Arachnologica 71(1): 53-58.

Irie, Teruo and Ono, Hirotsugu. (2005). Seven New Species of the Genera Falcileptoneta and Masirana (Araneae, Leptoneidae) from Kyushu, Japan. Bull. Natn. Sci. Mus., Tokyo, Ser. A, 31(3): 77-92.

Irie, Teruo and Ono, Hirotsugu. (2009). Leptonetidae. In: Ono, H. (ed.) The spiders of Japan with keys to the families and genera and illustrations of the species. Tokai University Press, Kanagawa, pp. 113-120.

Kobayashi, H. (1973). Two new spiders of the genus Sarutana (Leptonetidae: Araneae) from Shizuoka Prefecture, Japan. Acta Arachnologica 25: 1-9.

Komatsu, T. (1961). Cave spiders of Japan, their taxonomy, chorology and ecology. Arachnological Society of East Asia, Osaka. 91 pp.

Komatsu, T. (1970). A new genus and a new species of Japanese spiders (Falcileptoneta n. g. and Sarutana kawasawai n. sp., Leptonetidae). Acta Arachnologica 23: 1-12.

Komatsu, T. (1974). Leptonetid spiders in Akiyoshi-dai Plateau. Bulletin of the Akiyoshi-dai Museum of Natural History 10: 17-30.


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