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- Calommata simoni Pocock, 1903: 259; Benoit, 1967: 283, figs 1–4; Kraus 1978: 245, fig. 13; Dippenaar-Schoeman and Jocqué 1997: 52, figs 40a–h; Dippenaar-Schoeman 2002: 23, figs 9, 10a–g ; Jocqué and Dippenaar-Schoeman 2006: 82, figs 18a–h.
Type material. Lectotype female
CAMEROON: Efulen [02°46'N, 10°43'E], G.L. Bates (BMHN, examined).
Other material examined
CAMEROON: 1♀: Galim [07°06'N, 12°28'E], 15.VIII–19.VIII.1971, F. Puylaert (MRAC 143671); 3♂: N of Dja Reserve, 03°41'N, 13°14'E, 8.III.2005, pitfalls, old secondary forest, I. Deblauwe (MRAC 220674); 1♂: Same locality, 8.III.2005, pitfalls, riverine forest, I. Deblauwe (MRAC 220663); 1♂: Same data, 6.V.2005 (MRAC 219754); 6♂: Same locality, 8.III.2005, pitfalls, young secondary forest, I. Deblauwe (MRAC 220659). CONGO D.R.: 1♂: Kisangani, Masako Forest, 00°35'N, 25°11'E, 25.II.2003, J.-L. Juakaly (MRAC 216031); 1♂: Same locality, 11.III.2003, pitfalls, primary forest, J.-L. Juakaly (MRAC 214347); 1♂: Same data, 11.III.2003 (MRAC 214354); 1♂: Same data, 11.III.2003 (MRAC 214385); 1♀: Kisantu, 05°08'S, 15°06'E, 1927, R. Vanderyst (MRAC 5201); 1♀: Zambi [05°51'S, 12°52'E], 1909–1915, American Museum Congo Expedition (AMNH). CÔTE D’IVOIRE: 1♂: Appouesso, Bossematié Forest, 06°35'N, 03°28'W, 19.IX.1994, pitfalls, rain forest, R. Jocqué & N. Séabé (MRAC 202481); 1♂: Same locality, 12.III.1995, pitfalls, forest, R. Jocqué & Tanoh (MRAC 205382); 1♂: Same data, 26.III.1995 (MRAC 205383); 1♂: Mankono, Ranch de la Marahoué, 08°27'N, 06°52'W, III.1980, riverine forest, J. Everts (MRAC 172117); 1♂: Same data (MRAC 172118); 1♂: Same data (MRAC 172119); 2♂: Same data (MRAC 172120). GUINÉE: 3♂: F.C. de Ziama, 08°24'N, 09°17'W, 22.IV.1998, pitfalls, rain forest, D. Flomo (MRAC 216239); 2♂: Same data, 5.V.1998 (MRAC 216248); 2♂: Same data, 18.V.1998 (MRAC 216249); 1♂: Same data, 14.VI.1998 (MRAC 216247); 1♂: Same data, 14.VI.1998 (MRAC 216250); 1♂: Same data, 14.VI.1998 (MRAC 216251); 1♂: Same data, 31.III.1999 (MRAC 216245); 2♂: Same data, 26.IV.1999 (MRAC 216243); 1♂: Same data, 26.IV.1999 (MRAC 216244); 1♂: Same data, 9.V.1999 (MRAC 216242); 2♂: Same data, 22.V.1999 (MRAC 216240); 1♂: Same data, 17.VI.1999 (MRAC 216241); 1♂: Same data, 31.III.2000 (MRAC 216246). KENYA: 1♂: Kakamega Forest, 00°13'N, 34°54'E, 24.I.2002, pitfalls, D. Shilabira Smith (MRAC 228141); 1♂: Same data, 13.IV.2002 (MRAC 220536). LIBERIA: 1imm.: Mount Coffee, Bensonville [06°29'N, 10°38'W], II.1894, constructs a tube-like nest under a log, collector unknown (USNM). MALAWI: 1♂: Chisasira Forest, 25km S of Chintheche, 11°50'S, 33°13'E, 1.XII.1977, pitfalls, Brachystegia woodland, R. Jocqué (MRAC 169498); 1♂: Same data, 1.XII.1977 (MRAC 169499). TANZANIA: 1imm.: Bunduki, Uluguru Mountains, 07°02'S, 37°38'E, 2.V.1957, nest, forest ground in litter, P. Basilewsky & N. Leleup (MRAC 111792).
The female of this species has the cheliceral teeth in a single row (Fig. 15), while an additional row is found in Calommata transvaalica (Fig. 18). The female genitalia have two pairs of small spermathecae (Fig. 62), while Calommata transvaalica only has a single pair of large transverse spermathecae (Fig. 69). The male of this species is recognised by the conductor ending broadly with a prominent tooth and sharp edge, appearing to be a second tooth, on its dorsal surface (Fig. 49). In Calommata simoni females the patella-tibia index is double that of Calommata transvaalica.
Female (measurements provided for female lectotype from Efulen, colouration for female from Galim). Measurements: CL 7.70, CW 6.10, AL 13.10, AW 8.85, TL 27.80 (25.80–33.40). Length of leg segments, and total: I 3.95 + 1.62 + 1.75 + 2.10 + 1.38 = 10.80; 3.70 + 2.25 + 1.70 + 2.23 + 1.60 = 11.48; III 3.65 + 2.75 + 1.55 + 1.78 + 1.39 = 11.12; IV 3.90 + 2.90 + 2.10 + 2.15 + 1.50 = 12.55. Carapace index 1.26; patella-tibia index 0.44.
Robustly built with short legs, carapace faded to creamy brown (Fig. 4). Median ocular tubercle raised, narrow, sloping sharply at fovea (Fig. 10). Single median line running from anterior of eye area to approximately middle of chilum. Chelicerae pale orange brown, darker laterally; chelicerae with a single row of small and medium sized teeth along promargin running from fang base close to cheliceral base, with extensive denticle field retrolateral of teeth row near cheliceral base (Fig. 15). Endites strongly elongated prolaterally, strongly curved upwards (Fig. 10). Sternum and legs light yellowish brown. Legs short and stout, leg formula 4231; legs III and IV more robust than legs I and II; leg I without bristles or spinules; leg II with few spinules distally on tibiae, and dorsal and lateral spinules on metatarsi and tarsi; legs III and IV with spinules from patellae to tarsi (mainly dorsal and prolateral) and covered in bristles. Abdomen globose and pale grey, with indistinct median heart marking in anterior half (Fig. 4). Epigyne forming a broad, weakly sclerotised plate ventrally, in dorsal view with two pairs of spermathecae; median pair subrectangular, rounded anteriorly, lateral pair subtriangular (Fig. 62). Female palp short, tibiae and tarsi flattened.
Male from Cameroon. Measurements: CL 2.20, CW 1.90, AL 3.80, AW 2.32, TL 8.20 (5.60–9.35). Length of leg segments, and total: I 2.30 + 0.75 + 1.64 + 1.91 + 1.55 = 8.15; II 2.25 + 0.86 + 1.45 + 2.16 + 1.88 = 8.60; III 1.84 + 0.90 + 0.98 + 2.23 + 2.95 = 8.90; IV 2.50 + 1.05 + 1.43 + 2.60 + 3.90 = 11.48. Carapace index 1.16; patella-tibia index 1.09.
Carapace and chelicerae brown (Fig. 5). Median ocular tubercle raised, narrow, darker in colour (Fig. 11).Chelicerae with single prolateral row of teeth, largest teeth in midsection of teeth row interspersed with smaller teeth anteriorly and posteriorly, with several denticles retrolateral of teeth row close to cheliceral base (Fig. 16). Endites elongated prolaterally, curving upwards (Fig. 11). Sternum and coxae light yellowish brown, rest of leg segments brown, fading to light yellow at tarsi. Legs weakly covered with bristles; prolateral side of patellae, tibiae and metatarsi of legs II–IV covered with spinules. Abdomen grey brown, with elongate brown scutum present in anterior half (Fig. 5). Palp with short cymbium, with rounded distal margin; embolus and conductor orientated obliquely, pointing retrolaterally and distally, not projecting beyond retrolateral cymbial margin; conductor short, broadened distally, with a prominent elongate tooth and sharp edge opposite the tooth, appearing as a second tooth; embolus short and straight (Figs 48, 49, 63–65).
Benoit’s (1967: 286, figs 1–4) drawings of a male “allotype” of Calommata simoni correspond with the males we have studied. However, Pocock (1903: 259) never described the male of Calommata simoni nor listed any males in his material studied, and thus the specimen examined by Benoit could not possibly be an allotype. The loan request to BMNH also only yielded the female lectotype of Calommata simoni, and no allotype or paratypes as indicated by Benoit. Benoit indeed wrongly considered the specimen used to describe the unknown sex for the first time to be the allotype, even when that occurred separately from the original description. Comments on the revalidation of Calommata transvaalica are provided under remarks for that species below.
Charpentier (1995) studied the biology of Calommata simoni in Benin, but no specimens collected by him could be traced in any collection. He collected specimens at four localities: Ayou [06°43'N, 02°07'E], Ahota [06°39'N, 02°09'E], Sè [06°28'N, 01°49'E] and Toffo [06°50'N, 02°04'E].
Widespread across tropical Africa in forests and savanna woodlands (Fig. 73).
The biology of “Calommata simoni” was studied by Blandin (1971) and Charpentier (1995) in Côte d’Ivoire and Benin, respectively (localities listed above). However, examination of the specimens reported on by Blandin indicates that they are, in fact, Calommata tibialis sp. n.. In considering the habitats of the available material of Calommata simoni and Calommata tibialis sp. n., it is evident that the two species are ecologically separated, the former occurring in forests and the latter in woodland savannah. As the material collected by Charpentier (1995) could not be traced, it is impossible to determine whether he studied the biology of Calommata simoni or Calommata tibialis sp. n.. However, his indication of the habitat types at the four localities he sampled (grassland, patches of subsistence agriculture, near rivers and open ground near palm forests) suggests that the material he studied is Calommata tibialis sp. n. and not Calommata simoni. Thus, we have included biological information from their two studies under Calommata tibialis sp. n..
Most of the specimens studied here from the MRAC collected in Guinée, Côte d’Ivoire, Kenya, Tanzania and Congo D.R. were collected in contrasting forest types across tropical Africa, indicating that Calommata simoni is tolerant and adaptable to a wide range of soil, vegetation and climatic variables.
- René, F; Charles R., H; Rudy, J; 2011: A revision of the purse-web spider genus Calommata Lucas, 1837 (Araneae, Atypidae) in the Afrotropical Region ZooKeys, 95: 1-28. doi
- Kraus O (1978) Liphistius and the evolution of spider genitalia. Symposia of the Zoological Society, London 42:235-254.
- Dippenaar-Schoeman A, Jocqué R (1997) African spiders: an identification manual. Plant Protection Research Institute Handbook no. 9. Agricultural Research Institute, Pretoria, 392 pp.
- Dippenaar-Schoeman A (2002) Baboon and trapdoor spiders of southern Africa: an identification manual. Plant Protection Research Institute HandbookNo. 13. Agricultural Research Council, Pretoria, 128 pp.
- Jocqué R, Dippenaar-Schoeman A (2006) Spider Families of the World. Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, 336 pp.
- Pocock R (1903) Some new spiders from the Cameroons collected by Mr G. L. Bates. Annals and Magazine of Natural History 11:258-264.
- Charpentier P (1995) New data on the African atypid spider Calommata simoni Pocock Orthognatha, Atypidae. Journal of the British Tarantula Society 10:81-86.
- Blandin P (1971) Découverte en Côte d’Ivoire de Calommata simoni Pocock [Aran.-Orth.-Atypidae]. Bulletin de l’Institut Fondamental Afrique Noire 33:48-52.