Printer Friendly

A redescription of Varacosa apothetica (Wallace) (Araneae, Lycosidae).

Like many newly described members of the family Lycosidae Sundevall 1833 from the mid-20th century, Lycosa apothetica Wallace 1947 was originally described in the genus Lycosa Latreille 1804. Roewer (1955) placed the species in Varacosa Chamberlin & Ivie 1942 when he elevated this genus from its subgeneric status within Trochosa C.L. Koch 1847, but his reasons for doing so were not made clear. Varacosa apothetica was not part of Brady's (1980) Trochosa avara group nor was it treated as a member of Varacosa by Jimenez & Dondale (1988). Platnick (2008) therefore placed V. apothetica within Trochosa along with the rest of Roewer's Varacosa not included by Jimenez & Dondale (1988). Based on Wallace's illustrations (1947), it seemed likely that the species belonged to Varacosa. Wallace (1947) examined a total of 57 specimens from the Southeastern United States (833, 49[female][female]) in his original description. Having examined most of the type material, I here support Roewer's (1955) combination Varacosa apothetica by showing that the species bears a prominent synapomorphy of Varacosa; i.e., the conspicuous anterior curvature of the transverse piece of the epigynum.


Descriptions and drawings are based on specimens viewed in 70-75% ethanol under direct illumination. The epigynum was removed and cleared with clove oil, and the spermathecae were illustrated within this liquid. For clarity, palpal setae were omitted. Measurements reported here are those found in Wallace's (1947) original description of the species. Figure 8 reflects the collection localities of the specimens examined here as well as those included in Wallace (1947) that could not be located.

Abbreviations.--Male palpal structures: palea region (pr), tegular lobe (tl), embolus (emb), terminal apophysis (ta), median apophysis (ma), tegulum (tg). Female genitalic structures: head of spermathecae (hs), stalk of spermathecae (ss), fertilization ducts (fd). Body Dimensions: carapace width (CW), carapace length (CL), Eyes: posterior ocular quadrangle width (POQW), posterior ocular quadrangle length (POQL), posterior median eye width (PMEW), posterior lateral eye width (PLEW), clypeus height (CH). Palpal segments: palpal femur (PF), palpal patella (PP), palpal tibia (PT), palpal cymbium 3 (PC), palpal tarsus & claw [female] (PTC). Legs: femur (F1-4), patella (P1-4), tibia (Ti1-4), metatarsus (M1-4), tarsus (T1-4). Collections: American Museum of Natural History, New York (AMNH); Florida State Collection of Arthropods, Gainesville (FSCA).


Family Lycosidae Sundevall 1833

Genus Varacosa Chamberlin & Ivie 1942

Trochosa C.L. Koch 1848:95, in part. Brady 1980:168, in part. Platnick 2008, in part.

Trochosa (Varacosa) Chamberlin and Ivie 1942:36.

Varacosa: Roewer 1955:304. (Raised to generic status). Jimenez & Dondale 1988:172.

Type species.--Trochosa avara Keyserling 1877, by original designation.

Varacosa apothetica (Wallace 1947)

Figures 1-7

Lycosa apothetica Wallace 1947:33, figs. 1, 2.

Varacosa apothetica Roewer 1955:306.

Type material examined.--Varacosa apothetica: allotype 3 USA: Florida: Alachua County: 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 26 October 1937, H.K. Wallace (AMNH); Lycosa apothetica: holotype [female] USA: Florida: Alachua County: Station 7B, 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 26 October 1937, H.K. Wallace (AMNH). Paratypes: U.S.A.: Florida: 2 [female] Alachua County, Station 1, 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 19 January 1937, H.K. Wallace (FSCA); 1 [female] same location, 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 30 January 1937 (FSCA); 2 [female] Alachua County, Station 1B, 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 30 January 1937, H.K. Wallace (FSCA); 5 [female] Alachua County, Station 1 vicinity, 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 30 January 1937 (FSCA); 2 [female] same location, 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 19 April 1937 (FSCA); 1 [female] same location, 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 22 January 1939, H.K. Wallace (FSCA); 2 [female] Alachua County, Station 2 vicinity, 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 30 January 1937, H.K. Wallace (FSCA); 2 [female] Alachua County: Station 7A, 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 7 February 1937 (FSCA); 2 [female] Alachua County, Station 7B, 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 20 January 1937 (FSCA); 3 [female] same location, 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 8 February 1937 (FSCA); 1 [male] 2 [female] same location, 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 26 May 1937 (FSCA); 1 [female] Alachua County: Gainesville, 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 18 March 1938, W.J. Gertsch (FSCA); 1 [male] Alachua County: pine flatwoods, 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 2 July 1938, C. Benton (FSCA); 1 [female] Alachua County, 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 11 April 1933, H.K. Wallace (FSCA); 4 [female] Alachua County, 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 15 February 1938, H.K. Wallace (FSCA); 3 [female] Leon County, 30[degrees]26'N, 084[degrees]16'W, 16 March 1936, H.K. Wallace (FSCA). Georgia: 1 [female] Turner County, 31[degrees]42'N, 083[degrees]39'W, 6 May 1937, H.K. Wallace (FSCA); No Locality: 8 [female], H.K. Wallace (FSCA). Mississippi: 1 [male] 2 [female] Hancock County, 42 mi East of New Orleans, 30[degrees]18'N, 089[degrees]20'W, 15 July 1939, H.K. Wallace (FSCA).


Other material examined.--USA: Alabama:2 [female] Baldwin County: Foley, 30[degrees]24'N, 087[degrees]41'W, 25 June 1912 (FSCA). Florida:1 [female] Alachua County, 29[degrees]39'N, 082[degrees]19'W, 26 January 1958, H.V. Weems Jr. (FSCA).

Etymology.--Wallace did not comment on etymology. However, apothetica is presumably derived from a Greek word meaning storehouse, and could refer to the Devil's Mill Hopper near the type collection locality (Dondale, pers. comm. 2007).

Diagnosis.--Males of V. apothetica are distinguished from other members of this genus by the large palea, which lacks sclerotization, a transparent terminal apophysis superior to the tegular lobe, and the relatively small tegular apophysis (Figs. 3, 4). Females are separated from their congeners by the anteriorly widened curved portion of the transverse piece of the median septum, each being about one-third the width of the entire epigynum (Figs. 5, 7).

Description.--Male: Chelicerae: light tan; without strong boss; three promarginal and retromarginal teeth. Carapace (Fig. 1): light yellow background with medium brown markings; median light stripe extending from between eyes to rear of carapace containing two darkened areas posterior to PLEs; submarginal light bands; wavy dark margins; few dark brown radial lines running from median light area to submarginal light area; darkened region surrounding ALEs and PER; AER slightly procurved; eyes and anterior portion of carapace lightly iridescent. Dorsum of abdomen: light yellow background, uniformly mottled medium grey; heart mark may be present, if so not strongly outlined; weak chevrons if any; darker anteriorly. Legs: femora annulate; ventral surface of femur iridescent, perhaps even the entire leg; leg formula IV:I:II:III. Endites and labium: light yellow overall, darker proximally; labium nearly square. Sternum: yellow; bare but for disparate long setae. Venter: yellow; low numbers of small dark spots near the margins. Pedipalpus (Figs. 3, 4): large, wrinkled palea; tegular apophysis with strong scleritization on dorsal tip; slightly curved embolus lying in distally elongated tegular lobe; transparent terminal apophysis protruding from palea over the conductor and embolus when viewed dorsally; tegulum devoid of major topography or scleritization; no macrosetae on tip.




Female: similar to male. Carapace (Fig. 2); Epigynum (Figs. 5, 7): Thin median septum; thin transverse piece, except for heavily thickened anterior lobes, each nearly one-third the width of the epigynum; deep excavations along margin of median septum and transverse piece; median septum and transverse piece sclerotized; hoods triangular; whole of epigynum nearly circular. Spermathecae (Fig. 6): Large spermathecae extending anteriorally from lateral position; stalk of spermathecae angled toward top of median septum before bending > 90[degrees] and widening into head of spermathecae; fertilization ducts appear suspended above darkened structure posterior to spermathecae when viewed from within.

Measurements.--Wallace's original measurements (1947) for both the male and female are again reported here in Table 1. Distribution and habitat preferences.--Wallace's records (1947) indicate that this species is found only in the southeastern USA, from Florida and Georgia west to Mississippi (Figure 8). Most specimens have been collected in Gainesville, Florida. Wallace (1947) reports that "Males have been collected only in October, November, December, and February while females have not been taken after May until October." It is "secretive," "usually stays close by, or in, the mouth of it's [sic] retreat" and is "usually found in moist situations in pine flatwoods (pond margins, cypress bay margins, etc.), but may be found occasionally in other situation [sic]"(Wallace 1947).

Remarks.--Wallace (1947) lists 57 paratypes in his original description. I examined the majority of those, and three additional specimens collected later. This species bears a synapomorphy with Varacosa: the conspicuous anterior curvatures of the transverse piece. I therefore support Roewer's combination: Varacosa apothetica (Wallace 1947), contra Platnick (2008). In V. apothetica these structures are much wider than those of other Varacosa. Of its congeners, the V. apothetica epigynum most closely resemble V. gosiuta (Chamberlin 1908) and V. shenandoa (Chamberlin & Ivie 1942) (Brady 1980). The palp of the male differs from most other Varacosa, featuring a large palea and relatively small median apophysis similar to that of V. hoffmannae Jimenez & Dondale 1988.

One notable feature of this species is the iridescent quality noted on the body of the males. Male specimens exhibited varying levels of iridescence over their bodies, but each was found to have femora that bore this quality. It is not clear if this is an artifact of the long term preservation of these specimens or a true characteristic of the species.


I wish to thank the following individuals for their contribution to this work Allen R. Brady and Charles D. Dondale for their identification of this project and helpful encouragement; Norman I. Platnick (AMNH) and G.B. Edwards (FSCA) for the loan of specimens; Lou Sorkin (AMNH) for his assistance with material; C.D. Dondale and Thomas L. Bultman for reading an early version of the manuscript; Dr. Volker Framenau, an anonymous reviewer, and Dr. Ingi Agnarsson for their helpful critiques during the review process; Sarah C. Crews for her suggestions in relation to the illustrations; and the Hope College Department of Biology, particularly the Chair T.L. Bultman, for support of this research.

Manuscript received 25 November 2007, revised 10 February 2008.


Brady, A.R. 1980. Nearctic species of the wolf spider genus Trochosa (Araneae: Lycosidae). Psyche 86:167-212.

Chamberlin, R.V. & W. Ivie. 1942. A hundred new species of American spiders. Bulletin of the University of Utah 32:1-117.

Jimenez, M.L. & C.D. Dondale. 1988. Descripcion de una nueva especie del genero Varacosa de Mexico. Journal of Arachnology 15:171-175.

Platnick, N.I. 2008. The World Spider Catalog, Version 8.0. The American Museum of Natural History, New York. Online at Accessed 16 January 2008.

Roewer, C.F. 1955. Katalog der Araneen von 1758 bis 1940, bzw. 1954. Volume 2. Institut Royal des Sciences Naturelles de Belgique, Bruxelles. 923 pp.

Wallace, H.K. 1947. A new wolf spider from Florida, with notes on other species. Florida Entomologist 30:33-42.

Jamin M. Dreyer: Department of Biology, Hope College Holland, Michigan 49423, USA. E-mail:
Table 1.--Features of V. apothetica (Wallace), taken from Wallace
(1947). All measurements in millimeters. See text for abbreviations.

Dimension V. apothetica [male] V. apothetica [female]

CW 2.5 2.9
CL 3.5 4.0
POQW 1.0 1.4
POQL 0.8 1.0
PMEW 0.4 0.4
PLEW 0.3 0.3
CH 0.6 0.6
PF 1.3 1.4
PP 0.6 0.7
PT 0.6 0.8
PC/PTC 1.0 1.2
F1 2.7 3.9
P1 1.4 1.5
T1 2.3 2.2
M1 2.3 2.0
T1 1.5 1.5
Total 1 10.2 11.1
F2 2.4 2.7
P2 1.3 1.5
T2 2.0 2.0
M2 2.1 2.0
T2 1.5 1.5
Total 2 9.3 9.7
F3 2.4 2.6
P3 1.2 1.3
T3 1.7 1.8
M3 2.3 2.2
T3 1.3 1.5
Total 3 8.9 9.4
F4 3.1 3.3
P4 1.2 1.6
T4 2.5 2.8
M4 3.3 3.7
T4 1.8 1.9
Total 4 11.9 13.3
COPYRIGHT 2008 American Arachnological Society
No portion of this article can be reproduced without the express written permission from the copyright holder.
Copyright 2008 Gale, Cengage Learning. All rights reserved.

Article Details
Printer friendly Cite/link Email Feedback
Author:Dreyer, Jamin M.
Publication:The Journal of Arachnology
Article Type:Report
Date:Sep 1, 2008
Previous Article:Courtship and mating behavior of Grammostola schulzei (Schmidt 1994) (Araneae, Theraphosidae), a burrowing tarantula from Argentina.
Next Article:Description of Zabius gaucho (Scorpiones, Buthidae), a new species from southern Brazil, with an update about the generic diagnosis.

Terms of use | Privacy policy | Copyright © 2020 Farlex, Inc. | Feedback | For webmasters