Linothele borgmeyeri (Mello-Leitão, 1924)

Drolshagen, Bastian & Bäckstam, Christian M., 2021, A taxonomic review of the mygalomorph spider genus Linothele Karsch, 1879 (Araneae, Dipluridae), Zoosystema 43 (10), pp. 163-196 : 189-190

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Linothele borgmeyeri (Mello-Leitão, 1924)


Linothele borgmeyeri (Mello-Leitão, 1924) nomen dubium

Diplura borgmeyeri Mello-Leitão 1924: 185 ; 1926: 311-312. — Bonnet 1956: 1499. — Silva-Moreira et al. 2010: 31 — Kury et al. 2018: 557.

TYPE MATERIAL. — Syntypes. Brazil • 3 ♀; Petropolis ; T. Borgmeyer leg.; MNRJ 18 View Materials ( MLPC 849 partim) probably lost 1 ♂; MNRJ 1592 View Materials ( MLPC 849 partim) lost .


For information on the rejection of the synonymy established by Bücherl et al. (1971) see remarks at Diplura gymnognatha . Mello-Leitão described the species twice (Mello-Leitão 1924, 1926), once as Diplura borgmeyeri and later as Diplura borgmeieri . In both cases, Mello-Leitão considered the specific epithet a patronym of the collector, “Thomaz Borgmeyer”, but apparently misspelled the family name. Thomas Borgmeier was a German priest and entomologist who lived at Petropolis (the type locality mentioned in both descriptions) and joined the National Museum at Rio de Janeiro in 1923, where Mello-Leitão worked at that time. The German family name suffix “-meyer” is very common, even as a standalone name and comes in various spellings: The “ey” may be spelled “ei”, “ay”, or “ai”; all pronounced the same. Despite the incorrect spelling of the collector’s family name, the description by Mello-Leitão (1926) clearly indicates the epithet to be a patronym dedicated to “Borgmeyer”. Considering this, there is clear evidence of an inadvertent error in the original publication (without recourse to any external source of information) and the epithet in the second description has to be corrected to “ borgmeyeri ” (following ICZN 32.5.1), as correctly noted by Bonnet (1956) and followed by Silva- Morreira et al. (2010), who considered Mello-Leitão’s (1926) description to be redundant.

Mello-Leitão (1924) states the size of the specimen was 25.0, whereas Mello-Leitão (1926) mentions a size of 18.0 (opisthosoma: 8.0. spinnerets: 7.0). Both descriptions state the number of cheliceral teeth to be 8; (Mello-Leitão 1924, 1926). In the first description of D. borgmeyeri, Mello-Leitão (1924) mentioned a dorsal chevron pattern and maculae, whereas in the second description (Mello-Leitão 1926) he mentioned the legs to be uniformly colored, but reports a dorsal pattern consisting of bright spots and the presence of a ventral pattern on the opisthosoma. Later, a key is provided in which Mello-Leitão (1926) stated the PLS to be short. None of the descriptions mentioned the presence, or absence of maxillary cuspules.

Bücherl et al. (1971) apparently did not follow Bonnet (1956) and used the uncorrected spelling of “ D. borgmeieri ”. They considered Diplura borgmeyeri a junior synonym of D. gymnognatha based on the spermatheca and their close type localities. The authors clearly stated the examined spermathecae to be rudimentary, coming from a juvenile specimen. Yet, they considered it to be similar to the illustration provided by Bertkau (1880). We are confident the illustration provided by Bertkau lacks detail making it hard to compare to the spermathecae examined by Bücherl et al. (1971), who, unfortunately, did not illustrate it.

Mello-Leitão (1924, 1926) described only a single measured specimen in both descriptions. Contrary, Bücherl et al. (1971) mentioned a female holotype and two female syntypes, while Silva-Moreira et al. (2010) mentioned 3 female and 1 male syntypes, of which only the male syntype could be located at the museum collection at that time. Mello-Leitão is known to have added material to types after describing a species, or switch labels (Silva-Moreira et al. 2010). In the case of D. borgmeyeri only a single male from the supposed syntype series could be located, while neither descriptions by the first describer (Mello-Leitão 1924,1926), nor the following work on this species ( Bücherl et al. 1971) mention a male to be part of the type series. It is highly unlikely that consecutive authors failed to identify a male as a part of a syntype series. The only logical conclusion is that the male in MNRJ collection (MNRJ 1592) has not been added by Mello-Leitão (†1948) himself. Consequently, this male was not part of the original type series and its name-bearing status cannot be confirmed.

As all types are probably lost and descriptions on the species are contradictory, Linothele borgmeyeri is herein considered a nomen dubium.














Linothele borgmeyeri (Mello-Leitão, 1924)

Drolshagen, Bastian & Bäckstam, Christian M. 2021

Diplura borgmeyeri Mello-Leitão 1924: 185

KURY A. B. & GIUPPONI A. P. L. & MENDES A. C. 2018: 557
BONNET P. 1956: 1499
Diplura borgmeyeri Mello-Leitão 1924: 185
1926: 311-312
Silva-Moreira et al. 2010: 31
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