Two new species of Vitalius (Araneae: Theraphosidae) from the restingas of the states of Rio de Janeiro, Bahia and Sergipe, Brazil
Brazil is the country with the most diverse tarantula (Theraphosidae) fauna, having 215 described species. Vitalius Lucas, Silva Júnior & Bertani, 1993 is one of the most diverse and common genera in Southern, Southeastern and Central-West regions of Brazil with ten described species. Individuals of Vitalius species are large and widespread in areas of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. A single species is known to occur in areas of Cerrado vegetation. Herein, two new species are described from areas of restinga, coastal areas typically with low vegetation and sandy soil, in the coast of the states of Rio de Janeiro (Vitalius restinga sp. nov.), Bahia and Sergipe (Vitalius sapiranga sp. nov.). Males and females of these two new species have a much longer than wide sternum. Males have a short apical keel in the male palpal bulb. The two species can be distinguished by embolus width, slender in V. restinga sp. nov. and thicker in V. sapiranga sp. nov. Females can be distinguished by the spermathecae shape, slender in V. restinga sp. nov. and broader in V. sapiranga sp. nov. These are the first known theraphosids endemic to Brazilian Atlantic Coast restingas. Biological data indicate V. sapiranga sp. nov. and maybe V. restinga sp. nov. commonly use bromeliads as retreats. It is herein hypothesized they are sister species occupying similar habitats in Brazilian coast, but separated by ca. 1,000 kilometers.
A new electric-blue tarantula species of the genus Chilobrachys Karsh, 1892 from Thailand (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Theraphosidae)
The enchanting phenomenon of blue coloration in animals arises from the fact that blue is one of the rarest colors found in nature, and it is a structural color that is produced by the arrangement of biological photonic nanostructures, rather than pigments. This unique coloration has evolved independently in many different species, adding to the fascination and diversity of coloration patterns in the animal kingdom. This study describes a new species of Chilobrachys Karsch, 1892 from southern Thailand that exhibits a blue-violet hue resembling the color of electrical sparks. Photographic illustrations, a morphological description, and the natural habitat of the new species are given. The diagnosis, palpal-bulb structures, spermathecae, and stridulatory organ morphology of related species are discussed.
Increasing knowledge of Cymbiapophysa Gabriel & Sherwood, 2020 (Araneae, Theraphosidae): general distribution, key to species, and three new species from Ecuador
Three new species of Cymbiapophysa Gabriel & Sherwood, 2020 are described from south, central, and north-western Ecuador, showing the wide range of distribution that this genus has in Ecuador and its biogeographical provinces. These three new species are easily differentiated from other congeners based on keel morphology of the male palpal bulb. Supplementary information about the locality of C. magna Sherwood, Gabriel, Brescovit & Lucas, 2021 is provided, alongside additional data on morphology and some commentaries about the general distribution and biogeography of Cymbiapophysa. Additionally, a taxonomic key for males of Cymbiapophysa species is presented, based on the palpal bulb morphology.
A survey of the spider genus Ischnocolus Ausserer, 1871 (Aranei: Theraphosidae) in Israel, with description of a new species
The genus Ischnocolus Ausserer, 1871 is found to include three species represented in Israel: the recently described I. ignoratus Guadanucci et Wendt, 2014, I. meron sp.n. described herein, and an additional congener inhabiting the Negev Desert and known only from a subadult specimen (most likely, belonging to I. jickelii L. Koch, 1875). The new species differs from I. ignoratus as well as from other congeners by a specific configuration of the spermathecae and by integral leg tarsi I–IV lacking the transverse suture. Regarding the type series of I. ignoratus, a controversial information concering the collection data is discussed in detail. Ischnocolus meron sp.n. and I. ignoratus are diagnosed, depicted and (re)described; the data on their ecology and distribution are also provided. How to cite this paper: Zonstein S.L. 2023. A survey of the spider genus Ischnocolus Ausserer, 1871 (Aranei: Theraphosidae) in Israel with description of a new species // Arthropoda Selecta. Vol.30. No.2. P.197– 212. doi: 10.15298/arthsel. 32.2.05
Phylogenomics of Lasiodoriforms: reclassification of the South American genus Vitalius Lucas, Silva and Bertani and allied genera (Araneae: Theraphosidae)
Theraphosinae is the most diverse subfamily of Theraphosidae spiders, but their evolutionary history remains unresolved to date. This problem is common in taxonomic groups with phylogenetic hypotheses that have often been based only on qualitative morphological characters and, rarely, on molecular analyses. Phylogenomics has significantly contributed to the understanding of the evolution ofmany non-model groups, such as spiders. Herein, we employed ultraconserved elements (UCEs) phylogenomics to propose a new hypothesis for a group of Theraphosinae genera, namely Lasiodoriforms: Vitalius, Lasiodora, Eupalaestrus, Pterinopelma, Proshapalopus, and Nhandu. We propose three genera and their respective morphological diagnoses are provided. Our phylogeny supports the transfer of species from the genus Vitalius to Pterinopelma and Proshapalopus and from Proshapalopus to Eupalaestrus. Finally, we describe a new species of Vitalius from Southern Brazil. Based on these three new generic descriptions and transferred species, the Lasiodoriform tarantulas comprise nine genera from Argentina, Brazil, Paraguay, and Uruguay, and the genus Vitalius now includes seven species.
Four new species of mygalomorph spiders (Araneae, Halonoproctidae and Theraphosidae) from the Colombian Pacific region (Bahía Solano, Chocó)
The Colombian Pacific coast is an amazing natural region, immersed in one of the most unknown biodiversity hotspots in the world. An expedition carried out in the north of this area, at the Jardín Botánico del Pacífico (JBP) in Bahía Solano, Chocó, focused on studying the diversity of the mygalomorph spider fauna, allowed us to discover four new species included in the families Halonoproctidae and Theraphosidae. The trapdoor species Ummidia solana sp. nov., and the theraphosids species Euthycaelus cunampia sp. nov. (Schismatothelinae), Melloina pacifica sp. nov. (Glabropelmatinae), and Neischnocolus mecana sp. nov. (Theraphosinae) are illustrated, diagnosed, and described in detail. Photographs of somatic features and copulatory organs and a distribution map are provided. Morphological, taxonomical, and biogeographical aspects are discussed for each species. All these taxonomic novelties represent the first records of these genera for the region, expanding the range of geographic distribution of each of them. This work constitutes the first effort focused on characterizing the community of Mygalomorphae species in the Chocó Biogeographic Region.
On the genus Thalerommata Ausserer, 1875 (Araneae, Theraphosidae), with the description of six new species
The poorly known mygalomorph genus Thalerommata Ausserer, 1875 is redescribed and rediagnosed. Thalerommata gracilis Ausserer, 1875 (type species) and T. macella (Simon, 1903) are rediagnosed. Thalerommata meridana (Chamberlin & Ivie, 1938) is considered a nomen dubium. Six new species are described: T. squamea n. sp., T. huila n. sp., T. splendens n. sp., T. pecki n. sp., T. maculata n. sp., and T. gertschi n. sp. Thalerommata is transferred from Barychelidae to Theraphosidae and considered closely related with Trichopelma Simon, 1888, with which it shares the biserially dentate superior tarsal claws in males in combination with non-incrassate PLS. The genus is distributed from northern South- America to the Caribbean.
Genus Schismatothele Karsch, 1879 (Araneae, Theraphosidae): taxonomic notes and seven new species description
Seven new species of Schismatothele Karsch, 1879 (Araneae, Theraphosidae) are described, almost doubling the diversity of the genus: S. caeri sp. nov.; S. caiquetia sp. nov.; S. merida sp. nov.; S. moonenorum sp. nov.; S. quimbaya sp. nov.; S. timotocuica sp. nov. and S. wayana sp. nov. An identification key for all species of Schismatothele (except S. kastoni) is presented, as well as a complementary diagnosis for the genus. Also, a standardized nomenclature is proposed to describe the prolateral keels of male palpal bulbs of species of Schismatothele.
Description of the female of Melloina gracilis (Schenkel, 1953) (Mygalomorphae: Theraphosidae) with comments on the familial placement of Melloina
The female of Melloina gracilis (Schenkel, 1953), a species previously known only from males, is described. This is the second species of the genus known from both sexes. Detailed morphological description and figures of the female specimen are presented. A reanalysis of Mori & Bertani, 2020 matrix is done and some comments about the familial placement of the genus Melloina Brignoli, 1985 are made.