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- Selenops mexicanus Keyserling 1880: 228, pl. 6, Fig. 125 (♂, ♀, not examined).
- Selenops mexicanus:F.O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1900: 117, pl. 8, Figs 17–18 (♂, ♀).
- Selenops aissus:Petrunkevitch 1925: 134, Figs 51–52 (♀).
- Selenops mexicanus:Muma 1953: 7, Figs 1–4 (♂, ♀).
- Selenops galapagoensis Banks 1902: 63, pl. 1, Fig. 8 (♀, examined), syn. n.Selenops tehuacanus Muma 1953: 8, Figs 5–6 (♂, examined), syn. n.Selenops vagabundus Kraus 1955: 53, Figs 142–144 (♂, ♀, not examined), syn. n.
Holotype male (Selenops mexicanus): México (BMNH), lost (see below), not examined. Lectotype female (here designated), México, Keyserling collection, (BMNH 90.41.3158.3100).
Muma (1953) noted both male and female types as being in the collection of E. Simon, and deposited in the MNHN. Simon's descriptions were redescriptions of Keyserling's, and these are in the BMNH. The specimens from México include 2 females in one vial, and no males. In a second vial, there are a male and a female from San Jose, Costa Rica (BMNH 184.108.40.206–33). The holotype females of Selenops galapagoensis Banks, 1902, Selenops tehuacanus Muma, 1953 and Selenops vagabundus Kraus, 1955 are in every way identical to the lectotype female of Selenops mexicanus Keyserling 1880, and thus these species names are hereby new synonymies. See also comment below under ‘Remarks'.
Other material examined
COLOMBIA: Valle: Cali, 1000 m, 1973–1974, W. Eberhard, 1♂ (MCZ). COSTA RICA: C. Bergdorf, 1♂, (USMN). Guanacaste: 1♀ (MCZ); Nicoya Peninsula, cave near Loma Bonita, 10°15'04.0"N, 85°17'30.5"W, ~31 m, 18.I.2008, S. Crews, SCC08_023, 1♂ (EME sel_994); Palo Verde National Park, Cueva las Tigres, 10°21'58.9"N, 85°21'14.2"W, ~31 m, 17.I.2007, S. Crews, under rock, under bark, dry limestone forest, SCC08_022, 1♂ (CAS sel_990). Oricuajo: Biolley, Tristan, several (MCZ). San Joaquin: Heredia Espinach, Tristan, 1 imm. (MCZ). San Jose: 1♀ (MCZ); Valerio (MCZ); E. Schmidt, several (AMNH). ECUADOR: Galápagos Islands: Isla Santa Cruz, Academy Bay, Charles Darwin Research Station, ~5 m, 12.III.1970, M. Silbergleid, 1♀ (MCZ); Isla Santa Cruz, Academy Bay, Charles Darwin Research Station, ~5 m, 9.III.1970, M. Silbergleid, 1♀ (MCZ); Isla Santa Cruz, near Caseta, WNW of Academy Bay, 200 m, M. Silbergleid, 1♀ (MCZ); Floreana, 1♂ (MCZ); Isla Santa Cruz, 3 km south Bellavista, transect Z, 115 m, 1-8.IV.1989, S. Peck, 1♀, 1♂ (AMNH). EL SALVADOR: Chaletenango: Mun. Tejutto, Rest. Eucalyptos, 5.I.2008, 14°12'20.5"N, 89°06'43.9"W, ~447 m, S. Crews, R. Duncan, J. Carver, P. Berea, under rocks, SCC08_008, 1♂, 1 imm. (EME sel_922-923). San Salvador: 1928, S. Caldero, 2♀ (USNM). San Vicente: Mun. Tepetitán, vic. Finca El Carmen 13°37'53.0"N, 88°50'19.5"W, ~732 m, 4.I.2008, S. Crews, R. Duncan, SCC08_005, 7♀, 1♂, 1p♂ (CAS sel_897-898, 900, 902, 906-909, 911). GUATEMALA: Altaverapaz: Lanquin, El Retiro hotel, 30.XII.2007, ~146 m, 15°35'01.9"N, 89°58'31.3"W, S. Crews, R. Duncan, SCC07_056, 1 imm. (EME sel_864). El Paso: Peten, 1931, C.L. Lundell, 1♀ (AMNH). Petén: Sta. Elena de la Cruz, Colonia del Bosque, cueva Actun Kan, ~142 m, 16°54'15.7"N, 89°53'54.6"W, 31.XII.2007, S. Crews, SCC08_001, 1♀ (EME sel_868). Solola: Olas de Moca, III.1945, H. Elishewitz, 1♂ (AMNH). HONDURAS: Francisco Morazán: Tegucigulpa, 29.VI.1917, F.J. Dyay, 1♀ (AMNH); Zamorano, 19.X.1946, T.D.A. Cockerell, 1♂ (AMNH). Olancho: Corozal, 9.V.1949, 1♂ (AMNH). Swan Islands: 1.IV.1913, G. Nelson, 1♀ (MCZ). MÉXICO: Chiapas: Bachajon, 90 airline km northeast San Cristobal, VII.1967, S. Roth, 1♀ (AMNH);Berriozabal, dirt road to Efrain A Gutierrez, 8 km north of Berriozabal, 16°51'16.7"N, 93°17'21.6"W, VIII.2007, I. Martinez-Solano, 1 imm. (CAS sel_848); Huixtla, Las Golondrinas, ~4667', 15°25.747'N, 92°39.270'W, 22.IX.2004, S. Crews, U.O.G. Vázquez, A. Mendoza, under concrete blocks stacked under shelter, SCC04_020, 1♂, 1p♂, 8 imm. (CNAN sel_031, 034-037, 039-042, 1011); La Esperanza, 800 m, 19.IX. 1939, C. Bolivar, D. Peiaez, 2♀ (AMNH); La Esperanza, 40 km north of Escuintla, 2.IV.1945, T.C. Schneirla, 1♀ (AMNH); La Reforma, Municipio de la Concordia, 15°54.212'N, 92°40.157'W, ~6310', 18.IX.2004, S. Crews, A. Mendoza, U.O.G. Vázquez, on fence post on side of road, during the day, SCC04_018b, p♀ (EME sel_044); La Zacualpa, 1.VIII.1909, A. Petrunkevitch, 1♀ (AMNH); La Zacualpa, VII-VIII.1909. A. Petrunkevitch, 1♀ (AMNH); Motozintla de Mendoza, Tolíman, ~1078 m, 15°18'59.3"N, 92°19'54.3"W, en tronco de arbol con Anolis y hormigas en la noche, A. Mendoza, SCC004_019a, 1 imm. (EME sel_032); Motozintla de Mendoza, Chevolcán, 21.IX.2004, 1752 m, 15°20'52.4"N, 92°19'25.4"W, U.O.G. Vázquez, A. Mendoza, SCC04_019, 1 imm. (EME sel_033); dirt road to Roberto Barrio, 4 km southwest Nuevo Sonora, 17° 23' 41.1'' N 91° 54' 10.7'' W, VIII.2007, on banana plant, I. Martinez-Solano, 1 imm. (CAS sel_849); Mapastepec, 1.III.1941, H. Wagner, 1♀ (AMNH); Prusia, 1000 m, III-IV. 1942, H. Wagner, 1♀, 1 imm. (AMNH); Tuxtla-Gutierrez: Cañon del Sumidero, A. Mendoza, 1p♂, 1♀ (CNAN sel_1016-1017). Hidalgo: Mun: Villa Flores, road El Rayo-Villa Flores, 21°13'30"N, 99°01'13.7"W, 2.XI.2007, 792 m, U.O.G. Vázquez, under rock beside river, 1 imm. (CNAN sel_1008). Nuevo Leon: Montemorelos, 23.V.1952, 1♀ (AMNH); Río Ramos, near Villa Santiago, under rocks near swift stream, 20.XII.1939, F. Norman, 1♂, 1♀ (AMNH). Oaxaca: Oaxaca, 1.III.1968, O'Rourke, 1♀ (AMNH). San Luis Potosí: Cueva de los Savinos, near Valles, 8.III-4.IV.1946, B.J. Dontzin, E. Ruda, 1♀ (AMNH); Pujal, 1♀ (AMNH); 3 mi southeast of Salto de Aqua, VIII.1955, T. Cohn, 3♀ (AMNH); 9 km north of Valles, Sotano de Tinajas, 11.I.1980, B.,V. Roth, 1♂ (AMNH); Tamazunchale, 20.V.1952, M. Cazier, W. Gertsch, R. Schrammel (AMNH); Valles, 21.V.1952, 1p♂ (AMNH). Tabasco: Boca del Cerro, 1.III.1945, M. Guerra, 1♂ (AMNH). Tamaulipas: 25 miles south of Victoria, 28.XII.1947, 1♀ (AMNH); 15.4 miles south of San Isidron on Mexico 85, 15.II.1961, D. and H. Campbell, 1♀ (AMNH); Mante, 22°45'N, 98°58'W, 17.IV.1963, W.J. Gertsch, W. Ivie, 1♂, 1♀, 1 imm. (AMNH); Rancho Milagro Cruillas, 1 imm. (MCZ); Villa Juarez, 5.VI.1941, 1♀ (AMNH). Veracruz: Alto Lucero, 12.V.1947, H. Wagner, several (AMNH); Atoyac, 13.XI.1941, C.B. and F.V., several (AMNH); Carrizal, 10.II.1948, H. Wagner, 1♀ (AMNH); Cinco Chorros, 25 miles west of Catamace, 18°30'N, 95°2'W, 13.II.1984, V. and B. Roth, 1♀ (AMNH); Fortin, 26.VI.1944, L.I. Davis, 1♀ (AMNH); Jalapa, 18.III.1948, H. Wagner, 1♂ (AMNH), Jalapa, 19.III.1948, H. Wagner, 1♂, 1♀ (AMNH); Tamalín, El Mamey, 3 imm. (CNAN sel_1018-1020). Yucatan: Copan, 4.XI.1902, R.V. Chamberlin, 1♀ (AMNH). NICARAGUA: Altagracia: Lago Nicaragua, Isla Ometepe, Charco Verde, Volcán Concepción, vic. Hotel Finca Vincenzia, 11°28'42.6"N, 35°38'20.6"W, ~670 m, 12.I.2008, S. Crews, R. Duncan, SCC08_014, 3♀, 2 imm. (EME sel_940, 944, 947, 949-950); Totogalpa, Alcadia Ocotal, Departmiento Madríz, 13°33'49.5"N, 86°29'54.6"W, ~672 m, 11.I.2008, S. Crews, R. Duncan, P. Berea, 1♂ (EME sel_934). Boaco: Aguascalientes, Alc. Teustepe, Camino La Cuesta, 12°22'57.8"N, 85°47'30.7"W, ~195 m, 15.I.2008, S. Crews, SCC08_020, 2♀ (EME sel_977, 986). Madríz: Alc. Ocotal, Totogalpa, 11.I.2008, 13°33'49.5"N, 86°29'64.6"W, ~672 m, S. Crews, SCC08_013, under bark of fence post, 1♀ (CAS sel_935). Matagalpa: Alc. San Ramon, Mata Palo, 12°56'16.5"N, 85°51'12.2"W, ~886 m, 14.I.2008, cloud forest, coffee, bananas, S. Crews, R. Duncan, P. Berea, SCC08_018, 1♀, 2 imm. (CAS sel_971, 973-974). PANAMÁ: 1♀ (MCZ). Boquete: 1-8.VIII.1950, A.M. Chickering, several (MCZ). Canal Zone: Ancon, VI.1906, Wheeler, 1♀ (MCZ); Balboa, 18. III. 1954, W.E. Lundy, 1♂, 1♀ (AMNH); Barro Colorado Island:W.C. Allee (MCZ); Barro Colorado Island, STRI, Galeta Pt. Plot F, 2005, C.J. Hayden, 5 imm. (EME sel_265-269); Fort Sherman, 15.VIII.1950, A.M. Chickering, several (MCZ); France Field, 29.XII.1965, B. Payne, 1♀ (AMNH). Chiriqui: El Volcan, 18.II. 1936, W.J. Gertsch, 2♀ (AMNH). El Valle: A.M. Chickering, 1950, several (MCZ). Panama City: 25.I.1945, C.D. Michener, 1♂ (AMNH); XI.1945, C.D. Michener, 1♂ (AMNH). ST. MAARTEN: Philipsburg: Front Street, on palm tree at night near entrance to cruise ship dock, 18°00.906' N, 63°02.587' W, ~6 m, S. Crews, SCC04_067, 1p♀, 1♂ (CAS sel_117-118). UNITED STATES: Arizona: Kingman, Safeway Store on bananas, 13.X.1981, Mrs. Hackley, 1 imm. (AMNH). Florida: Broward Co., Davis Holiday Park, 27.II.2002, S. Costello, 2♀. Washington: Yakima, on food store produce, 30.IV.1976, W. Hudson, 1♀ (USNM). Wisconsin: Wasau, on bananas, XII.1953, W. Levandoski, 1♀, 1♂ (MCZ).
This species is most similar to Selenops aztecus, Selenops gracilis, and Selenops malinalxochitl. The males can be distinguished by the long, sinuous, dorsal branch of the RTA, pointed at the tip. Embolus fairly short, located medially, not covered by another sclerite (Figs 27–28). In females, the median field is more sclerotized than in the other species, and internally, the ducts are branched, with one branch directed anteriorly. The spermathecae can be seen just anterior to the margin of the posterodorsal fold in most specimens. The posterodorsal fold is large and quadrangular, though may be slightly rounded (Figs 29–30).
Several species are synonymized with Selenops mexicanus. The types of these species were compared with the available lectotype of Selenops mexicanus and/or DNA evidence from spiders from the same localities (Crews and Gillespie 2010) and these are being used as evidence for these synonymies. In the types of Selenops tehuacanus and Selenops galapagoensis, no differences were detected between these types and the types of Selenops mexicanus. The types of Selenops vagabundus were unable to be examined. However, from the illustrations of Kraus (1955), there are some differences in the male. I collected specimens that match the illustrations of Kraus (1955), but using DNA data, the specimens are deeply nested within the Selenops mexicanus clade. The differences include a shorter, blunter RTA and part of the MA is obscured by a tergite from which the embolus arises. From the illustration of the female copulatory organs (Kraus 1955) it is difficult to determine if there are any differences, however, new specimens were taken from the same locality and sequenced, and no differences were found.
There is some variation as might be expected in such a widespread species. Genitalic details reveal consistency in males in the RTA, MA and embolus, as well as in the internal copulatory organs in the female. Though the RTA may not be as long as in the holotype specimen (Muma 1953: figs 1–2), it is sinuous and tapers distally. MA with two branches in all specimens, with two bent, finger-like processes, though one branch may be obscured by the sclerite from which the embolus arises in some specimens. The lateral edge of the conductor is slightly sinuous in some specimens. The shape of the median septum and the degree of sclerotization of the median field varies. The median septum may be round to angular and the median field may only be lightly sclerotized or more strongly sclerotized. The area around the median field may be very defined or raised, or may be flat. The posterior indentations also differ in their shape and size. The posterodorsal fold is typically large and quadrangular, though may be rounded or smaller, but a portion of the spermathecae can always be seen above the anterior margin, and the fertilization ducts can usually be seen laterally.
It is clear that other closely related species may yet be discovered (e.g. the female of Selenops aztecus). The genitalic features mentioned above as well as DNA will be useful in distinguishing these new species from Selenops mexicanus.
This species appears to be able to escape detection on produce or landscape plants and has been introduced into the US and St. Maarten. In St. Maarten, a male and young female were collected on a palm that had been shipped from Florida, via México, indicating the species is well-suited for travel. In most areas where it has been found in the US, such as Wisconsin and Washington, climate would likely not allow the spider to become established. In Florida or St. Maarten, the climate is similar to the native range and the species may be able to become established. This could be detrimental to local or endemic species, such as Selenops souliga sp. n. in St. Maarten.
Male (sel_934): Color:carapace light brownish-orange with dusky marks medially and laterally; sternum light orange-brown; chelicerae brown; maxillae light yellow-brown, lightening to white distally; labium orange-brown, lightening toward the distal edge; abdomen dorsally light tan to grey with darker markings, lanceolate medial stripe, and chevrons, festoon present; ventrally cream-colored, dark on sides, and posteriorly; legs light yellow-brown, slightly more orange (darker) distally, annulations faint but visible. Cephalothorax: 0.81 times longer than broad; fovea longitudinal, broad, very shallow. Eyes:AER nearly straight; PER slightly recurved; PME larger than AME, PLE largest, ALE smallest; eye diameters, AME 0.18, ALE 0.08, PME 0.23, PLE 0.28; interdistances AME-PME 0.08, PME-ALE 0.10, ALE-PLE 0.53. PME-PME 1.20. ALE-ALE 1.80; ocular quadrangle AME-AME 0.45, PLE-PLE 2.33; clypeus 0.06 high. Mouthparts:chelicerae with stout setae medially and anteriorly; maxillae longer than broad, with tuft of conspicuous setae distally; labium distally rounded. Sternum:0.90 times longer than broad, posteriorly indented. Legs:leg I only slightly shorter than legs II, III and IV; leg formula 2341; scopulae present distally on all 4 tarsi; tarsi I-IV with strong claw tufts; pr claw toothed, rl claws with fewer teeth; spination: leg I, Fm pr 1–1–0, d 1–1–1, rl 1–1–1; Ti pr 1–0–1, d 0, rl 1–0–1, v 2–2–2; mt v 2–2; leg II, Fm pr 1–1–0, d 1–1–1, rl 1–1–1; Ti pr 1–0–1, d 0, rl 1–0–1, v 2–2–2; Mt v 2–2; leg III, Fm pr 1–1–0, d 1–1–1, rl 1–1–1; Ti pr 1–0–0, v 2–2, rl 1–0–0; Mt v 2–0; leg IV, Fm pr 1–0–0, d 1–1–1, rl 0–1–1; Ti pr 1–0–0, rl 1–0–0, v 1–1; Mt v 2–1. Abdomen:without terminal setal tufts. Pedipalp:Fm, spination dorsal 0–1–4; cymbium oval to round in ventral view, angled posterolaterally; scopulae scattered, denser toward tip; conductor quadrate, lightly sclerotized, arising toward top of bulb; embolus very short, arising at 9 o'clock, terminating at 11 o'clock, attached to a larger quadrate structure that is distally sinuous; MA two-branched with each branch slender and curved, one slightly more blunt than the other, located at 3 o'clock, directed ventrally; RTA with 2 processes, the dorsal process is long and sinuous, pointed at the tip, ventral process smaller; RTA extending at least 1/2 length of cymbium in ventral view (Figs 27–28). Dimensions: Total length 9.85. Carapace length 3.95, width 4.90. Sternum length 1.80, width 2.00. Abdomen length 5.90, width 4.50. Pedipalp: Fm 1.00, Pt 0.30, Ti 0.75, Ta 1.50, total 3.55. Leg I: Fm 5.00, Pt 2.00, Ti 4.60, Mt 4.00, Ta 1.75, total 17.35. Leg II: Fm 6.00, Pt 2.00, Ti 5.00, Mt 5.00, Ta 1.75, total 19.75. Leg III: Fm 6.00, Pt 1.50, Ti 5.00, Mt 4.65, Ta 1.75, total 18.90. Leg IV: Fm 5.75, Pt 1.50, Ti 4.50, Mt 4.50, ta 1.60, total 17.85.
Lectotype female. Color:carapace (lectotype) mahogany red, (recent) brownish-red; sternum (lectotype) light orange-brown, darker around border (recent) dark red-brown; chelicerae (lectotype) red-brown (recent) dark red-brown; maxillae orange-brown, lightening distally; abdomen (lectotype) yellowish-orange, faded, remnants of w-shaped markings from the top to 3/4 of the way to the posterior end, festoon present (recent) light with darker spots and chevrons, somewhat variable; ventrally (lectotype) yellowish, (recent) grey; legs orange to brown, darkening slightly distally, annulations visible, very dark on half of tibia, the lighter area very light (Fig. 69E); Carapace: 0.93 times longer than broad; fovea longitudinal, broad, very shallow. Eyes: AER nearly straight; PER slightly recurved; PME larger than AME, PLE largest, ALE smallest; eye diameters, AME 0.40, ALE 0.45, PME 0.15, PLE 0.55; interdistances AME-PME 0.10, PME-ALE 0.23, ALE-PLE 0.78. PME-PME 1.80. ALE-ALE 2.90; ocular quadrangle AME-AME 0.70, PLE-PLE 3.50; clypeus 0.08 high. Mouthparts:chelicerae with a few stout setae medially and anteriorly; maxillae longer than broad, with tuft of conspicuous setae distally; labium distally rounded. Sternum:0.92 times longer than broad, posteriorly indented. Legs:leg I only slightly shorter than legs II, III and IV; leg formula 2341 (Muma 1953); scopulae present on tarsi of all legs and metatarsi of legs I and II; tarsus I-IV with strong claw tufts; pr claw toothed, rl claws with fewer teeth; spination: leg I, Fm pr 1–1–0, d 1–1–1, rl 1–1–1; Ti d 0, v 2–2–2; Mt v 2–2; leg III, Fm pr 1–0–0, d 1–1–1, rl 0–1–1; Ti v 2–2–0; Mt v 2–1; leg IV, Fm pr 1–0–0, d 1–1–1, rl 0; Ti v 2–1; Mt v 2–0. Abdomen:without terminal setal tufts. Pedipalp:claw with 13 teeth. Epigyne:Median area slightly sclerotized, with diamond to lobe-shaped median septum; space between septum and more sclerotized area; genital openings located at the lateroposterior margins of median septum; large medial to lateral indentations; internally, branched ducts, directed laterally and anterolaterally, fertilization ducts located and directed laterally, large, heavily sclerotized posterodorsal fold covering the majority of the internal ducts (Figs 29–30). Dimensions: Total length 14.25. Carapace length 6.45, width 6.90. Sternum length 3.00, width 2.75. Abdomen length 7.80, width 6.95. Pedipalp: Fm 1.65, Pt 0.80, Ti 1.00, Ta 1.75, total 5.20. Leg I: Fm 5.50, Pt 2.70, Ti 4.50, Mt 3.75, Ta 1.30, total 17.75. Leg II: Missing. Leg III: Fm 7.00, Pt 3.00, Ti 4.75, Mt 4.40, Ta 1.75, total 20.80. Leg IV: Fm 7.00, Pt 2.00, Ti 5.00, Mt 4.00, Ta 1.75, total 19.75.
This species has been found under rocks, bark, concrete blocks and other debris, on fence posts, in houses, on trees (Fig. 181) and banana plants during the day as well as at night. It has been found in both wet areas and dry areas, from sea level to higher elevations. It is able to escape detection and has made it out of its natural range on several occasions. It is very widespread and, thus, often found with other species of selenopid, in particular Selenops bifurcatus.
This species is one of the most widespread species of selenopids, naturally occurring from northern México, south to northern South America and the Galápagos Islands (Map 6).
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- Keyserling E (1880) Die Spinnen Amerikas, I. Laterigradae. Nürnberg, 1:1-283.
- Petrunkevitch A (1925) Arachnida from Panamá. Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences 27:51-248.
- Muma M (1953) A study of the spider family Selenopidae in North and Central America and the West Indies. American Museum Novitates 1619:1-55.
- Banks N (1902) Papers from the Hopkins Stanford Galapagos Expedition; 1898–1899. VII. Entomological Results (6). Arachnida. With field notes by Robert E. Snodgrass. Proceedings of the Washington Academy of Sciences 4:49-86.
- Kraus O (1955) Spinnen aus El Salvador (Arachnoidea, Araneae). Senckenbergische Naturforschende Gesellschaft 493:1-112.
- Crews S, Gillespie R (2010) Molecular systematics of Selenops spiders (Araneae: Selenopidae) from North and Central America: implications for Caribbean biogeography. Biological Journal of the Linnean Society 101:288-322. doi: 10.1111/j.1095-8312.2010.01494.x