Zeeshan A Mirza
I am a student interested in taxonomy, evolutionary, bio-geographic and behavioral aspect of reptiles, scorpions and mygalomorph spiders.
A distinctive new species of ground burrowing tarantula from Western Ghats endemic genus Thrigmopoeus is described from Kerala State, India. Thrigmopoeus psychedelicus sp. nov. differs from putative species of the genus in the adults being black overall with a metallic blue lustre on the carapace and abdomen. Females of Thrigmopoeus psychedelicus sp. nov. exhibit polychromatism. Juveniles and sub-adults are paler with vibrant maroon colouration on its abdomen whereas adult females are much darker and lack vibrant colouration as sub-adults.
The theraphosid spider genera Heterophrictus Pocock, 1900 and Neoheterophrictus Siliwal & Raven, 2012 are rediagnosed in this paper and a new genus, Sahydroaraneus gen. nov. is described from Southern Western Ghats. Four new species (two each of Heterophrictus and Neoheterophrictus) and one of Sahydroaraneus gen. nov. are described from the Western Ghats. Plesiophrictus mahabaleshwari Tikader, 1977 is removed from the synonymy of Heterophrictus milleti Pocock, 1900 and is treated as a junior synonym of Heterophrictus blatteri (Gravely, 1935). Plesiophrictus bhori Gravely, 1915 is transferred to the genus Neoheterophrictus, Neoheterophrictus bhori (Gravely, 1915) new combination. The genus, Sahydroaraneus gen. nov., resembles tarantula belonging to the genus, Neoheterophrictus but differs with respect to structure of tibial apophysis and spermathecae. Detailed ultra-structure of setae type of the Indian Eumenophorinae is presented for the first time along with notes on their biogeography. Common elements among Africa, Madagascar and India like the Eumenophorinae and several other mygalomorph spiders advocate mygalomorphae as an important group for evolutionary investigation due to their inability for long distance dispersal rendering the members restrictive in distribution.
Species described or mentioned