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Female holotype from District Park Cave, Travis County, Texas, 19-November-2009, J. Ledford, M. Sanders, 30.21N, 97.85W, (CASC).
This species is named in honor of Mark Sanders, fellow caver, biologist, and collector of several Tayshaneta species in Texas.
The only known adult male for Tayshaneta sandersi is from Whirlpool Cave and is missing most of its appendages and the carapace. Individuals from District Park Cave, Slaughter Creek Cave and Whirlpool Cave are genetically identical suggesting that the species may occur more broadly in the Onion Creek watershed of Barton Springs.
Other material examined
USA: Texas: Travis County: Slaughter Creek Cave, 6-January-2005, P. Paquin, 30.19N, 97.87W, 1J, (CASC); Whirlpool Cave, 2-March-2005, P. Paquin, 1M, (TMM); District Park Cave, 19-November-2009, J. Ledford, M. Sanders, 30.21N, 97.85W, 1 ♀, 2J, (TMM).
Tayshaneta sandersi may be separated from all Tayshaneta species, except Tayshaneta anopica and Tayshaneta oconnori, by having the following combination of characters: pigmentation and eyes entirely absent (Figs 26A–C); legs extremely long and thin, femur I 1.8–1.9× carapace length; embolus with a distinctive apical bifurcation (E, Fig. 47D). Separated from Tayshaneta anopica and Tayshaneta oconnori by having the ventral sclerite curved prolaterally (VS, Fig. 47E) and by the unique shape of the embolus (E, Fig. 47D).
Male (Whirlpool Cave, genitalia only). Palpal tarsus entire, tapering apically; retrolateral tibial spine recurved, sculptured throughout, length 0.38× tarsus length (Fig. 47A). Bulb suboval, length 1.97× width; embolus suboval, bifurcate apically (E, Fig. 47D), length 1.6× width. Ventral sclerite elongate, curved prolaterally (VS, Fig. 47E).
Female (holotype).Body length 1.2, carapace 0.58 long, 0.41 wide, length 1.39× width. Carapace depigmented, sparsely setose; eyes absent. Legs elongate and thin, femur I 1.90× carapace length, covered in fine setae and with few scattered spines.Atrium suboval, length 0.41× width, spermathecae with twisted stalks and large, circular heads (Fig. 54B). Abdomen depigmented, 0.61 long, 0.49 wide, covered in fine setae.
Three individuals were found deep in District Park Cave in fine sheet webs under loose rocks. The single male individual was found wandering among loose rocks in Whirlpool Cave.
Known from three caves in Travis County, Texas (Fig. 56).
- 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