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Male holotype from Madla’s Cave, Bexar County, Texas, 18-December-2003, K. White, 29.60N, 98.69W, (CASC).
This species name is taken in apposition to the type locality and honors the Madla family, owners of Madla’s Cave and the surrounding property.
Although the majority of records for this species are from caves, a small series of individuals have been collected from leaf litter near the entrance to Madla’s Cave that are genetically identical to specimens within the cave. The somatic morphology of the species (large, darkly pigmented eyes; Figs 21A–C) coupled with the surface records suggests that it is likely a widespread troglophile.
Other material examined
USA: Texas: Bexar County: Cave Number 18, 4 miles NE of Helotes, 13-January-1995, A. Grubbs, 29.60N, 98.69W, 1 ♂, 2 ♀, (TMM); Cave Number 189, 4 miles NE of Helotes, 12-January-1995, A. Grubbs, N. Lake, Wade, 4 ♂, 6 ♀, 4J (TTU); Madla’s Cave, 18-December-2003, K. White, 29.60N, 98.69W, 1 ♂, 1 ♀, (TMM); Madla’s Cave, 9-March-2005, P. Paquin, 29.60N, 98.69W, 1 ♂, 1 ♀, 1 juv., (CASC); Madla’s Drop, 8-June-1993, Loftin, J. Reddell, M. Reyes, G. Veni, 29.62N, 98.71W, 1 ♂, (TMM); Scorpion Cave, 1-June-1993, Loftin, J. Reddell, 29.58N, 98.68W, 1 ♂, 6 ♀, 1 juv. (TMM); Young Cave Number 1, 6-September-1993, J. Reddell, M. Reyes, 29.62N, 98.66W, 1 ♂, (TMM).
Tayshaneta madla may be separated from all Tayshaneta species, except Tayshaneta bullis and Tayshaneta microps, by having males with an elongate retrolateral tibial spine (Figs 31F, 32F), more than 0.5× length of the palpal tarsus and lacking a ventral sclerite (Figs 42B, E). Separated from Tayshaneta bullis and Tayshaneta microps by the unique shape of the embolus with an enlarged basal tooth (E, Fig. 42D, F).
Male (holotype). Body length 1.21, carapace 0.58 long, 0.45 wide, length 1.28× width. Carapace pale brown, slightly darker surrounding edges, sparsely setose.
Eyes large, ocular area enclosed in a dark pattern (Figs 21A–C). Legs short and thin, femur I 1.3× carapace length, covered in fine setae and with few scattered spines.Palpal tarsus tapering to weakly divided apically (TS, Fig. 31F); retrolateral tibial spine elongate, sculptured throughout, length 0.58× tarsus length (RTS, Fig. 32F). Bulb suboval, length 1.84× width; embolus oval, with large basal tooth (E, Fig. 42F), length 1.32× width. Abdomen yellow-white, without pattern, 0.63 long, 0.45 wide, covered in fine setae.
Variation (n = 5). Total length 1.14–1.45; carapace length 1.16–1.29 × carapace width; length femur I 1.3–1.71 × carapace width.
Female (Madla’s Cave).Body length 1.83, carapace 0.74 long, 0.58 wide, length 1.28× width. Pigmentation and setation same as for male. Legs short and thin, femur I 1.5× carapace length, covered in fine setae and with few scattered spines.Atrium trapezoidal, length 0.56× width, spermathecae with twisted stalks and large, circular heads (Fig. 53D). Abdomen yellow-white, without pattern, 1.09 long, 0.78 wide, covered in fine setae.
Variation (n = 3). Total length 1.45–1.83; carapace length 1.21–1.34 × carapace width; length femur I 1.14–1.51 × carapace width.
Known only from Madla’s Cave in Bexar County, Texas (Fig. 59).
- Ledford, J; Paquin, P; Cokendolpher, J; Campbell, J; Griswold, C; 2012: Systematics, conservation and morphology of the spider genus Tayshaneta (Araneae, Leptonetidae) in Central Texas Caves ZooKeys, 167: 1-102. doi