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- Selenops nigromaculatus Keyserling 1880: 230, pl. 6, Fig. 126 (♂, ♀, examined).
- Selenops nigromaculatus:F. O. P-Cambridge 1900: 117, pl. 8, Fig. 14 (♂ not ♀).
- Selenops nigromaculatus: Mello-Leitão 1918: 30, Figs 6–7 (♂, ♀).
- Selenops nigromaculatus:Muma 1953: 44, Figs 76–77 (♂ not ♀).
- Selenops santibanezi Valdez-Mondragón 2010: 50, Figs 5–11 (♂, ♀; not examined) syn. n.
Holotype male: México, E. Simon (1595 BMNH, examined).
Based on the original illustrations by Valdez-Mondragón (2010: figs 5–11), the holotype male of Selenops santibanezi Valdez-Mondragón, 2010, is in every way identical to the holotype male of Selenops nigromaculatus Keyserling, 1880. The former species was recorded from the following locality: Santa Catarina Ixtepeji, 17.28°, -96.54496667°, 2021 m, Municipio Santa Catarina Ixtepeji, Distrito Ixtlán, Oaxaca, México, 19.IX.2009, ♀, A. Valdez-Mondragón, R. Paredes, C. Santibáñez (CNAN-T0415), not examined.
Males can be distinguished from other species by the dorsal branch of the RTA which is a small stalk that abruptly widens to a small quadrangular structure distally (Figs 43–44). Females can be separated from other species by the median lobes that are close together and come together medially, before separating posteriorly (Valdez-Mondragón 2010: figs 10–11).
Until very recently (Valdez-Mondragón 2010) there was much confusion regarding this species, in particular the female. The male and female were described by Keyserling (1880). The illustrations are of poor quality and it is difficult to distinguish details from them. F. O. Pickard-Cambridge (1900) produced several beautiful illustrations of the male of Selenops nigromaculatus. For unknown reasons Simon didn't show him the female, and unfortunately it was not illustrated. In 1918, Mello-Leitão copied Keyserling's (1880) description and illustration, claiming he had collected a similar female, based on Keyserling's description, in Pará, Brazil. Finally, Muma (1953) was not able to examine the specimen himself, but he had M. Vachon describe and illustrate the male. Apparently, Vachon also illustrated the female, but this was disregarded by Muma because “There is no doubt that Keyserling's female type is the same as gracilis, new species," which added to the confusion. Although Keyserling's (1880) illustrations are lacking in certain details, his illustration of the female of Selenops nigromaculatus looks nothing like Selenops gracilis. Other illustrations of female Selenops copulatory organs (e.g. Selenops mexicanus) do resemble what the species actually looks like. I have come to two conclusions, both having the same outcome. First, Keyserling (1880) may have illustrated a juvenile. In the vials of Selenops nigromaculatus types at the BMNH, there is no adult female. There is a single adult male, which is the type, and, in addition, there is a juvenile spider in another vial labelled as Selenops nigromaculatus, from Panamá, Koch collection, with a blank label, numbered 220.127.116.1116. There is no female, which looks like Selenops gracilis or otherwise. The second involves the actual female of Selenops nigromaculatus being lost. Luckily, a male of Selenops nigromaculatus was collected with a female, described and beautifully illustrated by Valdez-Mondragón (2010). The specimens were described as Selenops santibanezi. The male type and illustration by Valdez-Mondragón (2010) clearly reveal these are the same species, and thus, Selenops santibanezi is a junior synonym of Selenops nigromaculatus.
There also appear to be some erroneous locality records. Mello-Leitão's (1918) collection of a female in Pará, Brazil is dubious, given that the actual specimen was not illustrated, and that it resembled Keyserling's description. In addition, the thorough work on South American selenopids by (Corronca (1996, 1998) has turned up no specimens of Selenops nigromaculatus. Finally, it is mentioned by Simon (1880) and Mello-Leitão (1918) that this spider was found in Antigua by Grenadier. This particular specimen has not been located. This could refer to the vicinity of Antigua, Guatemala, rather than the Caribbean island nation of Antigua and Barbuda. The type locality is México and a different species has been found in Antigua and Barbuda which is not closely allied with Selenops nigromaculatus.
Holotype male: Color:carapace uniformly brownish-red; sternum orange-brown; chelicerae orange-brown; maxillae brown, lightening distally; labium light brown lightening distally; abdomen dorsally orange-yellow, no markings present any longer, remnants of festoon visible; ventrally orange-yellowish. Carapace: 0.86 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 0.30, ALE 0.08, PME 0.40, PLE 0.50; interdistances AME-PME 0.03, PME-ALE 0.10, ALE-PLE 0.68. PME-PME 1.65. ALE-ALE 2.50; ocular quadrangle AME-AME 0.60, PLE-PLE 2.70; clypeus 0.15 high. Mouthparts:chelicerae with stout setae, maxillae longer than broad, with tuft of conspicuous setae distally; labium distally rounded. Sternum:1.09 times longer than broad, posteriorly indented. Legs:leg I only slightly shorter than legs II, III and IV; leg formula 3241 (Muma, 1953); scopulae present on tarsi of all legs and on metatarsi of legs I and II; tarsi I-IV with strong claw tufts on all legs; both claws with around same number of teeth; spination: leg I, Fm pr 1–1–1, 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 1–1–1, 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 1–1–1, d 1–1–1, rl 1–1–1; Ti pr 1–0–1, rl 1–0–1, v 2–2; Mt v 2–2; leg IV, Fm pr 1–1–1, d 1–1–1, rl 1–1–1; Ti pr 1–1–0, v 2–2–0, rl 1–1–0; Mt v 2–2. Abdomen:without terminal tufts of setae. Pedipalp:Fm, spination dorsal 0–1–4; cymbium oval to round in ventral view, angled posterolaterally; scopulae scattered, denser toward tip; conductor arising from side and center of bulb, quadrangular; embolus long, blade like, narrow, begins at 7 o'clock, ends at 12 o'clock, does not curve around edge of cymbial margin, but instead directed anteriorly; MA short with stout base and longer hooked finger-like process, arising at 2 o'clock, directed laterally; RTA extending at least 1/4 the length of cymbium in ventral view; RTA with 2 apophyses, the lateral process is a stout stalk with a distal quadrangular process, the ventral process is smaller, blunt and curved; basal cymbial process absent (Figs 43–44). Dimensions: Total length 13.20. Carapace length 5.90, width 6.90. Sternum length 3.00, width 2.75. Abdomen length 7.30, width 5.25. Pedipalp: Fm 1.75, Pt 0.75, Ti 1.00, Ta 1.50, total 5.00. Leg I: Fm 7.00, Pt 3.00, Ti 6.50, Mt 6.00, Ta 2.50, total 25.00. Leg II: Fm 8.00, Pt 3.00, Ti 7.00, Mt 6.65, Ta 2.50, total 27.15. Leg III: Fm 8.00, Pt 2.50, Ti 7.00, Mt 6.50, Ta 2.25, total 26.75. Leg IV: Fm 7.75, Pt 2.50, Ti 6.75, Mt 6.75.
Female: See Valdez-Mondragón (2010: under Selenops santibanezi).
This species has been found in bromeliads growing on oak trees at 2000 m elevation (Valdez-Mondragón 2010).
Unfortunately I only know the type to be from México, but it is also possible this species is found near Antigua, Guatemala (see Remarks). Other specimens, including the female, are from Oaxaca (Map 5).
- Crews, S; 2011: A revision of the spider genus Selenops Latreille, 1819 (Arachnida, Araneae, Selenopidae) in North America, Central America and the Caribbean ZooKeys, 105: 1-182. doi
- Keyserling E (1880) Die Spinnen Amerikas, I. Laterigradae. Nürnberg, 1:1-283.
- Mello-Leitão CF d (1918) Drassoideas do Brasil. Archivos de Escola Superior de Agricultura Medicina e Veterinária 2:17-74.
- 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.
- Valdez-Mondragón A (2010) Two new species of spiders of the genus Selenops Latreille, 1819 (Araneae: Selenopidae) and redescription of Selenops scitus Muma, 1953 from México. Zootaxa 2334:47-58.
- Pickard-Cambridge F (1900) Arachnida-Araneida and Opiliones. In: Biología Centrali- Americana, Zoology. London 2:89-192.
- Corronca J (1996) Tres nuevas especies de Selenops Latreille, 1819 (Araneae: Selenopidae) en América del Sur. Neotropica 42:91-96.
- Corronca J (1998) The South American spiders of the genus Selenops (Araneae, Selenopidae) with a description of three new species. Studies of Neotropical Fauna and the Environment 33:124-148. doi: 10.1076/snfe.18.104.22.1683
- Simon E (1880) Révision de la famille des Sparassidae (Arachnides). Acta Société Linnéenne de Bordeaux 34:223-351.