Revised generic placement of Brachypelma embrithes (Chamberlin & Ivie, 1936) and Brachypelma angustum Valerio, 1980, with definition of the taxonomic features for identification of female Sericopelma Ausserer, 1875 (Araneae, Theraphosidae)
Ray Gabriel, Stuart J. Longhorn
The tarantula genus Sericopelma was originally defined based on male specimens, most notably lacking tibial spurs on leg I. Early female specimens were unrecognised as Sericopelma, and typically placed in Eurypelma – a dumping ground for problem specimens. The first females were only later recognised, but authors failed to adequately define female Sericopelma. Here, the holotypes of the Southern-most alleged Brachypelma species, B. embrithes (Chamberlin & Ivie, 1936) and B. angustum Valerio, 1980 were examined, and finding both to possess defining characteristics of Sericopelma were transferred. The taxonomic attributes to define Sericopelma relative to Brachypelma and select other Neotropical genera are discussed, especially for females. As important diagnostic characters for Sericopelma, the single (unilobar) spermathecae
swollen at the apex forming a P-shaped cross-section, metatarsus IV with trace scopula, femur IV with a dense retrolateral pad of plumose hair, plus other attributes. Some past confusion in these characters are clarified and Sericopelma relative to Brachypelma and Megaphobema mesomelas are discussed. Finally recommendations are given about these taxonomic changes for CITES regulations.