The tarantula genus Brachypelma includes colourful species that are highly sought after in the commercial pet trade. They are all included in CITES appendix II. We present phylogenetic analyses using molecular and morphological characters to revise Brachypelma, in which we include all currently known species. Our results agree with a previous study that shows the non-monophyly of Brachypelma. Both phylogenies strongly favour the division of Brachypelma into two smaller genera. The first clade (Brachypelma s.s.) is formed by B.albiceps, B. auratum, B. baumgarteni, B. boehmei, B. emilia, B. hamorii, B. klaasi and B. smithi. The species included in the second clade are transferred to the new genus Tliltocatl and is formed by T. albopilosum comb. nov., T. epicureanum comb. nov., T. kahlenbergi comb. nov., T. sabulosum comb. nov., T. schroederi comb. nov., T. vagans comb. nov. and T. verdezi comb. nov. Both genera can be differentiated by their coloration and the shape of the genitalia. We transfer to Tliltocatl: T. alvarezi, T. andrewi and T. aureoceps, but should be considered as nomina dubia. In addition, we transfer B. fossorium to Stichoplastoris. We discuss the implications of these taxonomical changes for CITES and for the Mexican Laws for wildlife protection.
The suborder Mygalomorphae is generally poorly represented in the cave faunas of the world. The genus Hemirrhagus is endemic to Mexico and has 22 described species. It is the only one with epigean, troglophile and troglobitic species. Lack of urticating setae, loss of eye pigmentation and ocular reduction are interpreted as evolutionary reversals related to their troglobitic habits. From five troglobitic species in the genus, only the male of Hemirrhagus stygius is known. Five new troglobitic species are described with both sexes: Hemirrhagus akheronteus sp. nov., Hemirrhagus billsteelei sp. nov., Hemirrhaugus diablo sp. nov., Hemirrhagus kalebi sp. nov. and Hemirrhagus sprousei sp. nov. The female of Hemirrhagus chilango is described for the first time. Hemirrhagus akheronteus sp. nov. has a group of spinose setae on the opisthosoma; this setal modification was never reported in any other theraphosid spiders. Females of Hemirrhagus kalebi sp. nov. and Hemirrhagus sprousei sp. nov. lay fixed hammock egg sacs, which is an unusual behavior among species in Theraphosinae. Two stridulating setae previously reported only in epigean species are present on some of the new troglobites.
Mexican red-kneed tarantulas of the genus Brachypelma are regarded as some of the most desirable invertebrate pets, and although bred in captivity, they continue to be smuggled out of the wild in large numbers. Species are often difficult to identify based solely on morphology, therefore prompt and accurate identification is required for adequate protection. Thus,weexplored the applicability of using COI-basedDNAbarcoding as a complementary identification tool. Brachypelma smithi (F. O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1897) and Brachypelma hamorii Tesmongt, Cleton & Verdez, 1997 are redescribed, and their morphological differences defined. Brachypelma annitha is proposed as a new synonym of B. smithi. The current distribution of red-kneed tarantulas shows that the Balsas River basin may act as a geographical barrier. Morphological and molecular evidence are concordant and together provide robust hypotheses for delimitingMexican red-kneed tarantula species. DNA barcoding of these tarantulas is further shown to be useful for species-level identification and for potentially preventing black market trade in these spiders. As a Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES) listing does not protect habitat, or control wildlifemanagement or human interactionswith organisms, it is important to support environmental conservation activities to provide an alternative income for local communities and to avoid damage to wildlife populations.
Magnacarina gen. nov. from Mexico is described. Hapalopus aldanus West, 2000 from Nayarit, is transferred to the new genus with an emended diagnosis creating the new combination Magnacarina aldana comb. nov. Three new species are described: Magnacarina moderata Locht, Mendoza & Medina sp. nov. from Nayarit and Sinaloa; Magnacarina primaverensis Mendoza & Locht sp. nov. and Magnacarina cancer Mendoza & Locht sp. nov., both from Jalisco. Magnacarina gen. nov. is characterized by an unusual bifid palpal bulb, and has a primary projection located in the central area of the palpal bulb and directed retrolaterally; this projection possesses the prolateral superior and retrolateral keels. Next to the primary projection is a secondary projection, which may be short or long, ending in the prolateral inferior and apical keel surrounding the sperm pore. This secondary projection may have prolateral accessory keels and is diagnosed by possessing a nodule of inwardly curled megaspines, located in the basal ventro-retrolateral region of metatarsi I in adult males. Additionally, male tibiae I possess three apophyses. Females of Magnacarina gen. nov. have a single reduced and strongly sclerotized spermatheca, with an apical lobe projecting ventrally, and with a uterus externus that is longer and wider than the spermatheca.
A new species of tarantula, Psalmopoeus victori sp. nov. (Araneae, Theraphosidae, Aviculariinae) is described from Veracruz, Mexico. It is the first arboreal species described in Mexico and represents the most northerly known distribution for the genus Psalmopoeus. A detailed description of the lyra is presented.
The theraphosine genus Hemirrhagus Simon 1903 is revised based on the examination of the type specimens and additional material collected in Mexico. Eight species were redescribed and illustrated. The males of Hemirrhagus ocellatus, Hemirrhagus papalotl, and Hemirrhagus stygius, formerly unknown, are described for the first time. Five new species were recognized and are newly described and illustrated. Hence, Hemirrhagus comprises 21 valid species, all endemic to Mexico. All species are keyed and mapped. New taxonomic features are included in the descriptions and different types of stridulatory organs are described for the first time for the genus. It is reported for the first time that Hemirrhagus is the only known Theraphosinae that lays fixed egg-sacs. Hemirrhagus embolulatus sp. nov. is described as the only known Hemirrhagus that possesses embolus keels present in other Theraphosinae genera. Information on species habitat and reproduction are included. © 2014 The Linnean Society of London