Three new arboreal theraphosid spiders of the
genus Phormingochilus Pocock, 1895 are here
described from Sulawesi and Sarawak,
Borneo: Phormingochilus carpenteri sp. nov.,
P. kirki sp. nov., and P. pennellhewletti sp. nov.
The genus has been revised and historical
species redescribed. The authors have also
discussed the placement of the
Ornithoctoninae genera Cyriopagopus Simon,
1887, Lampropelma Simon, 1892 and
Omothymus Thorell, 1891 and, after an
examination of the type material, concluded
that Cyriopagopus is a senior synonym of the
genus Haplopelma Simon, 1892 and that the
genus Omothymus needs to be restored to
house the arboreal Malaysian mainland
species schioedtei (Thorell, 1891) and thorelli
(Simon, 1901), which were formerly assigned
to the genus Cyriopagopus but have now
been restored to their original placement. We
have also concluded, on examination of the
type material that the female of Lampropelma
violaceopes Abraham, 1924 from Southern
Malaysia should be removed from the genus
Lampropelma (whose distribution at present,
we believe to be limited to Lampropelma
nigerrimum from Sangihe (Sangir) Island) and
placed in the genus Omothymus, whereas the
male, from Penang, is deemed to be a
misidentified specimen of Cyriopagopus
A new species of theraphosid spider, of the genus Poecilotheria is described from
southern India. Although having been collected previously and noted on three occasions
in the historical record, the spider was erroneously thought to be P. fasciata (Latreille,
1804) from the island of Sri Lanka.
The new spider, Poecilotheria hanumavilasumica sp. n. is named after the holy site
on which it was found and can be readily distinguished from P. fasciata by the
unbroken black band on the ventral surface of femur IV, the pale colour of the basal
half of the metatarsus and the beautiful lilac/violet bloom that is the dominant colour of
the ventral surfaces of the posterior legs. In P. fasciata, the black band is broken, the
metatarsus dark and the dominant colour of the rear legs is a cold blue grey.
Poecilotheria hanumavilasumica is thought to have a fragmented distribution in the
south-east corner of Southern India – a range that in the past, probably extended south
of Madurai and westwards to the foothills of the Western Ghats and the Agastya Malai
range. The area, due to improved irrigation, is coming under increasing pressure from
rice cultivation and initial surveys would indicate that, although threatened, a handful of
functioning colonies precariously survive in the Ramanad desert region. Agriculture in
this region was historically limited to subsistence farming and coconut plantations, but
proposed Government irrigation projects now threaten this fragile equilibrium and raise
the question – is it feasible to establish the largest colony, at the Hanumavilasum
Temple site as a Tiger Spider Sanctuary?
The spider has a historical presence on Rameswaram Island and the Adam Bridge
causeway and it is plausible that it may be found in the war torn northern region of Sri
Lanka – where no collecting has been undertaken for decades.
A new species of the genus Haplopelma
from Burma is described. Two other closely related species, Haplopelma minax
(Thorell) and Haplopelma albostriatum
(Simon), are redescribed.
Chaetopelma anatolicum is the first known Theraphosid spider from Turkey. It differs from all other species of this genus by its apically divided receptacles and by a comb on the tibial spur containing 17 longer spines in one row.
Over the last three years I have been engaged in the preparation and writing of a complete revision of the theraphosid genera of North America and Mexico. 11115 has meant a great deal of time spent both in the museum and in the field, and which has involved much correspondence with like—minded enthusiasts, One of the most valuable of these has been the amateur German arachnologist Marc: Baungarten from Essen, who has assisted me greatly with new-found specimens of the Brachypelm genus from Mexico. Some of these newr specimens are similar to material which the German arachmlogist Gunther Schnidt is at the moment preparing as a paper to be published in Arachnologischer Anzeiger. One from a locality nearby is yet another new species. This material, Hr. Baungarten assures me , has only been collected by himself and only I am in receipt of dead material. Dr. Gunther Schmidt has kindly sent me data of the new species and new genus which he in shortly to describe, and the new species B. bangarteni does not correlate with these descriptions, not previously described material of the genus, which I have described in my forthcoming book. Schmidt'a new species, including B. auratun (which he described in August 1992] will feature in this publication.