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Cuban species of the genus Phormictopus Pocock 1901 (Araneae: Theraphosidae: Theraphosinae) and notes to its identification

Updated: November 2008

 

Radan Kaderka

Tyrsovo namesti 1732, 252 63  Roztoky u Prahy, Czech Republic

e-mail: radan.kaderka@seznam.cz

 

Abstract 

 

This article is focused on identification of unknown Cuban specimens of the genus Phormictopus Pocock 1901. Important morphological characters and also difficulties with using them for identification are mentioned. All eight Phormictopus species from Cuba, three species from Hispaniola and P. platus from Tortugas Islands (Florida, USA) are keyed in simplified key.

 

Introduction

 

The genus Phormictopus Pocock 1901 was first established for the placement of species which were initially described as Mygale cancerides Latreille 1806 from the island of Hispaniola and Lasiodora cauta Ausserer 1875 [Pocock 1901]. The first revision of the genus Phormictopus was made by Rudloff in 2008. Fifteen species from Carribean, Brasil and Argentina belong to the genus Phormictopus [Platnick´s Catalog, V9.0., 2008], eight species were described from Cuba: P. auratus Ortiz & Bertani 2005, P. bistriatus  Rudloff 2008, P. cautus (Ausserer 1875), P. cochleasvorax  Rudloff 2008, P. cubensis Chamberlin, 1917, P. fritzschei  Rudloff 2008, P. jonai  Rudloff 2008 and P. schepanskii  Rudloff 2008 [Rudloff 2008]. Rudloff synonymized P. cancerides centumfocensis and P. nesiotes with P. cautus but P. cautus diffres from P. nesiotes in having pad of plumose hairs on prolateral surface of femur I [Chamberlin 1917]. Thus the synonymization is considered as disputable. Species from Brasil and Argetina are misplaced in this genus [Rudloff 2008].

 

Generic diagnosis of the genus Phormictopus Pocock 1901 based on [Raven 1985], [Smith 1986], [Bertani et al. 1996] and [Pérez-Miles et al. 1996]: 

 

• Female: spermathecae with two separated seminal receptacles with broad bases

• Male: presence of two unequal tibial apophysis on tibia I

• Male: palpal bulb with modified embolus distally stout, broad and keeled; PS, PI, A, SA keels present, SA can be serrated (terminology follows [Bertani 2000]) - see Note

• Urticating hair types: I, III [Cooke et al. 1973])

• Palps: presence of plumose bristles on retrolateral face of coxa and trochanter of palp

• Leg I: presence of plumose bristles on prolateral face of  coxa I and trochanter I

• Leg IV: presence of pad of plumose hairs on retrolateral face of femur IV

Note: In Phormictopus auratus Ortiz & Bertani 2005 the SA keel is serrated. In Phormictopus cancerides (Latreille 1806) from Santo Domingo, Republica Dominicana the keels are smooth (Pérez-Miles et al., 1996).

Bertani, 2000 examined Phormictopus cancerides (Latreille 1806) from Barahona, Republica Dominicana (from Rick West private collection) and Phormictopus cubensis Chamberlin 1917 from Cuba (from Museu Nacional do Rio de Janeiro, 13264) and recognized a presence of four keels: two prolateral keels (PS, PI), apical keel (A) and subapical keel (SA) constituted by denticulate row (DR). Author supposed that SA keel found as triangular apical tooth in genera Eupalaestrus, Lasiodora, Nhandu and Vitalius  is homologous with DR of SA keel found in P. cancerides and P. cubensis.   

 

Notes to identification of species of the genus Phormictopus  from Cuba

 

It is remarkable that different arachnologists declare different lists of Cuban species of the genus Phormictopus. In some cases we have no exact  informations about type localities and these species are considered as potentialy originating in Cuba.  Some type specimens were destroyed or lost, some species were described according only one sex. 

 

[Smith 1986]: P. cancerides (Latreille 1806) (West Indies), P. cancerides centumfocensis (Franganillo 1926) (Cuba), P. cancerides tenuispinus Strand 1906 (South America), P. cubensis Chamberlin 1917 (Cuba), P. melodermus Chamberlin 1917 (West Indies, probably Trinidad), P. nesiotes Chamberlin 1917 (Cuba), P. platus Chamberlin, 1917 (USA, Florida).

 

[Schmidt 1993]: P. cancerides (Latreille 1806) (Cuba), P. cancerides centumfocensis (Franganillo 1926) (Cuba), P. cubensis Chamberlin 1917 (Cuba), P. melodermus Chamberlin 1917 (Trinidad), P. nesiotes Chamberlin 1917 (Cuba), P. platus Chamberlin 1917 (Cuba).

 

[Alayón 2000]: P. cancerides centumfocensis (Franganillo 1926) (Cuba), P. cubensis Chamberlin, 1917 (Cuba), P. nesiotes Chamberlin, 1917 (Cuba).

 

[Schmidt 2003]: P. cancerides centumfocensis (Franganillo, 1926) (Cuba), P. cancerides tenuispinus Strand 1906 (?), P. cautus (Ausserer 1875) (Cuba, near Havana), P. cubensis Chamberlin 1917 (Cuba), P. piephoi Schmidt 2003 (?West Indies).

 

[Platnick´s Catalog, V6.0., 2005]: P. auratus Ortiz & Bertani 2005 (Cuba), P. cancerides (Latreille 1806) (West Indies to Brazil), P. cancerides centumfocensis (Franganillo 1926) (Cuba), P. cancerides tenuispinus Strand 1906 (New World), P. cautus (Ausserer 1875) (South America), P. cubensis Chamberlin 1917 (Cuba), P. melodermus Chamberlin 1917 (possibly West Indies), P. nesiotes Chamberlin 1917 (Cuba), P. piephoi Schmidt 2003 (distribution unknown), P. platus Chamberlin 1917 (USA).

 

[Kovaøík 2006]: P. auratus Ortiz & Bertani 2005 (Cuba), P. cancerides centumfocensis (Franganillo 1926) (Cuba), P. cautus (Ausserer 1875) (?Cuba), P. cubensis Chamberlin, 1917 (Cuba), P. nesiotes Chamberlin, 1917 (Cuba).

 

[Rudloff 2008; Platnick´s Catalog, V9.0., 2008]: P. auratus Ortiz & Bertani 2005 (Cuba), P. bistriatus  Rudloff 2008 (Cuba), P. cautus (Ausserer 1875) (= P. cancerides centumfocensis; = P. nesiotes) (Cuba), P. cochleasvorax  Rudloff 2008 (Cuba), P. cubensis Chamberlin, 1917 (Cuba), P. fritzschei  Rudloff 2008 (Cuba), P. jonai  Rudloff 2008 (Cuba), P. schepanskii  Rudloff 2008 (Cuba).

 

According [Alayón 2000] followed by [Ortiz & Bertani 2005] there have only been four taxa described with certainty from Cuba:  P. auratus Ortiz & Bertani 2005, P. cancerides centumfocensis (Franganillo 1926), P. cubensis Chamberlin 1917, P. nesiotes Chamberlin 1917.

 

 

Some characteristics of Phormictopus species (based on [Chamberlin 1917], [Smith 1986], [Schmidt 2003], [Ortiz & Bertani 2005], [Rudloff 2008]) from Cuba and closed regions: 

 

Phormictopus atrichomatus Schmidt 1991

Types: neotype deposited in ZMB, holotype probably lost, paratype deposited in ZMB (ZMB 32721, ZMB 32723).

Type locality: uknown.

Distribution: Hispaniola (Dominicana, northern foreland of island), Honduras.

Diagnosis: P. atrichomatus differs from P. cancerides by bronze pubescens on carapace (contra violet pubescens in P. cancerides). Metatarsi I is distinctly bent as in P. cancerides. In males an apical part of embolus is distinctly longer than in P. cancerides, keel arangement of male palpal bulb and prolateral tibial apophysis are also distinguishable from P. cancerides. The prolateral tibial apophysis in P. cancerides has incrassate base tapering to the apex and appears as rounded triangle. The prolateral tibial apophysis in P. atrichomatus has finger-like shape. Palpal tibia has subapical protuberance on retrolateral face, in P. cancerides is absent. Spermathecae has two seminal receptacles joined in base, each receptaculum has uniform triangular shape without rounded lobe at apex [Rudloff 2008]

Notes: - 

 

Phormictopus auratus Ortiz & Bertani 2005

Types: holotype, paratype, ♀♀ paratypes deposited in IES.

Type locality: ♂ holotype from Camagüey province: Sierra del Chorillo, vicinity of Gaspar Najasa cave [Rudloff 2008].

Distribution: Cuba, eastern provinces.  

Diagnosis: Adult males differ from those of P. nesiotes, P. cubensis and P. dubius in that metatarsus I, when flexed, makes contact with the apex of the retrolateral branch of the tibial spur, which is flat. In the aforementioned species, metatarsus I makes contact with the external side of the same branch, which is acute at the apex. Female spermathecae differ from those of P. cancerides, P. atrichomatus and P. melodermus, in that they are very well defined in the base, neck and fundus, instead of being subtriangular to subrectangular shaped and not well defined in this parts. Males and females also differ from other congeners by presenting a dense golden pubescens over the carapace and the appendages [Ortiz & Bertani 2005]. Males are distinguishable from other species by the shape of retrolateral tibial apophysis and by the coloration, females by the shape of spermathecae [Rudloff 2008].

Notes: -

 

Phormictopus bistriatus Rudloff 2008

Type: holotype deposited in ZMB.

Type locality: Oasis de Baconao, Santiago de Cuba, Puerto Boniato.

Distribution: Cuba, Santiago de Cuba province, east of Santiago de Cuba.

Diagnosis: Males are distinguishable from other species by the sexual characters, females by the shape of spermathecae, both sexes by the coloration [Rudloff 2008].

Notes: -

 

Phormictopus cancerides (Latreille 1806)

Types: ♂ holotype from Haiti deposited in BMNH (contra Rudloff 2008: types in MNHP).

Type locality: unknown.

Distribution: Hispaniola (Haiti: Port-Au-Prince; Dominicana).

Diagnosis: Absence of plumose hairs on the anterior surface of femur I [Chamberlin 1917]. Haitian representatives of P. cancerides have from blue to red iridescent hairs on the caparace and the femurs. [Schmidt 2003]. Females are distinguishable from other species by the shape of spermathecae, males by the bent metatarsus (except P. atrichomatus), from P. atrichomatus by more bent apical end of embolus and distinctly short PI keel. Metatarsus I touches a retrolateral tibial apophysis when is bent. Another tool of determination can be an absence of retrolateral protuberance on palpal tibia. Coloration in living specimens can be also considered as criterion of determination [Rudloff 2008].

Notes: Often confused with Brachypelma spinicrus (now Citharacanthus spinicrus (Latreille 1819)). C. spinicrus has a golden iridescent hairs on carapace and femurs of all legs. [Smith 1986].

 

Phormictopus cancerides centumfocensis (Franganillo 1926)

Types: syntypes of ♂♂ and ♀♀, holotype was not designed, syntypes lost or unlocalized [Alayón 2000].

Type locality: Cuba, Cienfuegos province [Alayón 2000], probably Cienfuegos province [Rudloff 2008]. 

Diagnosis: Abdomen and thorax of females dark, but covered by long rusty setae. Cephalothorax dark. Palpal tibium with ventral spines, two on tibium of female, four on tibium of male. Male bulbus similar to Eurypelma (now Aphonopelma) marxi Simon 1890 [Tarantulas of the world - 83/Juli 2003].

Notes: Franganillo unexplicably included this species to the synomized genus of Eurypelma (=Citharacanthus) to avoid its location to the genus Phormictopus. This subspecies is very uncertain [Alayón 2000]. This subspecies was synonymized with P. cautus [Rudloff 2008].

 

Phormictopus cautus (Ausserer 1875)

Types: holotype of Lasiodora cauta Ausserer 1875 deposited in BMNH.

Type locality: unknown.

Distribution: Cuba, provinces of Pinar del Rio, La Havana, Matanzas and Cienfuegos [Rudloff 2008; distribution map].

Diagnosis: Presence of plumose hairs on the anterior surface of femur I. Chamberlin 1917 stated that locality from which holotype came is unknown and supposed that P. cubensis described according by him could be of P. cautus [Chamberlin 1917]. Both sexes differ from other species by the gibbous sternum, especially in females. Females differ by the shape of spermathecae, males by the palpal bulb morphology and tibial apophyses [Rudloff 2008].

Notes: P. cautus is listed as Cuban species from Havana region [Schmidt 2003]. P. cancerides centumfocensis and P. nesiotes were synonymized with P. cautus [Rudloff 2008].

 

Phormictopus cochleasvorax Rudloff 2008

Types: holotype, paratypes deposited in ZMB.

Type localities: Holguín province: El Yayal; Camagüey province: Sibanie; Santiago de Cuba province: north of Santiago de Cuba.

Distribution: Cuba, provinces of Camagüey, Holguín and Santiago de Cuba.

Diagnosis: Females are distinguishable from other species by the incrassate tibiae and by the shape of spermathecae, males by the shape of bulbs and tibial apophyses. Legs I, II, III of males are relatively shorter than in other species of the genus Phormictopus. Tibia IV of females are distinctly incrassate (width 4.36 contra 2.46 in metatarsus IV) [Rudloff 2008].

Notes: Species prefers arid and warm biotopes and is sympatric with P. auratus and Cyrtopholis ramsi Rudloff 1996, specialized for gasteropods as a prey [Rudloff 2008].  

 

Phormictopus cubensis Chamberlin 1917 

Types: holotype, paratype deposited in MCZ (MCZ 79, MCZ 82). paratype (MCZ 82) was misplaced, identified as P. auratus [Rudloff 2008]

Type locality: unknown.

Distribution: Cuba, western provinces of Pinar del Rio, La Havana, Matanzas and Cienfuegos [Rudloff 2008; distribution map].

Diagnosis: Presence of plumose hairs on the anterior surface of femur I [Chamberlin 1917]. Carapace is longer than patella+tibia of leg IV, no golden pubescens on the carapace, easily confused with Citharacanthus spinicrus (Latreille 1819) [Smith 1986]. In original Chamberlin´s description there is no information about absence of golden pubescens and about similarity to Citharacanthus spinicrus [Kaderka]. Species differs from other species by the coloration and by the shape of spermathecae in females and by palpal bulb morphology and tibial apophyses in males [Rudloff 2008].

Notes: This species was collected by Felipe Poey (holotype) and Mrs. Brown (paratype) [MCZ 2006]. This species was collected by F. Poey and is known only from province La Havana. Bryant (1940) supose that type specimen correspond with female of Phormictopus caudatus (Ausserer). Male is unknown [Alayón 2000]. There is probably error in transcription and P. caudatus (Ausserer) = P. cautus (Ausserer 1875) [Kaderka]. Acanthoscurria dubia Chamberlin 1917 and P. piephoi Schmidt 2003 were synonymized with P. cubensis. Spermathecae of P. piephoi and P. dubius are identical. Spermathecae of P. cubensis differ by the size of rounded apical lobes which are more extented. This extension corresponds with current variations inside the species [Rudloff 2008].  

 

Phormictopus fritzschei Rudloff 2008

Types: holotype, paratype deposited in ZMB.

Type locality: Cuba, Ciudad de La Havana province, Marianao.

Distribution: Cuba, Ciudad de La Havana province.

Diagnosis: Species differs from other species by the short embolus in male palpal bulb morphology, males have one spine near retrolateral tibial apophysis (retrolaterally) and one spine near prolateral tibial apophysis (prolaterally). Females are simply distinguishable by the shape of spermathecae [Rudloff 2008].

Notes: Synantropic species [Rudloff 2008].

 

Phormictopus jonai Rudloff 2008

Types: holotype, ♀♀ paratypes deposited in ZMB.

Type locality: Cuba, Guantanamo province: Maisi, Ovando.

Distribution: Cuba, Guantanamo province (eastern part). 

Diagnosis: Species differs from other species by the reduced spination on leg segments and by the shape of spermathecae which are not sclerotized [Rudloff 2008].

Notes: Species was discovered in secondary rain forest among plantations and is sympatric with P. auratus which has similar body size [Rudloff 2008].

 

Phormictopus melodermus Chamberlin 1917 

Type: holotype deposited in MCZ.

Type locality: Hispaniola (Haiti: 5 km O´Jackmel / Cyvadier).

Distribution: Hispaniola (Haiti).

Diagnosis: Absence of plumose hairs on the anterior surface of femur I [Chamberlin 1917]. Species differs from other species by the shape of spermathecae [Rudloff 2008].

Notes: According official web site of MCZ where the holotype species is deposited the type locality was lost. This species was collected by F. Patch [MCZ 2006].

 

Phormictopus nesiotes Chamberlin 1917

Types: holotype, ♀♀ paratypes deposited in MCZ.

Type locality: unknown.

Distribution: Cuba.

Diagnosis: Absence of plumose hairs on the anterior surface of femur I [Chamberlin 1917]. Tends to look like a small version of P. cancerides. Pubescens on carapace and legs, golden brown with grey intermixed. [Smith 1986].

Notes: This species was collected by Felipe Poey, known both sexes [Alayón 2000]. This species was collected by Mrs. Brown [MCZ 2006]. This species was synonymized with P. cautus [Rudloff 2008].

 

Phormictopus platus Chamberlin 1917 

Types: holotype, paratype (contra Rudloff 2008: ♂ holotype, ♂ paratype, both probably subadult specimens) deposited in MCZ. 

Type locality: unknown.

Distribution: USA, Tortugas Islands near Florida. Or Tortuga island near Haiti [Rudloff 2008].

Diagnosis: Presence of plumose hairs on the anterior surface of femur I [Chamberlin 1917].

Carapace as long as patella+tibia of leg IV. Plumose hairs on femur I slender and not as dense as P. cubensis [Smith 1986]. Diagnosis is impossible to establish because of immature types [Rudloff 2008].

Notes: This species was collected by J. B. Holder [MCZ 2006].

 

Phormictopus schepanskii Rudloff 2008

Types: holotype, paratypes deposited in ZMB.

Type localities: Ciego de Avila (♂), Sancti Spiritus, El Pedrero (♂), Sancti Spiritus (), Matanzas, Cardenas (), Varadero (♂).

Distribution: Cuba, Matanzas province (north) Ciego de Avila province, Sancti Spiritus province.

Diagnosis: Species differs from other species by the morphology of palpal bulb, females are distinguishable by the shape of spermathecae [Rudloff 2008].

Notes: -  

 

 

Material and methods

 

Abbreviations:  

pl = prolateral, rl = retrolateral, car. = carapace (length x width). 

MCZ = Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge USA; ZMB = Zoologisches Museum Berlin, Deutschland; BMNH = British Museum of Natural History, London, Great Britain; IES = Instituto de Ecología y Sistematica, Havana, Cuba; MNHP = Muséum d´Histoire Naturelle, Paris, France.

 

Material examined: Phormictopus cubensis Chamberlin, 1917, from Cuba, Pinar del Rio province, Soroa, Rostislav Lepka col., 1991; Phormictopus cubensis Chamberlin, 1917, ♂ from Cuba, Pinar del Rio province, Soroa, Radan Kaderka col., 2005; Phormictopus auratus Ortiz & Bertani 2005, from Cuba, Holguín province, Rostislav Lepka col., 1991; Phormictopus auratus Ortiz & Bertani 2005, ♂, offspring of from Cuba, Holguín province, Rostislav Lepka col., 1991; Phormictopus auratus Ortiz & Bertani 2005, from Cuba, Santiago de Cuba province, higway before Santiago, Radan Kaderka col., 2005; Phormictopus sp., from Cuba, La Havana province, Guanabo, RNDr. Pavel Pecina col., 1982Phormictopus sp., ♂ from Cuba, Sanctí Spiritus province, Topes de Collantes, Radan Kaderka col., 1.11. 2005; Phormictopus sp., ♂ from Cuba, Sanctí Spiritus province, Topes de Collantes, Radan Kaderka col., 1.11. 2005; Phormictopus cf. cancerides centumfocensis, juv. from Cuba, Cienfuegos province, Cienfuegos, Radan Kaderka col., 3.11. 2005; Phormictopus sp., from Cuba, Guantanamo province, Yumurí, David Hoferek col., 25.10. 2005; Phormictopus sp., from Cuba, Guantanamo province, Guantanamo, Radan Kaderka col., 28.10. 2005; Phormictopus sp., from Cuba, Guantanamo province, Guantanamo, Radan Kaderka col., 28.10. 2005; Phormictopus cf. bistriatus, from Cuba, Santiago de Cuba province, Siboney, Radan Kaderka & Rolando Teruel col., 29.10. 2005.

 

All measurements are given in millimetres. Length of carapace was measured by calliper. Spermathecae were separated from ecdysis of female specimens and preserved in alcohol. All material was examined using a monocular microscope (magnification 30x). All photos was taken by digital camera Canon G5, 4 MPi.

 

 

Phormictopus cubensis Chamberlin 1917 

Material: 4 ecdysis of adult female, adult male in alcohol

Locality: Cuba, Pinar del Rio province, Soroa (under stone)

 

Key characteristics for identification: 

• spermathecae with two separated seminal receptacles dorsally covered by band of tissue (figured).

• Palps: presence of plumose bristles on coxa and trochanter of palp (rl side), presence of soft plumose setae on trochanter of palp (rl), but thick and continuous.

• Leg I: presence of plumose bristles on apex of coxa (pl side), on trochanter (pl side) and pad of plumose setae on femur I (pl side).

• Leg II: presence of cluster of plumose setae on basal end of femur II (2 millimetres wide area on pl side) and on trochanter II.

• Leg III: plumose setae absent.

• Leg IV: presence of plumose pad on femur IV (rl side).

• Carapace dark brown with weak golden pubescens only in males.

 

 

FIGURE 1: Phormictopus cubensis Chamberlin 1917 (Cuba, Pinar del Rio province Soroa), adult .

  

 

FIGURE 2: Phormictopus cubensis Chamberlin 1917 (Cuba, Pinar del Rio province Soroa), spermathecae of adult .

 

 

FIGURE 3: Phormictopus cubensis Chamberlin 1917 (Cuba, Pinar del Rio province Soroa), adult .

 

  

Phormictopus auratus Ortiz & Bertani 2005

Material: 2 ecdysis of adult female, adult male in alcohol

Locality: Cuba, Holguín province (under stone), Cuba, Santiago de Cuba province (under stone)

 

Key characteristics for identification: 

• spermathecae with two separated seminal receptacles dorsally covered by a band of tissue (figured).

• Palps: presence of long and thick plumose bristles on coxa and short and thick plumose bristles on trochanter of palp (rl side).

• Leg I: presence of long and thick plumose bristles on coxa and long and thin plumose bristles on trochanter (pl side), presence of pad of plumose setae on femur I (pl side). 

• Leg II, leg III: plumose setae absent.

• Leg IV: presence of plumose pad on the femur IV (rl side).

• Presence of golden pubescens on carapace and trochanters and femora of all legs.

 

 

FIGURE 4: Phormictopus auratus Ortiz & Bertani 2005 (Cuba, Holguín province), adult .

 

 

FIGURE 5: Phormictopus auratus Ortiz & Bertani 2005 (Cuba, Holguín province), spermathecae of adult .

 

 

FIGURE 6: Phormictopus auratus Ortiz & Bertani 2005 (Cuba, Holguín province), adult .

 

 

FIGURE 7: Phormictopus auratus Ortiz & Bertani 2005 (Cuba, Santiago de Cuba province, Santiago de Cuba), subadult .

 

 

Phormictopus sp. 

Material: 2 ecdysis of adult female, 1 ecdysis of semiadult female, 2 semiadult specimens in alcohol

Locality: Cuba, La Havana province Guanabo (in burrows)

 

Key characteristics for identification: 

• spermathecae with two separated seminal receptacles dorsally covered by a band of tissue (figured).

• Palps: presence of long and thin plumose bristles on trochanter (1) (rl side).

• Leg I: presence of long and thin plumose bristles on coxa (5) and long and thin plumose bristles on trochanter (2) (pl side), absence of plumose setae on femur I (pl side). 

• Leg II, leg III: plumose setae absent.

• Leg IV: absence of plumose pad on femur IV (rl side) but thin plumose setae present.

• Presence of golden pubescens on carapace and trochanters and femora of all legs.

 

 

FIGURE 8: Phormictopus sp. (Cuba, La Havana province, Guanabo), adult .

 

 

FIGURE 9: Phormictopus sp. (Cuba, Guanabo, La Havana province), spermathecae of adult .

 

 

Phormictopus sp. 

Material: 1 ecdysis of subadult male

Locality: Cuba, Sancti Spiritus province, Topes de Collantes.  

 

Key characteristics for identification: 

• Palps: presence of plumose bristles on trochanter (rl side).

• Leg I: presence of plumose bristles on coxa (5 small bristles) and on trochanter (8) (pl side), presence of plumose setae on femur I in basal third (pl side). 

• Leg II, leg III: plumose setae absent.

• Leg IV: presence of plumose pad on the femur IV (rl side).

• Presence of bronze pubescens on carapace.

 

 

FIGURE 10: Phormictopus sp. (Cuba, Sanctí Spiritus province, Topes de Collantes), subadult .

 

 

FIGURE 11: Phormictopus sp. (Cuba, Sanctí Spiritus province, Topes de Collantes), adult ♂.

 

 

FIGURE 12: Phormictopus sp. (Cuba, Sanctí Spiritus province, Topes de Collantes), adult .

 

Phormictopus cf. cancerides centumfocensis

Material: 1 ecdysis of semiadult female (car. 14.0 x 12.8)

Locality: Cuba, Cienfuegos province, Cienfuegos 

 

Key characteristics for identification: 

• Palps: presence of plumose bristles on coxa (30-35 short bristles in length of one quarter of long trochanteral bristles) and on trochanter (10 long and 2 short bristles uniformerly distributed) (rl side).

• Leg I: presence of plumose bristles on coxa (30-40) and plumose bristles on trochanter (5 long bristles and two clusters of short plumose hairs; ventrally-prolateral cluster in number about 10 and dorsally-prolateral cluster in number about 12) (pl side), presence of pad of plumose hairs on femur I in basal thirs (pl side). 

• Leg II, leg III: plumose setae absent.

• Leg IV: presence of well-developed pad of plumose hairs on femur IV (rl side).

• Absence of golden pubescens on carapace and dorsal chelicerae, femora of all legs, caput only tinged with bronze pubescens.

 

 

FIGURE 13: Phormictopus cf. cancerides centumfocensis (Cuba, Cienfuegos province, Cienfuegos), semiadult .

 

 

FIGURE 14: Phormictopus cf. cancerides centumfocensis (Cuba, Cienfuegos province, Cienfuegos), spermathecae of semiadult .

 

  

Phormictopus sp. 

Material: 1 ecdysis of adult female (car. 22 x 20)

Locality: Cuba, Guantanamo province, Yumurí 

 

Key characteristics for identification: 

• spermathecae with two separated seminal receptacles dorsally covered by a band of tissue (figured).

• Palps: presence of plumose bristles on coxa (10-15 short bristles) and on trochanter (7 long bristles in cluster of plumose hairs) (rl side).

• Leg I: presence of plumose bristles on coxa (25-35) and plumose bristles on trochanter (5-6) dispersed in pad of plumose hairs (pl side), presence of pad of plumose hairs on femur I in basal half (pl side). 

• Leg II, leg III: plumose setae absent.

• Leg IV: presence of well-developed pad of plumose hairs on femur IV (rl side).

• Presence of golden pubescens on carapace and dorsal chelicerae, femora of all legs only tinged with golden pubescens.

 

 

FIGURE 15: Phormictopus sp. (Cuba, Guantanamo province, Yumuri), adult .

 

 

FIGURE 16: Phormictopus sp. (Cuba, Guantanamo province, Yumuri), spermathecae of adult .

 

 

Phormictopus sp. 

Material: 1 ecdysis of subadult female (car. 16.5 x 15.2)

Locality: Cuba, Guantanamo province, Guantanamo 

 

Key characteristics for identification: 

• spermathecae with two short separated seminal receptacles dorsally covered by a band of tissue (figured).

• Palps: presence of plumose bristles on coxae (cluster of 10-15 bristles) and on trochanter (10 long bristles) (rl side).

• Leg I: presence of plumose bristles on coxa and trochanter (pl side), presence of plumose hairs on femur I (pl side) except apical third. 

• Leg II, leg III: plumose setae absent.

• Leg IV: presence of pad of plumose hairs on the femur IV (rl side).

• Presence of golden pubescens tinged with rose pubescens on carapace and trochanters and femora of all legs.

 

 

FIGURE 17: Phormictopus sp. (Cuba, Guantanamo province, Guantanamo), adult .

 

 

FIGURE 18: Phormictopus sp. (Cuba, Guantanamo, Guantanamo province), spermathecae of adult .

 

 

FIGURE 19: Phormictopus sp. (Cuba, Guantanamo, Guantanamo province), adult .

 

 

Phormictopus cf. bistriatus 

Material: 1 ecdysis of adult female (car. 18.3 x 16.5)

Locality: Cuba, Santiago de Cuba province, Siboney 

 

Key characteristics for identification: 

• spermathecae with two short separated seminal receptacles with apical lobes, basally incrassate (figured).

• Palps: presence of plumose bristles on coxae (cluster of numerous small hairs) and on trochanter (15 big plumose bristles; approximately 5x longer and wider than bristles on coxae) (rl side).

• Leg I: presence of plumose bristles on coxa (20-30 in cluster) and trochanter (10 big plumose bristles; approximately 5x longer and wider than bristles on coxae) (pl side), presence of plumose hairs on femur I (pl side). 

• Leg II, leg III: plumose setae absent.

• Leg IV: presence of pad of plumose hairs on the femur IV (rl side).

• Presence of golden pubescens on carapace and trochanters and femora of all legs.

 

 

FIGURE 20: Phormictopus cf. bistriatus (Cuba, Santiago de Cuba province, Siboney), adult .

 

 

FIGURE 21: Phormictopus cf. bistriatus (Cuba, Santiago de Cuba province, Siboney), spermathecae of adult .

 

 

 

Simplified Key to Phormictopus species from Cuba, Hispaniola and Tortugas Islands

 

1. Plumose hairs on prolateral face of femur I

    absent ....................................................... 2

    present ...................................................... 3

    unknown..................................................... 4

   

2. Absence of plumose hairs on prolateral face of femur I

  

    Phormictopus nesiotes Chamberlin 1917:

Distribution: Cuba.

Diagnosis: Tends to look like a small version of P. cancerides. Pubescens on carapace and legs, golden brown with grey intermixed. [Smith, 1986].

 

    Phormictopus cancerides (Latreille 1806)

Distribution: Hispaniola (Haiti).

Diagnosis: Often confused with Brachypelma spinicrus (now Citharacanthus spinicrus (Latreille 1819)). C. spinicrus has a golden iridescent hairs on carapace and femurs of all legs. [Smith 1986]. Haitian representatives of P. cancerides have from blue to red iridescent hairs on the caparace and the femurs. [Schmidt 2003]. Females are distinguishable from other species by the shape of spermathecae, males by the bent metatarsus (except P. atrichomatus), from P. atrichomatus by more bent apical end of embolus and distinctly short PI keel. Metatarsus I touches a retrolateral tibial apophysis when is bent. Another tool of determination can be an absence of retrolateral protuberance on palpal tibia. Coloration in living specimens can be also considered as criterion of determination [Rudloff 2008].

 

    Phormictopus melodermus Chamberlin 1917 

Distribution: Hispaniola.

Diagnosis: Species differs from other species by the shape of spermathecae [Rudloff 2008].

 

3. Presence of plumose hairs on prolateral face of femur I

   

    Phormictopus auratus Ortiz & Bertani 2005:

Distribution: Cuba, eastern provinces.  

Diagnosis: Adult males differ from those of P. nesiotes, P. cubensis and P. dubius in that metatarsus I, when flexed, makes contact with the apex of the retrolateral branch of the tibial spur, which is flat. In the aforementioned species, metatarsus I makes contact with the external side of the same branch, which is acute at the apex. Female spermathecae differ from those of P. cancerides, P. atrichomatus and P. melodermus, in that they are very well defined in the base, neck and fundus, instead of being subtriangular to subrectangular shaped and not well defined in this parts. Males and females also differ from other congeners by presenting a dense golden pubescens over the carapace and the appendages [Ortiz & Bertani 2005]. Males are distinguishable from other species according the shape of retrolateral tibial apophysis and according coloration, females according the shape of spermathecae [Rudloff 2008].

 

    Phormictopus cautus (Ausserer 1875):

Distribution: Cuba. P. cautus is listed as Cuban species from Havana region [Schmidt 2003].

Diagnosis: Presence of plumose hairs on the anterior surface of femur I. Chamberlin 1917 stated that locality from which holotype male came is unknown and supposed that P. cubensis described according a female by him could be the female of P. cautus [Chamberlin 1917]. Both sexes differ from other species by the gibbous sternum, especially in females. Females differ by the shape of spermathecae, males by the palpal bulb morphology and tibial apophyses [Rudloff 2008].

 

    Phormictopus cubensis Chamberlin 1917:

Distribution: Cuba, western provinces (e.g. Pinar del Rio).

Diagnosis: Presence of plumose hairs on the anterior surface of femur I [Chamberlin 1917]. Carapace is longer than patella+tibia of leg IV, no golden pubescens on the carapace, easily confused with Citharacanthus spinicrus (Latreille 1819) [Smith 1986]. In original Chamberlin´s description there is no information about absence of golden pubescens and about similarity to Citharacanthus spinicrus [Kaderka]. Species differs from other species by the coloration and by the shape of spermathecae in females and by palpal bulb morphology and tibial apophyses in males [Rudloff 2008].

 

    Phormictopus platus Chamberlin 1917:

Distribution: USA, Tortugas Islands near Florida. Or Tortuga island near Haiti [Rudloff 2008].

Diagnosis: Carapace as long as patella+tibia of leg IV. Plumose hairs on femur I slender and not as dense as P. cubensis [Smith 1986]. Diagnosis is impossible to establish because of immature types [Rudloff 2008].

 

4. Unknown absence / presence of plumose hairs on prolateral face of femur I

   

    Phormictopus atrichomatus Schmidt 1991 

Distribution: Hispaniola (northern part of island). 

Diagnosis: P. atrichomatus differs from P. cancerides by bronze pubescens on carapace (contra violet pubescens in P. cancerides). Metatarsi I is distinctly bent as in P. cancerides. In males an apical part of embolus is distinctly longer than in P. cancerides, keel arangement of male palpal bulb and prolateral tibial apophysis are also distinguishable from P. cancerides. The prolateral tibial apophysis in P. cancerides has incrassate base tapering to the apex and appears as rounded triangle. The prolateral tibial apophysis in P. atrichomatus has finger-like shape. Palpal tibia has subapical protuberance on retrolateral face, in P. cancerides is absent. Spermathecae has two seminal receptacles joined in base, each receptaculum has uniform triangular shape without rounded lobe at apex [Rudloff 2008].

 

    Phormictopus bistriatus Rudloff 2008

Distribution: Cuba Santiago de Cuba province, east of Santiago de Cuba.

Diagnosis: Males are distinguishable from other species according the sexual characters, females according the shape of spermathecae, both sexes according coloration [Rudloff 2008].

 

    Phormictopus cancerides centumfocensis (Franganillo 1926) 

Type locality: Cuba, Cienfuegos province.

Diagnosis: Abdomen and thorax of females dark, but covered by long rusty setae. Cephalothorax dark. Palpal tibium with ventral spines, two on tibium of female, four on tibium of male. Male bulbus similar to Eurypelma (now Aphonopelma) marxi Simon 1890 [Tarantulas of the world - 83/Juli 2003].

 

    Phormictopus cochleasvorax Rudloff 2008

Distribution: Cuba, Holguín province (El Yayal), Camagüey province (Sibanie), Santiago de Cuba province (north of Santiago de Cuba).

Diagnosis: Females are distinguishable from other species by the incrassate tibiae and by the shape of spermathecae, males by the shape of bulbs and tibial apophyses. Legs I, II, III of males are relatively shorter than in other species of the genus Phormictopus. Tibia IV of females are distinctly incrassate (width 4.36 contra 2.46 in metatarsus IV) [Rudloff 2008].

 

    Phormictopus fritzschei Rudloff 2008

Distribution: Cuba, Ciudad de La Havana province.

Diagnosis: Species differs from other species by the short embolus in male palpal bulb morphology, males have one spine near retrolateral tibial apophysis (retrolaterally) and one spine near prolateral tibial apophysis (prolaterally). Females are simply distinguishable by the shape of spermathecae [Rudloff 2008].

 

    Phormictopus jonai Rudloff 2008

Distribution: Cuba, Guantanamo province (eastern part).

Diagnosis: Species differs from other species by the reduced spination on leg segments and by the shape of spermathecae which are not sclerotized [Rudloff 2008].

 

    Phormictopus schepanskii Rudloff 2008

Distribution: Cuba, Matanzas province (north) Ciego de Avila province, Sancti Spiritus province.

Diagnosis: Species differs from other species by the morphology of palpal bulb, females are distinguishable by the shape of spermathecae [Rudloff 2008]. 

 

 

Results

 

All examined unknown specimens from Cuba belong to the genus Phormictopus due to the presence of pad of plumose hairs on retrolateral face of femur IV, the presence of plumose bristles on retrolateral face of coxa and trochanter of palp, the presence of plumose bristles on prolateral face of coxa I and trochanter I and due to the similarity in the shape of two separated seminal receptacles with rounded apical lobes.

 

Many problems were  found in identificating of all studied specimens mentioned above. Original but sometimes vague descriptions containing no informations about key characters using in taxonomy of today was unable to use them for identification. In many cases from the past a new species were described according one sex only, sometimes without knowing of type locality. The method of leg segment measurements for identification was found as absolutely unreliable. The first revision of the genus was made by Rudloff in 2008, the keys for females and males included in the paper were finally used for identificating of all studied specimens.

 

The  specimens from Holguín province and Santiago de Cuba province belong to Phormictopus auratus due to the coloration and prolaterally strongly convex bases of seminal receptacles and small rounded apical lobes.

 

The specimen from Siboney, Santiago de Cuba province probably belong to Phormictopus cf. bistriatus due to the

similar shape of spermathecae and locality of origin in neighbourhood of P. bistriatus. The specimen from Siboney differs from P. bistriatus by indistinct longitudinal stripes on legs. Male is unknown.

 

The  specimen from Soroa, Pinar del Rio province belong to Phormictopus cubensis due to the coloration and the shape of spermathecae without prolaterally convex bases.

 

The ♀♀ specimens from Guanabo, La Havana province are coloured very similarly to P. auratus but due to the different characters (absence of plumose hairs on femur I pl and pad of plumose hairs on femur IV rl) this specimens is considered as undescribed species.

 

The specimens from Guantanamo, Guantanamo province are coloured very similarly to P. cancerides from Haiti which has from blue to red iridescent hairs on caparace and femurs and clavate, plumose stridulating organ on trochanter of palp and leg I. Differ by the presence of plumose hairs on femur I and by the apically rounded lobes of seminal receptacles. 

 

The ♂♂ specimens from Topez de Collantes, Sancti Spiritus province are ad interim scored as unknown species. The specimen from Cienfuegos which is similar to specimens from Topez de Collantes could be Phormictopus cancerides centumfocensis because of the same locality of origin or P.cautus according synonymization made by [Rudloff 2008].

 

The specimen from Yumurí, Guantanamo province is scored as unknown species. Male is unknown.

 

 

 

Bibliography

 

Alayón G. (2000) Las araòas endémicas de Cuba (Arachnida: Araneae). Revista Iberica de Aracnologia, Vol. 2, XII-2000.

 

Bertani R., Da Silva P. I. Jr., Lucas S. (1996) Mygalomorphae. Laboratorio de Artropodes, Instituto Butantan, Setembro 1996.

 

Kovaøík F. (2006) Svìt sklípkanù, Nakladatelství Madagaskar: 34, 140-143, 173, 206-207.

 

Chamberlin R. V. (1917) New spiders of the family Aviculariidae, Bulletin of the Museum of Comparative Zoology at Harvard College, Volume LXI, No. 3: 59-64.

 

Ortiz D. & Bertani R. (2005) A new species in the spider genus Phormictopus (Theraphosidae: Theraphosinae) from Cuba. Revista Iberica de Aracnologia, Vol. 11, 30-VI-2005.

 

Pocock R. I. (1901) Some new and old Genera of S.-American Aviculariidae. Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. VII(8):540-555 

 

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Rudloff J.-P., 2008: Zur kenntnis der Gattung Phormictopus Pocock, 1901 - einem faunenelement der Großen Antillen (Mygalomorphae: Theraphosidae: Theraphosinae). Arthropoda, 15 (4):2-51.

 

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Smith A. M. (1986) The Tarantula. Fitzgerald Publishing London: 51-52, 151-153.

 

The World Spider Catalog, V6.0 by N. I. Platnick, American Museum of Natural History, updated 2005 (Internet version).

 

The World Spider Catalog, V9.0 by N. I. Platnick, American Museum of Natural History, updated 2008 (Internet version).

 

Web site of Museum of Comparative Zoology, Harvard University, Cambridge, 2006. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

© Copyright Radan Kaderka (2008)