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Revista Ibérica de Aracnología, nº 24 (30/06/2014): 109–110.                                      NOTA CIENTÍFICA
Grupo Ibérico de Aracnología (S.E.A.). ISSN: 1576 - 9518.          

Araneus angulatus Clerck,1757 (Araneae: Araneidae), new
   for the fauna of the Sicilian and Maltese archipelagos

                        Arnold Sciberras1, Jeffrey Sciberras2,
                    Mario Freudenschuss3, Walter P. Pfliegler4

1 133 `Arnest`, Arcade Str., Paola, Malta –
2 24 'Camilleri Court' flat 5, il-Marlozz Str, Mellieħa (Ghadira), Malta –
3 Siegfriedstrasse 1, 4300 St. Valentin, Österreich –
4 Department of Genetics and Applied Microbiology, University of Debrecen, Egyetem tér 1, H-4032 Debrecen, Hungary


Abstract: The first records of the widespread Palaearctic orb-weaver spider Araneus angulatus Clerck,1757 (Araneae, Araneidae) from
the Sicilian and Maltese islands are reported.
Key words: Araneae, Araneidae, Araneus angulatus, faunistics, new records, Sicilian islands, Maltese islands.

Araneus angulatus Clerck,1757 (Araneae: Araneidae), nueva para la fauna de los archipiélagos de Sicilia y Malta
Resumen: Se presentan las primeras citas para las islas de Sicilia y Malta de la araña Araneus angulatus Clerck,1757 (Araneae, Ara-
neidae), de amplia distribución paleártica.
Palabras clave: Araneae, Araneidae, Araneus angulatus, faunística, nuevas citas, archipiélago de Sicilia, archipiélago de Malta.

The islands of Sicily and Malta.                                             est scientific name of an animal that is still in use. According to
Sicily is located in the centre of the Mediterranean, separated from         Baldacchino et al. (1993) and Dandria et al. (2005) this species is not
mainland Europe only by the narrow Strait of Messina, and separat-           known from the Maltese archipelago. In Europe the species has
ed closest from African continent by the Pantelleria Shoal. Sicily           records from almost all countries. Out of the main islands of the
comprises a number of satellite islands and archipelagos - the main          Mediterranean, it is known from the Balearic Islands (Cardoso &
are: the Stagnone Lagoon with four islands, namely Longa, Scuola,            Morano, 2010), but not from Corsica (Le Peru, 2007), Sardinia
Mozia (or San Pantaleo) and Santa Maria. Ustica Island is a small            (Stoch, 2003; Trotta, 2005; Pantini & Isaia, 2008; Pantini et al.,
volcanic island, about 9 km2, situated 52 km north of Capo Gallo,            2013), Sicily (Stoch, 2003; Trotta, 2005), Crete (Bosmans et al.,
part of Palermo, in the Tyrrhenian Sea. The Aeolian Islands are a            2013) or Cyprus (Nentwig et al., 2013). It has to be noted that
volcanic archipelago in the Tyrrhenian Sea north of Sicily, part of          Nentwig et al., (2013) list the species for Sicily, based on the per-
Messina, including Lipari, Vulcano, Salina, Stromboli, Filicudi,             sonal communication of P. Pantini, but no published record is known
Alicudi, Panarea and Basiluzzo. The Pelagie Islands (part of Agri-           for the occurrence of A. angulatus on the island.
gento) constitute of three small islands of Lampedusa, Linosa, and
Lampione, located in the Mediterranean Sea between Malta and                 Araneus angulatus on Sicily and Malta
Tunisia. To the northwest lies the island of Pantelleria (part of Tra-       A collection of Arachnids from Malta and Sicily was studied recent-
pani). The Aegadian Islands (part of Trapani) are a western Sicilian         ly (2010-2012) by the authors. This collection was compiled be-
archipelago 9 km away from the nearest point to the mainland Sicily.         tween 1997 and 2012 by several Maltese naturalists. The bulk of the
The archipelago consists of three main islands Favignana, Marettimo          material was collected and maintained by the authors (A.S., J.S.).
and Levanzo. Several satellite islets occur within the main Sicilian         Four specimens of Araneus angulatus were present in the material.
archipelagoes and around mainland Sicily. The Maltese islands are            These represent new records for the Sicilian and Maltese archipela-
located in the centre of the Mediterranean, just 96 km south of Sici-        gos:
ly, 290 km from North Africa, 1836 km from Gibraltar, and 1519
km from Alexandria Egypt (Schembri, 1993). The Maltese archipel-                    ● 1 female; urban habitat with woodland dominated by Pinus
ago is made up of three major inhabited islands: Malta, the largest;         sylvestris L.; Rosolini in the Province of Syracuse, Sicily; 6 May
Gozo and Comino. Besides, around these, there are other scattered            2001; coll. A. Sciberras.
uninhabited islets and rocks. The main islets are Filfla Island, Fun-
gus Rock, Selmunett Island, Malta, Manuel Island, Ta’ Fraben Islet                  ● 1 female; on shrubs; Ħalfa Islet, Maltese archipelago; 8 Oc-
and Cominotto. The smaller other islets and rocks are Large Blue             tober 2007; coll. A. Sciberras & J. Sciberras. Notes: another five
Lagoon Rock, Small Blue Lagoon Rock , Ħalfa Rock , Taċ-Ċawl                  specimens were noted on the same day including one egg sac. This
Rock, Cheirolophus, Ta’Taħt il-Mazz Rock, Fessej Rock and                    female was found on the largest specimen of Pistacia lentiscus L.on
Barbaganni Rock .The total surface area of the Maltese islands is            the islet (Sciberras & Sciberras, 2010) (Figure 1).
316 km2. This geographical location of the Maltese islands gives
them unique ecological characteristics (Sciberras & Sciberras, 2010;                ●1 female; “ermes habitat“ (a degraded form of scrub-
Sciberras, Sciberras & Pisani, 2012).                                        land;Shrubbery transitioned to a steppe habitat (Pasta et al., 2014)
                                                                             dominated mainly by Foeniculum vulgare Miller; Favignana Island,
Distribution of Araneus angulatus                                            Aegadian archipelago, Sicily; 15 October 2010; coll. A. Sciberras &
Araneus angulatus (Clerck, 1757) is a species of orb-weaving spider          J. Sciberras.
found in the Palaearctic with distinctive tubercles on its abdomen.
The species was first described in Aranei Svecici in 1757, where it                 ● 1 female; mattoral/maquis habitat with Pistacia lentiscus L.;
was the first species described, making Araneus angulatus the earli-         Ustica Island, Sicily; 5 November 2011; coll. A. Sciberras & J.

                                                                                    These data of this wild-spread spider are of interest because
                                                                             they give the species very southern distribution records in Europe. It

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