Alpaida mendensis

Baptista, Renner Luiz Cerqueira, Castanheira, Pedro De Souza & Prado, André Wanderley Do, 2018, Notes on the orb-weaving spider genus Alpaida (Araneae, Araneidae) with description of four new species from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Zootaxa 4407 (3), pp. 321-345: 332-335

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Alpaida mendensis

new species

Alpaida mendensis  new species

( Figs. 7–8View FIGURES 7View FIGURES 8, Map 1)

Type-material. Holotype ♂. BRAZIL, Rio de Janeiro  : Mendes: Centro Marista São José das Paineiras ( Cruzeiro ) 22° 30’ 41.8” S, 043° 45’ 41.7” W, 652 m, 26.II.2015, looking down, R. Baptista coll. ( MNRJ 7473View Materials)GoogleMaps  . Paratypes: BRAZIL, Rio de Janeiro  : Mendes: Centro Marista São José das Paineiras ( Cruzeiro ) 22° 30’ 41.8” S, 043° 45’ 41.7” W, 652 m, 17.XI.2014, cryptic, A. do Prado coll., 1 ♀ ( MNRJ 7475View Materials)GoogleMaps  ; 18.XI.2014, cryptic, R. Baptista coll., 1 ♀ (UFRJ 1458); idem, Centro Marista São José das Paineiras ( Sede ) 22°30’35.1”S, 043°45’16.5”W, 551 m, 25.II.2015, looking down, R. Baptista coll., 2 ♀ ( UFRJ 1457View Materials)GoogleMaps  ; idem, Fazenda Arvoredo ( Encruzilhada ) 22° 30’ 16.8” S, 043° 45’ 34.6” W, 510 m, 23–31.VIII.2014, pitfall, A. do Prado & R. Baptista coll., 1 ♂ ( UFRJ 1459View Materials)GoogleMaps  ; idem, Fazenda Arvoredo ( Porteira ) 22° 30’ 10.3” S, 043° 45’ 14.5” W, 537 m, 15.V.2014, litter, R. Baptista coll., 1 ♀ ( UFRJ 1456View Materials)GoogleMaps  ; 30.VIII.2014, cryptic, R. Baptista coll., 2 ♂, 1 ♀ (UFRJ 1455); 30.VIII.2014, looking down, R. Baptista coll., 1 ♂, 1 ♀ (MNRJ 7474); 04.III.2015, litter sieving, R. Baptista coll., 1 ♀, 1 immature (UFRJ 1460).

Additional material examined. None.

Etymology. The specific epithet “ mendensis  ” is a Latin word meaning “from Mendes”, in reference to the type locality of this species.

Diagnosis. A. mendensis  new species seems most similar to Alpaida simla Levi, 1988  , as they share a yellow carapace with blackish patch from eyes to fovea and contour of the same colour on its edge, and dorsum of abdomen with similar pattern of black and yellow patches and pairs of white dots ( Fig. 7AView FIGURES 7, 8AView FIGURES 8, Levi 1988, fig. 291–292). Their male palps have a terminal apophysis relatively small, divided in a prominent distal lobe, bearing a median furrow, and reaching medially beyond tip of the flattened and wide basal prong, an embolus curved, wide and short, slightly slanted, with an apical notch on its dark sclerotized tip, a median apophysis transverse, elongated and evidently projected on its mesal rim and the tegular lobe not conspicuous ( Fig. 7C –EView FIGURES 7, Levi 1988, fig. 293). Females of both species also have the abdomen ending in a small, acute tip and a small epigynum with apical notch fused to rim of scape, lips high, overhanging an anterior depression at each side of epigynum, and a large bulging posterior plate ( Fig. 8C –DView FIGURES 8, Levi 1988, fig. 289–290). A. mendensis  new species can be easily diagnosed by its carapace with dark patches mixed with brown and of a lighter hue, sternum with a large black or dusky median patch, and venter of abdomen yellow, with only a median black stripe, a black ring around the spinnerets and a bright yellowish white patch on the tip of the abdomen. The male palp has the distal lobe of terminal apophysis more prominent and with a deep median furrow and two elevated rims, well projected beyond the tip of the vertically-placed and folded basal prong, embolus wider and more evenly curved, with both sides of apical notch round and of same size, and median apophysis apparently more excavated at its inner middle portion with a longer and projected mesal rim ( Fig. 7C –EView FIGURES 7). The epigynum is heart-shaped, with a smaller and more acutely pointed scape, whose tip is visibly deflected over the posterior plate, and lips thinner and less curved, with its basis thinner and not quite projecting forward ( Fig. 8C –EView FIGURES 8). In posterior view, the epigynum is elliptic (not rectangular), the posterior plate is around twice wider than high, with median portion more sclerotized and with a mound just below the scape ( Figs. 8D –EView FIGURES 8).

Description. Male (holotype). Carapace, endites and chelicerae yellowish brown. Carapace with a wide median V-shaped brownish black patch from eyes to fovea, with dusky black edges ( Fig. 7AView FIGURES 7). Eyes inside anterior black patch ( Fig. 7AView FIGURES 7). Sternum yellowish, with dark dusky median patch and dark edges somewhat fused to median patch ( Fig. 7BView FIGURES 7). Legs light-brown with dusky blackish patches on femur, patella, metatarsus and tarsus ( Fig. 7A – BView FIGURES 7). Abdomen longer than wide, cylindrical ( Fig. 7A –BView FIGURES 7). Dorsum of abdomen covered with black to dark grey patches, with yellow interrupted stripe from the anterior edge, reaching back to end of middle third and a series of yellow patches at each side. Three guanine white dots inside these patches ( Fig. 7AView FIGURES 7). Venter yellow with median almost triangular black stripe and black ring around yellowish spinnerets. Yellow patch contouring posterior edge of abdomen ( Fig. 7BView FIGURES 7). Palp with terminal apophysis clearly divided, bearing a prominent, roundish distal lobe with a deep median furrow and two elevated rims, projected beyond tip of vertically-placed, folded leaf-like basal prong; embolus wide, curved and elongated, slightly slanted, blade-shaped with an evenly divided apical notch on its sclerotized tip ( Figs. 7CView FIGURES 7); median apophysis transverse, crescent-shaped, with its median portion excavated in its inner side and mesal rim clearly projected towards embolus; tegular lobe not conspicuous. Paracymbium hooked and elongated. Total length: 4.12.Carapace: 2.03 long, 1.62 wide. Leg I: femur 1.93, patella 0.72, tibia 1.67, metatarsus 1.48 and tarsus 0.81. Patella + tibia II 1.69; III 1.51; IV 2.13.

Female (paratype UFRJ 1458). Carapace shape, endites, chelicerae, legs, and eyes as in male ( Figs. 8A –BView FIGURES 8). Sternum with only median black patch. Abdomen colour pattern also as in male, but more triangular and ending in an acute tip ( Figs. 8A –BView FIGURES 8). Venter similar to male, but with larger yellow contour stripe after spinnerets and yellowish white guanine patch at acute tip. Epigynum slightly heart-shaped. Scape with a small and acute point, clearly deflected over posterior plate and with yellow borders. Notch fused to rim of scape forming a deep pouch. Lips moderately curved, very high, with sides wider but not very projected forward, overhanging an anterior depression in both sides of epigynum ( Fig. 8C –EView FIGURES 8). Posterior plate around twice wider than high, bulging, with median portion more sclerotized and clearly elevated just below scape, forming a mound in lateral view ( Figs. 8D – EView FIGURES 8). Lips projected over posterior plate, wider at basis ( Figs. 8D –EView FIGURES 8). Total length: 4.47. Carapace: 1.98 long, 1.58 wide. Leg I: femur 1.71, patella 0.61, tibia 1.38, metatarsus 1.33 and tarsus 0.80. Patella + tibia II 1.83; III 1.98; IV 2.02.

Variation. Males (n = 5): total length, 3.97–4.60; females (n = 7): total length, 4.14–4.63. Some females have a much darker colour pattern, with the median yellow longitudinal stripe on the dorsum of the abdomen much thinner and interrupted, sternum with median black patch and black edges and only three lateral lighter areas, and venter of abdomen with only two small yellow stripes. Females may also lack the guanine white patch below the acute tip.

Natural History. Alpaida mendensis  new species was collected near ground by using “sieving”, “cryptic” and “looking down” sampling techniques. Some specimens were found on small vertical orb-webs (less than 10 cm wide) spotted near rotten logs, large tree roots or holes in the ground. It was also collected under loosen bark of logs.

Distribution. Only know from type locality (Map 1).

MAP 1. Distribution of the four new species: Alpaida imperatrix  new species; A. imperialis  new species; A. marista  new species and A. mendensis  new species.


Universidade Federal Rural do Rio de Janeiro