Key to the American subfamilies of the family THERAPHOSIDAE Thorell, 1869 

( Radan Kaderka )

 Updated: October 2011

 

1. Abdominal urticating hairs of the type II present,  males with 0 or 1 tibial apohysis,  palpal bulb

    with oval tegulum with long and narrow embolus without keels ......... subfamily Aviculariinae

    - abdominal urticating hairs of the type II .......................................................................... 2

2. Abdominal urticating hairs of the type I or the type III or the type IV or the type VI present,  

    embolus of male palpal bulb with keels ....................................... subfamily Theraphosinae

    - abdominal urticating hairs of the type I or the type III or the type IV or the type VI absent ... 3

3. Abdominal urticating hairs are absent, male palpal bulb with reduced subtegulum and long 

    embolus without keels, presence of two tibial apophyses distally on the leg I, extended tarsal 

    and metatarsal scopulae of anterior legs, legs weakly spined or aspinose .......................... 4

    - abdominal urticating hairs absent, male palpal bulb with reduced subtegulum and long 

    embolus without keels, presence of two tibial apophyses distally on the leg I, normal tarsal

    scopulae of all legs, scopulae of tarsi III and IV divided by line or band of hairs .....................

    ............................................................................................... subfamily Ischnocolinae

4. Autapomorphic palpal urticating hairs of the type V present ............................ Ephebopus

    - lyriform stridulatory organ present (Psalmopoeus), modified or absent (Tapinauchenius) ....

    ............................................................................................ subfamily Psalmopoeinae

  

Note: The genera Hemiercus Simon, 1889 and Schismatothele Karsch, 1879 were synonymized with Holothele Karsch, 1879 by Raven, 1985 but removed from the synonymy of Holothele by Rudloff, 1997. Both genera differ from another genera of Ischnocolinae by fused three-dimensional structured spermatheca and by short stout embolus with keel unusual in Theraphosinae (see photoarchive / Theraphosidae-Ischnocolinae). Male of Schismatothele lineata Karsch 1879 is unknown. Both genera also differ from another genera of Theraphosinae by absence of abdominal urticating hairs of the types I, III, IV and VI (contra Rudloff, 1997; Schmidt, 2003 who housed them in them in Theraphosinae). Both taxa can be considered as genera representing the apomorphic states inside Ischnocolinae. There is no reason to look at the subfamily Ischnocolinae as a clade comprising the only taxa with plesiomorphic states of characters and not involve its descendants. The well-studied subfamily Theraphosinae represents a high degree of variability in male palpal bulb morphology (keels undeveloped / well-developed), in the shape of female spermathecae (bipartite / unipartite), in the number of apophyses on tibia I (without / with one or two apophyses) etc.

The genus Hemmirrhagus is here tentatively placed in Theraphosinae. The basal morphology of the type VI urticating hairs is congruent with the type II hairs occuring in Avicularia, Iridopelma and Pachistopelma and I suppose its common ancestor inspite of the well-developed subtegulum and the presence one central keel in palpal bulb morphology but which is unusual in Theraphosinae.

 

Bibliography:

Cooke J. A. L., Roth V. D., Miller F. H. (1972) The Urticating Hairs of Theraphosid Spiders. American Museum Novitates 2498:1-42.

 

Marshall, S. D. & Uetz G. W. (1990) The pedipalpal brush of Ephebopus sp. (Araneae:Theraphosidae): evidence of a new site for urticating hairs. Bulletin of the British arachnological Society 8 (4):122-124.

 

Pérez-Miles F. (1998) Notes on the systematics of the little known theraphosid spider Hemirrhagus, with a description of a new type of urticating hairs. The Journal of Arachnology 26:120-123.

 

Pérez-Miles F., Locht A. (2003) Revision and cladistic analysis of the genus Hemirrhagus Simon, 1903 (Araneae, Theraphosidae, Theraphosinae). Bulletin of the British arachnological Society, 12 (8): 365-375.

 

Raven Robert J. (1985) The Spider Infraorder Mygalomorphae (Araneae): Cladistics and Systematics. Bulletin of The American Museum of Natural History. Volume 182: 1-180.

Rudloff J.-P. (1997) Revision der Gattung Holothele Karsch, 1879 nebst Aufstellung einer neuen Gattung  Stichoplastoris gen. nov. (Araneae, Theraphosidae) und Wiedereinsetzung einiger weiterer Gattungen der Mygalomorphae. Arachnologische Magazin 5(2): 1-19.

 

Samm R., Schmidt G. (2010) Psalmopoeinae subfamilia nov. - eine neue Unterfamilie der Theraphosidae (Araneae). Tarantulas of the World, 142: 35-41.

 

Schmidt G., Rudloff J.-P. (2003) Die Vogelspinnen. Westarp Wissenschaften Hohenwarsleben: 104-114.

 

West R., Marshall S. D., Fukushima C. S. & Bertani R., 2008: Review and cladistic analysis of the Neotropical tarantula genus Ephebopus Simon 1892 (Araneae: Theraphosidae). Zootaxa, 1849: 35-58.