Avicularia means “bird eater” in Latin due to an early misconception about a tarantula’s preferred diet, but it may as well mean “flat-footed-spider-with-something-odd-about-its-urticating-hair” due to the characteristics of some members of this subfamily.
For example, take the members of the Avicularia genus: They are tropical arboreal spiders common from the Caribbean to South America and many are commonly sold as “pinktoes,” whether or not the tips of their tarsi are pink . Some, such as Avicularia avicularia, can tolerate each other in a group setting if given enough space, but will kill each other on occasion if there’s not enough room or food. They’re fairly docile, but can move quickly if need be. What’s really special about most of them and the genera Iridopelma and Pachistopelma is that not only are they the only arboreals with urticating hair, they can’t “flick” the hair to make it float off into the air. The type of urticating bristles they possess (Type II) must be pressed into its intended target (A. versicolor may differ).
Also included is the bizzarre genus Ephebopus. They have flattened “feet” like arboreal spiders, yet prefer to dig burrows.
Those “platypus” tarantulas are the only known genus with urticating hair on their pedipalps.
Some taxonomists include members of the genera Psalmopoeus and Tapinauchenius, which have no urticating hair, in this subfamily; along with some members of Holothele, they are some of the few New World tarantulas that lack that trait. What’s really confusing is that many of the described species of the Avicularia genus are invalid. There are descriptions based on cast exoskeletons acquired from a “friend of a friend,” descriptions of only one gender, descriptions without locality data (except to say they came from a friend’s pet collection- in some cases, that’s where the species name is derived), descriptions with no examinations of other types in the genus, etc.
Unfortunately, systematics for theraphosids isn’t a scrutinized, regulated thing. Snippets from a fanzine-style journal published without peer review is enough to get a “species” listed in the World Spider Catalog. This is fun, exciting, and often profitable for pet traders, but quite unfortunate for those wishing to understand faunal relationships and environmental impacts within ecosystems. Questionable species are marked with an asterisk.
|Genus||Species||Common Name||Odds n’ ends|
|Avicularia||affinis*, alticeps*, ancylochira*, anthracina*, arabica*||None||A. affinis is from Chile. However, Nicolet’s description and drawing reveal nothing like other members of Avicularia. It would be more correctly placed in a different genus (Nicolet describes it as quite similar to P. scrofa). Its placement in Avicularia is perhaps simply an oversight that originated with mass-movement of species in the genera “Mygale”. Likewise, A. alticeps could be any theraphosine. The specimen described by Keyserling is either a juvenile or tiny, unsexed adult. It’s a ruddy spider, with sparse setae and pale spinnerets. It seems it had rubbed off urticating bristles typical of Type III or IV (Keyserling, 1877). According to Philip Charpentier, the brownish A. ancylochira may be found along the Tapajoz River, living in in the bark of trees high above flooded swampland (Charpentier 1992). However, Mello-Letao’s description is vague, so it is difficult to determine this spider’s correct placement. In any case, this spider’s locale is deep, deep in some hard-to-access country in northern Brazil. Unfortunately, a series of dams is planned that will put not only these swamps far underwater, but also the homes of indigenous peoples and who knows what undiscovered fauna. There is nothing about A. anthracina that would place it in this genus. Koch’s drawing displays a terrestrially-oriented spider that is overall dark brown with pale spinnerets. It was simply moved to this genus with Raven’s mass-movement of Eurypelma to Avicularia. In 2011, Fukushima, et. al. Discovered it is the same spider as Grammostola mollicoma, of Montevideo, Uruguay. As it was called anthracina first, that spider is now G. anthracina. Likewise the holotype for A. alticeps is lost. The brief original description mentions spines on in the legs, so whatever it is, it’s not Avicularia. The type of A. arabica was found in a jar labelled El-Tor, Egypt, along with some Chaetopelma olivaceum. A century later, Richard Gallon examined the spider and placed it in this genus (Gallon 2008). It’s obviously an Avicularia, and obviously from the Western Hemisphere, but from where?|
|Avicularia||aurantiaca|| Orange banded pinktoe, Yellow banded pinktoe, |
Brazillian pinktoe, etc.
|These Peruvians are not one of the more colorful avics. The common name comes from A. juruensis that were imported in the early 2000s and mis-identified by resellers. A. aurantiaca does not have the pronounced “rings” on legs.|
|Arboreal tarantulas that need humidity and good ventilation; formerly “banned” in Florida due to the similarity of their natural habitat to the southern part of that state’s environment, but that law has been repealed. These were among the first tarantulas recorded by Western science (in the early 1600’s by Clusius, well before Carl von Linne‘s birth). I say “among”, because to Clusius and Pison and Merian, any large, hairy spider of the tropics was “Nhamdu glacau” (great spider), and then Aranea avicularia to Linneaus. |
Though most are collected in Guyana, it is a wide ranging species that lives in a broad portion of northern South America and on Trinidad.
A. avicularia variegata, in its most extreme form, has gray/whitish tips on the longer hairs, and entirely lacks the reddish setae on the rear legs, though it retains some orangish tint on the abdomen. F.O.P. Cambridge hypothesized that perhaps the variant may evolve into another species. Likely, A. avicularia variegata were sold as Avicularia metallica in the US pet trade in the early 200s, so striking is the difference in the most extreme specimens (see also A. metallica).
Further information is located here.
|Avicularia||aymara*, azuraklaasi*||None||There is nothing about Chamberlin’s description of A. aymara that would place it in this genus. It was likely a part of the big “Eurypelma” move of 1985. A. azuraklaasi may not be a valid species. Marc Tesmoingt wrote a description of A. azuraklaasi based on two molted exoskeletons supplied to him via Andre Braunshausen from specimens that supposedly originated from Peter Klaas; Tesmoignt claimed they came from Peru. Who collected them and exactly where they did so is a mystery. |
Both were female. Even by European “arthropod fanzine” standards, the description is exceptionally lacking in quality. It is not uncommon to find “dealers” in the US pet trade selling a spider identical to A. avicularia from Guyana as “A. azuraklaasi” at a substantially higher price.
|Avicularia||bicegoi||Brick Red Birdeater||A gorgeous pinktoe from Brazil (sometimes found on dealer websites as being from Martinique) with a red rump and greenish carapace.|
|Avicularia||borelli*||None||Hails from Paraguay, near Colonia Risso, a popular tourist resort. Simon’s description is very brief; nothing is mentioned that would place it in this genus.|
|Avicularia||braunshauseni*||Goliath Pinktoe|| These S. Americans are very similar to A. avicularia in coloration, physical attributes, and habitat, but supposedly attain a larger size. |
Sometimes specimens in the pet trade seem to have longer and denser red setae on legs IV. Most, however, are identical to A. avicularia except for the price, of course. Some doubt (with well-founded reason) that it is actually a different species from A. avicularia. It was described by Tesmoingt in 1999 as an aggressive species with a wide range along northern Brazil. He does mention the denser, longer red setae, but no comparisons to A. avicularia are made (a logical comparison would be made to Koch’s A. hirsutissima (synonomized with A. avicularia), but of course the species was described by those who wish to sell spiders and magazines, not by those who wish to be accurate. The spermathecae and emboli of specimens I’ve seen in the US pet trade are identical to those of A. avicularia. The sternum of molted individuals is the same as FOP Cambridge’s drawings of A. avicularia. HJ Peters redescribed it in 2000 along with the dubious species of A. geroldi and A. ulrichea in his pet trade fanzine, which is not peer-reviewed.
|Avicularia||caesia*,cuminami*||A. caesia is likely the same animal as A. laeta, as the type is a juvenile. There are specimens collected from St. John on Bordeaux Mountain, perhaps suggesting some variability between populations on Puerto Rico and the Virgin Islands as well. A. cuminami was also described from a juvenile by Mello-Leitao and there is not enough data to differentiate it from any other Avicularia species.|
A. detrita, of Bahia, like several others in this genus, does not have pink “toes”.
|Avicularia||diversipes||Amazon Sapphire||A. diversipes is a stunning spider with greenish tones as a juvenile, and royal blue undertones highlighted with yellow-ish orange as an adult. The males have no tibial spurs. It was redescribed by Bertani and Fukushima in 2009, along with two new species. Their description, with wonderful photos, illustrations, and locality data, is available here. Of primary importance is the fact that Bertani and Fukushima found two more species unknown to science while studying A. diversipes in the Atlantic Forest Biosphere Reserve. Sadly, it is likely just a glimpse, as only about 10% of that unique ecosystem still remains, and most of it is fragmented into hilltop “islands.” More detailed information on the AFBR is located here: The Mata Atlantica Biosphere Reserve|
|None||A. doleschalli probably isn’t an Avicularia. Ausserer’s description alludes to no similarities whatsoever between doleschalli and A. vestaria, velutina, etc. To put it mildly, the author knew an “Avic” when he saw one, and he didn’t describe A. doleschalli as such. Furthermore, Keyserling makes comparative reference to A. doleschalli in his description of Cyclosternum janierum (both were at the time Ishnocolus). A. doleschalli simply got lumped here in the “mass movement” like A. affinis.|
In addition, Strand’s description of A. exilis is greatly lacking in detail, including locality data, and therefore shouldn’t be considered valid. (Charpentier 1992).
|None||There is a species currently in the pet trade being sold as A. fasciculata. It’s actually Avicularia diversipes. How one came to the conclusion that it’s A. fasciculata is is not clear. Strand’s description has no illustrations, there’s no blue mentioned (both descriptions describe faded specimens, one of which was a badly damaged A. fasciculata clara), locality for A. fasciculata is listed as “S. Amerika” and for A. f. clara as “Suriname”. In short, the descriptions are so vague that they could be any number of Aviculariinae that don’t have pink “toes”. Furthermore, the A. diversipes being sold as A. fasciculata are small spiders. Strand’s description of A. fasciculata is descriptive on ONE thing: he liked to measure a lot. The female holotype is 54mm in bodylength, which is a decent size for an Avicularia (the type for Avicularia metallica from Suriname is 50mm in bodylength). In short, A. fasciculata isn’t known to be in the pet trade, and it may or may not be synonymous with any number of spiders. There simply isn’t any detailed description or type available. The only explanation for marketing A. diversipes as A. fasciculata is importers (in this case, smuggler) often attach any random species name to spiders with little knowledge about what it is they’re selling in order to make a buck For those interested, A. f. clara is smaller and more brightly colored than A. fasciculata, according to Strand.|
|Avicularia||gamba||None||Recently described by Bertani and Fukushima here. The name comes from GAMBA– Grupo Ambientalista da Bahia, in recognition of their efforts to preserve what little is left of the Atlantic rainforest (Bertani 32).|
|Avicularia||geroldi*||Brazilian Blue and Red Pinktoe||Pretty and pricey (for probably exploitive reasons) South American arboreals. Very similar to A. avicularia and many suspect that they’re the same species. This one was also loosely “described” by Tesmoingt in a 1999 edition of a non-reviewed “fanzine”. It was named after Andre Braunshausen’s grandfather. The obvious comparison to traits of A. avicularia-complex species are ignored in the paper, and a distinction is made on the basis of a minute “dog’s head” shape of one of the spermathecae- a highly variable feature (Schmidt 1994). Supposedly found in Santana (Fazendinha), a popular tourist port in northern Brazil, on an inland peninsula subject to tides. The description less than credible. Furthermore, at least two different variations appear in the pet trade. Some lack reddish pubescence (sometimes found in the European and Canadian pet trade); others, which are most commonly found in the US pet trade, appear identical to Avicularia avicularia routinely imported from Guyana at a substantially lower price.|
|Avicularia||glauca*, gracilis*||None||Central and South American; |
A. glauca was described from a juvenile by Simon. Cambridge’s entire entry is as follows:”The type specimen, kindly submitted to me for examination by M. Simon, is evidently an immature example, and it will always be difficult to decide exactly as to which particular species of Avicularia it belongs,” (Cambridge 42). That sentiment could likely go for a good many species in the genus, including A. gracilis. Keyserling’s specimen was very small (possibly a juvenile, but he asserts that it is female), and very worn. The colors had faded to yellowish-brown, and the abdomen was completely bald. There is nothing in the description that would lead one to believe that it belongs in Avicularia. It’s likely a lump from the big “Eurypelma move”; same with Avicularia guyana.
Update: Ray Gabriel tenaciously tracked down the holotype in Paris and found it is a member of the genus Eupalaestrus. Become a member of the British Tarantula Society and read all about it.
|Avicularia||hirschii||None||Avicularia hirschii was described in the pet trade “fanzine” Tarantulas of the World, with is not peer-reviewed. However, it does have very unique spermathecae, thus separating it from other described species. Furthermore, male A. hirschii have a shield of spines instead of tibial apophyses, like A. versicolor. The spider is found near the Napo river in Ecuador. Unfortunately, the area is of great interest to oil companies due to the possibility of vast reserves nearby. Read about this biologically diverse system here.|
A. hirsuta does not belong in this genus. Simon accidentally synonomized Iridopelma hirsutum (from Pernambuco, Brazil) into this genus. That mistake was cleared up, but the actual spider described by Ausserer is a terrestrial from Cuba and the Bahamas. It is clearly not an Avicularia, nor an Iridopelma.
|Avicularia||holmbergi*||None||Doesn’t belong here. The spider Thorell described was collected by van Hasselt, a biologist who explored Java. Thorell didn’t have exact locality data, but he assumed his specimens may be juveniles of Selenocosia javanensis (Thorell 1890).|
|Avicularia||huriana||Ecuadorian Wooly, Ecuadorian Pinktoe||Large (in fact, by far the largest Avicularia species in girth I’ve ever seen. Supposed “A. metallica” and “A. branshauseni” specimens are not excepted), bushy arboreals. In terms of its bulk (even discounting its hirsuteness), think of an arboreal like P. regalis with a little less legspan. They’re both chunky bugs for things that live in a trees.|
|Avicularia||juruensis||Brazilian Yellowbanded||These have a yellow ring before the pink toe, and get their name from the Jurua river in western Brazil/eastern Peru. The location of the type, Jurui-Purus moist forests, are largely roadless swaths of primary rainforest that are currently (and unfortunately) being prospected by the oil company Petrobras. Furthermore, the area is in the path of the proposed extension of the Transamazon highway.|
|Avicularia||laeta, leporina||None||A. laeta has a light golden color overall as an adult. As youngsters, they are bluish, like A. versicolor. They are a wide ranging species in Puerto Rico, from Isla Culebra to the west coast, and are commonly found at the El Verde Field Station. It is not uncommon in the Virgin Islands as well. |
A. caesia is likely the same thing as A. laeta. A. leporina is similar in appearance to A. avicularia, but does not possess pink “toes”.
|Avicularia||metallica*||Metallic Pinktoe, Whitetoe||Grizzled arboreal tarantulas. In the mid 1990’s through the early 2000’s, spiders were imported from the same range as A. avicularia, sorted by size and hair color out of the same crates, and sold as A. metallica for a few more bucks; in fact, they were very similar to A. avicularia overall and some suspect they may not only hybridize in the wild, but be variations of the same species (see especially Cambridge’s notes on Avicularia avicularia variegata). Charpentier (1992) reports regular “hybridization” between supposed A. metallica and A. avicularia with fertile offspring in captivity. Ausserer’s original description certainly provides no foundation for the “dealer” lore about reddish setae being completely absent or about white tipped “toes”. The full description, translated into English, is here. There was no difference whatsoever in the apophyses or emboli of the males, nor the spermathecae of the females of spiders sold as A. metallica from spiders sold as A. avicularia. The only non-coloration differences Ausserer mentions to distinguish it from A. avicularia (he actually references A. vestaria) is that the tibia of legs IV are slightly longer and the tubercle is a bit more curved and slightly less wide. The spider with white-tipped setae is readily available from Guyana exporters who collect them from the back of reptile bins and around exporters’ sheds, right along with specimens sold as A. avicularia. Larger ones, along with the larger specimens that lack the white tipped setae, often command a higher price. As of late (2009-2014), I’ve seen Avicularia cf urticans from Peru being sold as A. metallica, though they come from nowhere near Surinam.|
In fact, they have been more common at reptile shows in the southeast than specimens sold as A. avicularia.
|Avicularia||minatrix||Venezuelan Redslate||These brownish avics retain the black and red patterning on their abdomens as adults. |
They are from a drier region than most pinktoes (northern Venezuela, near hilly, semiarid Duaca) and don’t attain a very large size.
|Avicularia||nigrotaeniata*,obscura*, ochracea, panamensis*|
parva*, plantaris*, pulchra*
|None||Wide range. A.nigrotaeniata are likely to be the same thing as A. avicularia. Ausserer’s type for A. obscura was a juvenile of indeterminate genus. Pocock hypothesized that the Columbian spider may be a Hapalopus. A. ochracea is from Rio Negro, Brazil. It is quite “hairy”. Koch’s description and drawing of A. plantaris does little to distinguish between it and A. avicularia. |
A. panamensis is probably a terrestrial member of Theraphosinae – there is nothing in Simon’s description that alludes to traits of Avicularia.
Note: Recently, Ray Gabriel tenaciously tracked down the holotype in Paris and found it is a member of the genus Sericopelma. Become a member of the British Tarantula Society and read all about it. Unfortunately, the specimens Mello-Leitao used to describe A. pulchra were juveniles. Same with Keyserling’s A. parva. Both are likely invalid species (Petrunkevitch described the type of A. parva as too small to make a determination of genus, but is probably terrestrial). Note: In 2011, Fukushima et al. examined the type of A. parva and placed it in the genus Catamuri. In 2012, Bertani found that the type of A. pulchra is actually Pachistopelma rufonigrum.
|Avicularia||purpurea||Ecuadorian Pinktoe, Ecuadorian Purple||These have a purplish hue under the right light. |
They are from Ecuador and are as adaptable to mankind’s presence as its eastern cousin, A. avicularia.
|Avicularia||rapax*, rickwesti, rufa|
Ausserer’s illustration and description of the male of A. rapax does little to distinguish between it and other members of this genus. A. rickwesti was found in the Jaragua-Bahoruco-Enriquillo Biosphere Reserve in the Dominican Republic. It does not have pink “toes”. A. rufa, from near Rio Madeira ,has a small brush of yellow setae at the joints of the tarsi and metatarsi. Ausserer describes A. rutilans as similar to A. diversipes. In fact, he does not say what’s different about it, and no females were described.
|Avicularia||sooretama||None||Goregeous. Males lack tibial apophyses. They obviously share a distinct evolutionary lineage with A. diversipes and A. gamba (Bertani 38). More information can be found in Bertani and Fukushima’s excellent description here.|
|None|| A. soratae, A. subvulpina and A. surinamensis were described by Strand in 1906 and 1907, respectively. However, he didn’t include much data in his descriptions- nothing that would distinguish between them and other members of this genus. Read Bertani and Motta’s great description of A. taunayi and its unique cerrado biome here. A. tigrina, of Montevideo, is erroneously placed in this genus. It’s obviously terrestrial- Pocock’s closest reference when describing the species was Cyrtopholis. Note: In 2011, Fukushima, et. al, identified it as Pterinopelma tigrinum.|
Some think A. ulrichea is a variant of A. urticans. It was loosely described in the flurry of poorly written papers by Tesmoingt in 1996.
|Avicularia||urticans||Peruvian Pinktoe||Described by Schmidt in 1994. Large, leggy, grizzled spiders. As of 2009 and later, they are often sold as A. metallica in the US pet trade, even though they come from nowhere near A. metallica‘s type locality. The mature male is amazing with a pronounced purple hue to its carapace.|
|Avicularia||velutina*||None||Described from specimens collected in originally Parque San Esteban, Venezuela; this tarantula with pink toes is quite common near Caracas; however, some were also collected on the island of Trinidad. While the type is of average size for the genus, Schiapelli and Gerschman reported larger (65mm body length) females being quite common near Caracas. It would be interesting to look for variations between this spider and similar specimens collected on the mainland. In addition to measuring things, Schiapelli and Gershman enjoyed studying various mammalian reactions to its venom, sometimes injecting it into rats, and once having a large female bite a guinea pig on the nose, which became quite agitated, partially paralyzed and oozing saliva. It recovered in about half an hour. It is unknown what separates this species from A. avicularia. drawings and photos of the type suggest slightly more “separation”, almost banding, at the leg joints, but . . . . Strangely enough, there are specimens labelled as being from Yuya Piches and Puerto Inca (both Peru) in Staatliches Museum fur Naturkun (likely mislabeled).|
|Avicularia||versicolor||Antilles Pinktoe||Another colorful beauty. They have greenish carapaces and pinkish/purple colored hairs on their fuzzy legs and abdomens.|
The tibial apohpyses are simply rows of spikes rather than pronounced spurs.
This “Matoutou Falaise” (as locals call them) are common in the forested hills above Anse Couleuvre on Martinique. They are also supposedly present on Guadelupe (unconfirmed), but curiously absent from Dominica (Damon Corrie of Earthfoot and president of the Carribean Herpetological Society has scoured the island and noted all Theraphosidae, including A. antillensis, and scorpions are conspicuously absent from Dominica as well).
Some (both in the European scientific community and locals of the Martinique) have asserted that they enjoy a diet consisting of a fair portion of small treefrogs in the wild. The assumption is that this diet causes them to be more skittish and possibly more defensive with the fangs than some other Avicularia species. I have observed the prediliction for tree frogs, but not any marked defensiveness.
Furthermore, some have seen them making a kicking motion to discharge urticating bristles (Bertani 1996). I have observed this from one mature male of the species.
According to drawings, A. walckenaeri is an incredibly hirsute spider with pink “toes”, similar to a darker A. huriana. Locality data is vague, being listed as “about 2000 miles from the mouth of the Amazon.”
French Guiana Blue Fang
| They have purplish legs and opisthosomas, blue chelicera that are stunning, and yellow to orangish bands at the leg joints. They were described by Rick West in 2000. |
They are becoming fairly regularly bred in captivity.
|Ephebopus||foliatus, fossor*||None||E. foliatus, recently described in 2008 from specimens collected in Guyana, is an interesting member of this genus. While little is known about their natural history, they appear to be arboreal, even as adults. In other observed members of this genus, the spiderlings are find of staying off the ground, while the adults choose to dig into it. Furthermore, they differ from other Ephebopus species by having a slight pattern on the abdomen (West, et al., 2008). The type specimens for E. fossor (collected near Rio Sapayo, Ecuador) were lost many years ago and it’s possible that Pocock was describing an entirely different species. R. West declared this species as nomen dubium as a result. Those selling so-called “E. fossor” are actually selling Ephebopus “whoknowswhatus” (and they usually come from nowhere near Ecuador). Pocock’s original description describes a spider that is similar to E. murinus, but has less emphasized longitudinal stripes on the legs, and more obvious transverse markings near the joints.|
|Ephebopus||murinus, rufescans||Skeleton Tarantula |
(just Ephebopus murinus)
|Terrestrial tarantula found near Manaus, common in Reserva Ducke, as well as up into Guyana and Suriname. These “bulldoggish” spiders are rarely arboreal as adults (though sometimes found in trees, in root structure near the ground); they prefer to burrow and, like all Ephebopus, have their urticating hairs on their pedipalps (a type of urticating bristles that can be airborne. The other members of this subfamily that possess urticating bristles only have Type II, which must be pressed into an assailant on contact). More information on urticating bristles by Rogerio Bertani and Otavio Marques can be found here. Most E. murinus are somewhat defensive, at least compared to Avicularia.|
Further information and photos of E. murinus are located here.
|Ephebopus||uatuman||Emerald Skeleton||E. uatuman has yellow bands at the “knee” joints”, lacks the striping of E. murinus and E. rufescans, and their carapaces and abdomens have a greenish tint; overall, they’re a tawny orange color when approaching a molt and a drab olive after molting. There is a shiny blue-violet tint on the ventral surface of legs I. Males are reddish-orange overall at maturity. They can be found in the unique evergreen tropical “moist” forest along the Rio Branco/Rio Negro river basin. More information on their highly diverse habitat is located here. More information and photos regarding the spider are located here.|
|Iridoplema||hirsutum||Yellow Lined Treespider||Fuzzy, tawny colored arboreals that are very similar to members of the Avicularia genus. They have Type II urticating bristles, and the males have spurs on legs I and II. Contrary to some websites, it has nothing to do with the “Ischnocolus hirsutus” described by Ausserer in 1875. The spider that is now known (erroneously) as Avicularia hirsuta is a terrestrial from the Caribbean. |
|Iridoplema||katiae, marcoi, |
|None||. These four spiders from northeast Brazil are described in detail by Rogerio Bertani here.|
|Iridoplema||zorodes||Brazilian Purple||Kept like most members of Avicularia. What was in the pet trade in the late 1990’s as I. zorodes resembled I. hirsutum more than anything “purple”. |
|Pachistopelma||rufonigrum, bromelicola||None||Beautiful redrumped bromeliad dwellers. P. rufonigrum lives in the unique habitat of tropical xerophylus plants. P. bromelicola, while also preferring bromeliads, lives in both rainforest and xeric habitat. Both have Type II urticating bristles. More data on their habits and habitat compiled by Sidclay Dias, et al., are located here, here, and here. Bertani’s redription of P. rufonigrum and the description of P. bromelicola, along with excellent photos, are located here.|
|Typhochlaena||amma, costae, curumim, paschoali, seladonia||None||Amazingly beautiful spiders from northeast Brazil. Incredibly detailed information about them is found in Rogerio Bertani’s excellent descriptions, located here.|
Also peruse the very well-done rediscovery of T. seladonia by Almeida-Silva here. The redescription reveals a spider that is more hirsute than Koch’s illustration, and with femora that are more pinkish than orange. It was also discovered that the males have no tibial apophysis, unlike I. hirsutum and I. zorodes, which have spurs on legs I and II . What is most important about the redescription is the authors’ points about the spider’s habitat. They were found in fragmented patches of lowland Atlantic rainforest, 95% of which no longer exists (L.M. Almeida-Silva, et al.) What else lives in there that hasn’t been seen for 150 years, if at all? If there’s a case for preservation of a spider, this beautiful jewel is it.