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On the genus Neostothis Vellard (Araneae, Nemesiidae).

The family Nemesiidae was proposed in 1985 by Raven by elevating Simon's Nemesiae Simon 1892, synonymizing Pycnothelidae with it, and transferring to it some genera previously placed in Ctenizidae (Raven 1985). To date, the family includes six subfamilies, 41 genera, and 340 species distributed worldwide (Platnick 2008).

Two subfamilies include genera with species known to occur in Brazil: Pycnothelinae, with Chaco Tullgren, Hermachura Mello-Leitao, Neostothis Vellard, Prorachias Mello-Leitao, Psalistopoides Mello-Leitao, Pselligmus Simon, Pycnothele Chamberlin, Rachias Simon and Stenoterommata Holmberg; and Anaminae, with Acanthogonatus Karsch, Longistylus Indicatti & Lucas and Hermacha Simon (Raven 1985; Platnick 2008).

The monotypic genus Neostothis was proposed by Vellard (1925), to include the type species, N. gigas, described based on a male and females from Reserva Biologica do Alto da Serra de Paranapiacaba, Santo Andre, Sao Paulo, Brazil. Vellard originally placed the genus in Barychelidae, probably due to the wide labium with few cuspules, absence of tibial apophysis, short apical segment of the posterior lateral spinnerets and well developed leg scopulae, mainly on tarsi I and II, resembling claw tufts. Raven (1985), based on Vellard's description, considered Neostothis a junior synonym of Chaco Tullgren, and transferred the genus from Barychelidae to Nemesiidae (Pycnothelinae), due to the presence of scopula on tarsi III and IV, wide labium, and absence of third claw. Goloboff (1995) reestablished Neostothis based on characters previously mentioned by Vellard: lack of keels on the male palpal bulb and absence of tibial apophysis.

During field work in the type locality, several male and female specimens of N. gigas were collected. These specimens yield a better knowledge about the genus and species and enabled the establishment of a neotype.


The material examined is deposited in the following institutions (abbreviation and curator in parenthesis): Instituto Butantan, Sao Paulo (IBSP, A.D. Brescovit), Museu de Zoologia da Universidade de Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo (MZSP, R. Pinto da Rocha) and American Museum of Natural History, New York (AMNH, N.I. Platnick). Spine notation follows Petrunkevitch (1925). All measurements are in millimeters and were taken with an ocular lens. The length of leg segments was measured between joints in dorsal view. Length and width of carapace, eye tubercle, labium and sternum are maximum values obtained. The total body length excludes chelicerae, pedicel and spinnerets. All drawings were made with a drawing tube (Leica MZ 12.5). Spermathecae were cleared with clove oil and illustrated in ventral and dorsal view. Abbreviations: AME, anterior median eyes; ALE, anterior lateral eyes; PME, posterior median eyes; PLE, posterior lateral eyes; PLS, posterior lateral spinnerets; d, dorsal; v, ventral; p, prolateral; r, retrolateral; ap, apical.


Neostothis Vellard 1925

Neostothis Vellard 1925:79, 82, pl.15. Type species by monotypy, Neostothis gigas Vellard 1925. Raven 1985:103; Goloboff 1995:168; Platnick 2008.

Diagnosis.--Males of Neostothis (Figs. 2 a-c) resemble those of Prorachias Mello-Leitao by the absence of keels on the embolus (Lucas et al. 2005, figs. 1-3), but can be distinguished by the weak rastellum; intercheliceral tumescence large, pale yellow and covered with many modified setae; shape of the palpal tibia (Figs. 2 a, c); and absence of a third claw on all tarsi. Females resemble those of Pycnothele Chamberlin by the presence of a supraspermathecal chamber (Goloboff 1995, fig. 115 g, h) (Figs. 2 e, f). They differ by the chamber less sclerotized on lateral sides and located more centrally (Figs. 2 e, f), by the spermathecal lobe three or four times larger than in Pycnothele, and by the scopula of tarsi III entire.

Description.--See species description.

Distribution.--Known only from the state of Sao Paulo, southeastern Brazil.

Neostothis gigas Vellard 1925 (Figs. 1 a-d, 2 a-f)


Neostothis gigas Vellard 1925:79, 82, pl. 15 (male holotype from Reserva Biologica do Alto da Serra de Paranapiacaba (23[degrees]46'00"-23[degrees]47'10"S; 46[degrees]18'20"-46[degrees]20'40"W), Santo Andre, Sao Paulo, Brazil, deposited in IBSP 104, lost, neotype here designated IBSP 13509); Raven 1985:103; Goloboff 1995:168; Platnick 2008.

Other material examined.--BRAZIL: Sao Paulo: Santo Andre (Reserva Biologica do Alto da Serra de Paranapiacaba [23[degrees]46'00"-23[degrees]47'10"S; 46[degrees]18'20"-16[degrees]20'40"W]), 24 males, 18-19.XII.2006, M. Uehara-Prado leg. (IBSP 13493-13495; 13497; 13498-13500; 13506; 13508; 13510; 13512; 13513; 13517; 13518); 5 males, 11-12.I.2007 (IBSP 13509; 13516; 13501; 13504; 13505;13521); 2 males, 12.I.2006 (IBSP 13496; 13502); 8 males and 3 females, 16-17.XI.2006 (IBSP 13519; 13515; 13503; 13511; 13514; 13507; 145499; 14500); 1 female, 17.VIII.1997, I. Grantsau leg. (IBSP 8290); 1 female, 17.III.1998, C. Albuquerque leg. (IBSP 10590); 2 females, 13.XII.2003, R.P. Indicatti leg. (IBSP 13229, 14371); Ribeirao Pires [23[degrees]43'S; 46[degrees]25'W], 1 male, 27.IX.2004, O.R. Silva leg. (AMNH); Sao Lourenco da Serra [23[degrees]52'S; 46[degrees]57'W], 1 female, 16.XII.2003, R.P. Camargo leg. (IBSP 10382); 1 male, X.2005, R. Krett de Oliveira leg. (IBSP 12266); Ubatuba (Parque Estadual Ilha Anchieta [23[degrees]32'S; 45[degrees]03'W]), 1 female, 23-30.VII.2001, C.A. Rheims, D.F. Candiani, C.A.R. Souza and A.G. Suguimoto leg. (IBSP 12371); Sao Sebastiao [23[degrees]48'S; 45[degrees]25'W] (Barra do Una), 1 male, 29.I.1997, B.A. Mattos-Netto leg. (IBSP 8214); 1 male (IBSP 14364); (Barra do Sahy), 1 male, 21.II.1994, V. Durion leg. (IBSP 8213); 1 male, 31.I.2006, E.F. Santos leg. (IBSP 8216); 1 male, I.1986, E. Cibelle leg. (IBSP 4585); (Juquei), 1 male, XI.1976, G. Peixoto leg. (IBSP 14363); 1 male, I.2007 (IBSP 13660); Mogi das Cruzes [23[degrees]31'S; 46[degrees]10'W], 3 males, 21-23.IX.2004, A.E.G. Monteiro leg. (MZSP 27653; 27654); (Parque das Neblinas), 4 males and 2 females, 03.I.2006, M. Uehara-Prado leg. (IBSP 13264; 13262; 13261; 13263); 1 female, 20.III.2006 (IBSP 13265); Salesopolis (Estacao Biologica de Boraceia [23[degrees]32'S; 45[degrees]51'W]), 5 males and 1 female, 08-10.XII.2005, M. Uehara-Prado leg. (IBSP 13271; 13272; 13273; 13274; 13275; 13266); 1 female, 13-17.III.2007, F.U. Yamamoto leg. (IBSP 13458); 01-08.XI.2006, R. Recoder leg. (IBSP 14291; 14292; 14293); 2 males, 08.IV.2005 (IBSP 13268); 2 males, 09-10.IX.2005 (IBSP 13269; 13270); 2 females, (22160); VI.2003, J.P.L. Guadanucci leg. (MZSP 27673); Juquitiba [23[degrees]55'S; 47[degrees]4'W], 1 female, IX.1979, O. Martinez leg. (IBSP 4479); 1 female, XI.1979, P.G. Butazzi (AMNH); (Juquiazinho), 1 male (IBSP 14501); IlhaBela (ParqueEstadual deIlhaBela [23[degrees]8'-23[degrees]50'S; 45[degrees]18'-45[degrees]22'W]), 3 males and 5 females, 16.I.1998 (IBSP 13103; 13104; 13105; 13106; 13107; 13108; 13109; 13110); Itanhaem [24[degrees]10'S; 46[degrees]46'W], 1 male, V.1985, R. Pinheiro leg. (IBSP 4585); Sao Paulo [23[degrees]31'S; 46[degrees]37'W], 1 male, 13.XI.1991, R.C. Rossger leg. (IBSP 14290); (Parque Estadual do Jaragua), 1 male, 23.X.2001, R.P. Indicatti leg. (IBSP 3825); 1 male, 13.X.1997, M. Tokura leg. (IBSP 8217); (Guarapiranga), 1 male, 24.XI.2003, V.R. Santos leg. (IBSP 10626); (Parelheiros), 1 male, XII.1975, R. Schwarck leg. (IBSP 4173); (Parque Estadual da Serra do Mar, Nucleo Curucutu [23[degrees]59'S; 46[degrees]44'W]), 1 male, 24.V.2006, M. Forlan leg. (IBSP 13883); Vargem Grande do Sul [21[degrees]49'S; 46[degrees]52'W], 1 female, 10.X.1980, T. Siola leg. (IBSP 4569).

Diagnosis.--See genus diagnosis.

Description.--Male (neotype IBSP 13509). Coloration pattern: carapace, abdomen and legs dark brown (Fig. 1 a). Total length 22.0, Carapace 10.75 long, 12.5 wide, fovea short and procurved. Clypeus narrow 0.87. Anterior eye row procurved, posterior slightly recurved. AME 0.41, ALE 0.47, PME 0.25 and PLE 0.46. Overall shape of eye group trapezoidal, wider than long. Basal segment of chelicerae with 10-11 promargin teeth in a row and rastellum with very strong setae. Intercheliceral tumescence pale yellow, large, covered with many dark modified setae. Labium 1.75 long, 1.0 wide, with three cuspules. Each endite with 30 cuspules. Serrula present. Sternum oval 4.75 long, 5.62 wide. Six sternal sigilla, posterior submarginal three times size of anterior. Leg measurements: I: femur 11.0/ patella 6.25/ tibia 8.75/ metatarsus 9.75/ tarsus 5.25/ total 41.0; II: 10.62/ 5.75/ 8.37/ 9.62/ 5.5/ 39.86; III: 10.0/ 5.0/ 7.25/ 11.25/ 5.37/ 38.87; IV: 12.25/ 5.62/ 9.75/ 14.5/ 5.25/ 47.37; spination: palp: femur d0-0-0-0-0-2-0, patella p0-1-10-1-0, tibia v0-0-1p-0, p0-1-0-2-0-1-1, r0-0-0-0-0-1; legs: I: femur d0-11r-1-2-1-2-1-2-0, patella p0-0-1-0-1-0, tibia v1p-2r-0-1-2r-1p (ap), p20-1-1-1-0-0, megaspine absent, metatarsus v0-1p-1r-0-1r-0-0-0, p1-0 0- 1-0-0-1, r0-0-1-0; II: femur d0-1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2, patella v0-1r-0, p0-0 1- 1-0, tibia v1p-2r-0-0-1p-1-1r-0-0-3ap, p1-1-0-1-0-1-1-0-0, metatarsus d0-0-0-1-0-0, v0-1p-1r-0-0-1r-1p-0-0-2ap, p1-0-0-1-0-0-0-1, r0-0-0-0-1-0-0-1; III: femur d0-1-2-1-2-1-2-1-2, patella p0-1-1-1-0, r0-1-0-0, tibia d0-1-1-0-0-0-1-0-0, v2r-2p-0-0-1p-1r-0-0-3ap, p1-1-1-0, r1-0-1-0-1-0, metatarsus d2r-1p-1-1r-1p-1r-1p-0-2, v0-1p-1r-0-0-1p-1r-1p-0-3ap, p0-1-0-1-0-1-0-1, r1-0-1-0-1-1-0-0; IV: femur d0-1-1-2-1-2-1-2, patella p0-1-1-1-0, r0-1-0-0, tibia d0-1r-1-0-0-0-1-0, v1r-1p-0-0-1p-1p-1-r-0-0-3ap, p1-0-1-0-1-0, r1-0-1-0-1-0-1-0-1, metatarsus d0-2r-2-1p-1r-0-1p-1r-0-2, v1r-1-1p-0-1p-1p-1r-0-3ap, p0-1-0-0-1-0-1-0, r0-0-1-0-0-1-0-10. Metatarsi I with a slight retrolateral basal curvature (Fig. 2 d). Tarsi I-IV flexible. Scopulae divided on tarsi I-V (more dense and projected anteriorly on tarsi I-II, resembling claw tufts) and on anterior fourth of metatarsi I-II. Superior tarsal claws large with two rows of 5-8 teeth on tarsi I; 5-9 on tarsi II, 5-10 on tarsi III and 5-11 on tarsi IV. Third claw absent on all tarsi. Four spinnerets, PLS three segmented, basal segment 1.25, median segment 0.75, apical segment, domed 0.37 long. Palpal tibia short and basally dilated. Bulb piriform with long and slender embolus, slightly curved dorsally (Figs. 2 a-c).


Female. (IBSP 8290). Coloration pattern as in male (Fig. 1 b). Total length 24.37. Carapace 13.12 long, 11.25 wide, fovea short and procurved. Clypeus narrow 1.25. Anterior eye row procurved, posterior slightly recurved. AME 0.42, ALE 0.47, PME 0.25, PLE 0.45. Overall shape of eye group trapezoidal, wider than long. Basal segment of chelicerae with 11 promargin teeth in a row and rastellum with very strong setae. Intercheliceral tumescence absent. Labium 1.37 long, 2.12 wide, with four cuspules. Each endite with 28 cuspules. Serrula absent. Sternum oval 6.62 long, 5.87 wide. Six sternal sigilla, posterior and median submarginal, posterior three times size of anterior. Leg measurements: I: femur 10.0/ patella 6.25/ tibia 6.62/ metatarsus 6.5/ tarsus 3.62/ total 32.99; II: 9.37/ 5.62/ 6.0/ 6.25/ 3.75/ 30.99; III: 8.37/ 5.0/ 5.25/ 7.25/ 3.5/ 29.37; IV: 11.25/ 5.5/ 7.5/ 12.12/ 3.75/ 40.12; spination: palp: femur d0-0-0-0-1p , tibia v2-0-2-0-4ap, p0-0-1-0, tarsus v1r-0-0-0-0; legs: I: femur d0-0-0-0-0-1p-0, tibia v0-1-0-0-1p-1-0-0-1p (ap), p0-0-1-0, metatarsus v1p-1r-0-0-1r-0-0-0-0; II: femur d0-0-0-0-0-1p-0, patella d0-0-0-1p-0, tibia v1p-1r-0-0-2-1r-0-0-3ap, p0-1-0-1-0, metatarsus v0-1p-1r-0-0-1r-0-0-2ap, p0-0-1-0-0-0; III: femur d0-0-0-0-1r-0, patella p0-0-1-1-1-0, tibia v0-1r-1p-0-0-2-0-0-0-2ap, p0-1-0-1-0, r0-1-0-0, metatarsus d0-0-2-0-0-0-2-0, v0-0-1p-2r-1p0-0-1r-1p-3ap, p0-0-1-0-0-0-1-1-0, r0-0-1-0-0-1-0-0-2-0-0-3ap; IV: patella p0-0-1-1-1-0, tibia v1r-1p-0-0, r0-1-0-1-0, metatarsus d0-0-01r-1-p1-0-0, v0-1p-1r-0-1p-2-0-2-0-1r-1p-0-3ap, p0-1-0-0-1-0-0-1-1-1-0, r0-1-0-1-0-1. Tarsi I-IV flexible. Scopulae present on tarsi I-IV and on metatarsi I-II. Scopulae on tarsi and metatarsi I-II more dense and projected on lateral sides. Scopulae on tarsi I-II projected anteriorly (resembling claw tufts). Scopulae on tarsi I-II and metatarsi I symmetric and metatarsi II asymmetric. Scopula of tarsi IV dividided by one band of 4-8 setae. Superior tarsal claws large with two rows of 5-6 teeth on tarsi I, 5-6 on tarsi II, 5-7 on tarsi III and 6-9 on tarsi IV. Third claw absent on all tarsi. Four spinnerets, PLS three segmented, basal segment 1.87, median segment 0.87, apical segment domed 0.62 long. Spermathecae formed by two receptacles with a wide base and dilated apical region (Figs. 2 e, f).

Note.--Coloration pattern in juvenile: carapace brown with golden setae on lateral sides and legs brown with golden-yellow setae and dark brown mottles. Abdomen dorsally and ventrally brown with random symmetric pale mottles in life (Fig. 1 c).

Variation.--Males (n = 20): total length 19.6-24.7; carapace 10.613.7; endites with 25-58 cuspules. Females (n = 10): total length 22.728.4; carapace 10.1-13.3; endites with 40-68 cuspules. Posterior and median sternal sigilla can be marginal.

Natural history.--This species occurs in Atlantic Forest areas, 0900 m elev., mainly in the littoral of the state of Sao Paulo. Adult specimens can be found in burrows of simple vertical or horizontal tunnels with 2.0-3.5 cm diameter and 10-20 cm length in ravines, from as low as ground level to as high as 1 m. The inside of the burrow is covered by a thin layer of silk. The opening is protected during the day by a thin layer of silk, which the spider breaks through in the beginning of the night, when it ambushes its prey. In captivity, they usually close the burrow opening with a layer of silk and earth.

Distribution.--Known only from the state of Sao Paulo, southeastern Brazil.


We wish to thank Cristina A. Rheims (IBSP), Pablo A. Goloboff (Instituto "Miguel Lillo", Tucuman) and an anonymous reviewer for helpful comments on the manuscript; Ricardo Pinto da Rocha (MZSP) for loaning the material from the Arachnida collection of MZSP; Marcio Uehara Prado (Universidade Estadual de Campinas, Campinas) and Adalberto J. Santos (Universidade Federal de Minas Gerais, Belo Horizonte) for donation of specimens from the type locality and other areas; Clovis J. F. de Oliveira Junior (Instituto de Botanica, Sao Paulo) for permission to collect in Reserva Biologica do Alto da Serra de Paranapiacaba; Flavio U. Yamamoto who provided photos of N. gigas. This work was supported by Conselho Nacional de Desenvolvimento Cientifico e Tecnologico (CNPq VP, grant #106407/2007-4, CRVJ, grant #101010/2007-0 and RPI, DR grant #141062/2007-0).

Manuscript received 10 December 2007, revised 20 May 2008.


Goloboff, P.A. 1995. A revision of the South American spiders of the family Nemesiidae (Araneae, Mygalomorphae). Part I: species from Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 224:1-189.

Lucas, S.M., R.P. Indicatti & C.Y. Fukami. 2005. Redescricao de Prorachias bristowei Mello-Leitao, 1924 (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Nemesiidae). Biota Neotropica 5(1a):1-6.

Petrunkevitch, A. 1925. Arachnida from Panama. Transactions of the Connecticut Academy of Arts and Sciences 27:51-248.

Platnick, N.I. 2008. The World Spider Catalog, Version 8.5. American Museum of Natural History, New York. Online at (31/III/2008).

Raven, R.J. 1985. The spider infraorder Mygalomorphae (Araneae): cladistics and systematics. Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 182:1-180.

Vellard, J. 1925. Um novo genero e duas especies novas de aranha do estado de Sao Paulo. Memiorias do Instituto Butantan 2:78-84.

Sylvia M. Lucas (1), Victor Passanha (1,2), Charles R. V. Janini (1,2) and Rafael P. Indicatti (1,3): (1) Laboratorio de Artropodes, Instituto Butantan, Avenida Vital Brasil, 1500, 05503-900, Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil; (2) Centro Universitario Sao Camilo, Campus Pompeia, Sao Paulo, Sao Paulo, Brazil; (3) Programa de Pos-graduacao em Biologia Animal, Instituto de Biologia, Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro, Seropedica, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. E-mail:;
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Author:Lucas, Sylvia M.; Passanha, Victor; Janini, Charles R.V.; Indicatti, Rafael P.
Publication:The Journal of Arachnology
Article Type:Report
Date:May 1, 2008
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