Amblyothele Simon, 1910,

Russell-Smith, Tony, Jocqué, Rudy & Alderweireldt, Mark, 2009, A revision of the African wolf spider genus Amblyothele Simon, ZooKeys 16 (16), pp. 149-180: 151-154

publication ID 10.3897/zookeys.16.233

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Amblyothele Simon, 1910


Amblyothele Simon, 1910 

Amblyothele Simon, 1910  . Type species, Amblyothele albocincta Simon, 1910  , by original designation.

Small wolf spiders (males 3.08-4.17, females 3.33-5.17) without pronounced carapace pattern, sometimes with pale median band and darker striae radiating from fovea ( Fig. 1View Figure 1). Anterior eye row ( Fig. 2View Figures 2-9) usually either straight or, more often, recurved, with AME ranging in size from equal to twice diameter of ALE. PME 1.40- 2.25 times diameter apart; PLE 0.66-0.86 times diameter of ALE. Eye region normally suffused with black. Chelicerae pale, mottled or streaked with grey, clothed in long dark setae; posterior margin with two teeth, proximal one normally larger, anterior margin normally with three minute teeth with middle one largest although in some species anterior margin lacks teeth altogether. Labia and maxillae coloured as chelicerae with maxillae 1.75 to 2.0 times longer than labium. Sternum pale, scutiform, moderately to strongly produced between hind coxae, with scattering of dark setae. Legs pale yellow to pale brown, clothed in short adpressed setae, noticeably longer and thinner than those of all other well-characterised piratine genera, with length/width ratio of femur I ranging from 5.60 to 10.50. Leg IV 1.25-1.35 times length of leg I. Ventral spines of leg I normally with three pairs on tibia and three on metatarsus, distal pairs normally reduced in size. All leg spines long, thin and pale. Tarsi with three claws ( Fig. 9View Figures 2-9); paired claws with two to five long thin teeth and few tiny ones at base; unpaired claw small on raised pad, with four or five small teeth, having two long serrated bristles adjacent. Tarsal organ with keyhole shaped aperture ( Fig. 8View Figures 2-9). Abdomen pale yellow to brown, sometimes suffused with grey and usually with paler dorsal folium ( Fig. 1View Figure 1). Type species, A. albocincta  , with row of four paired pale white spots on dorsal surface. Abdomen of males without dorsal scutum. Dorsal surface sometimes clothed in dark hairs. Ventrally pale yellow to white. Spinnerets long, ALS twice length of AMS, clearly 3 segmented ( Figs 1View Figure 1, 4, 5View Figures 2-9). Dorsally pale to dark brown or grey, ventrally pale white or cream. ALS in female with two major ampullate gland spigots near median margin, surrounded by numerous piriform gland spigots. PLS with numerous aciniform gland spigots.

Male palp longer and narrower than that of most piratine genera and cymbium without terminal claws. MA located distally on bulb, very large U or C-shaped sclerite with two branches ( Figs 6, 7View Figures 2-9, 10View Figures 10-13, 14View Figures 14-15. 14); larger, anterior branch directed antero-mesally, blade-shaped. Smaller posterior branch directed anteriorly, variable in shape: blunt lobe with rounded tip in A. albocincta  , abruptly truncate in A. togona  and A. longipes  , pointed barb in A. hamatula  . Course of E almost totally obscured by MA in unexpanded palp ( Figs 6, 7View Figures 2-9) with only very tip visible near base of MA in A. albocincta  , A. latedissipata  and A. togona  . Sub-tegulum relatively large in most species, occupying from quarter to third of surface of bulb, but reduced in size in A. hamatula  .

Female epigyne resembling that of other piratine genera in being simple plate ( Fig. 3View Figures 2-9), often obscured by densely packed, long, barbed setae. Epigynal plate suboval in shape, shallowly ( A. latedissipata  ) to deeply ( A. togona  ) notched on posterior border. Spermathecae and their ducts visible to greater or lesser extent through lateral margins of epigynal plate. Viewed internally, genital openings visible to either side of central notch on posterior margin of epigyne with spermathecal ducts extending anteriorly, either straight or curving mesally. Spermathecae relatively small, either spherical or pyriform. With two small laterally-oriented glands at base of spermathecal ducts, near the posterior margin of the epigynal plate; gland ducts connect to spermathecal ducts.

Diagnosis of Amblyothele Simon, 1910 

Pirata  , the nominate genus of the subfamily, is distributed throughout the world with the exception of SE Asia(?), Australia and the Pacific region. The tegular apophysis in Pirata  varies widely in form (see, for example Almquist (2005) for European species, Tanaka (1988) for those of Japan and Wallace (1978) for Nearctic species). The tegular apophysis in Amblyothele  resembles that of some species of Pirata  (e.g., P. latitans (Blackwall, 1841)  , P. insularis Emerton, 1885  , Pirata uliginosus (Thorell, 1856)  and among European species (see Almquist 2005, figs. 236 a-h, 237 a-e) but not that of the type species, P. piraticus (Clerck, 1757)  . The epigynes of Amblyothele  species also resemble those of Pirata  species but in several species have a conspicuous notch on the posterior margin. Despite the similarity of the male palp in at least some Pirata  species and Amblyothele  , the two genera differ significantly in somatic characters. The legs of Amblyothele  are much longer and thinner than those of Pirata  species with the length/width ratio of Femur I of three Pirata  species ranging from 3.21 to 3.33 and that for three Amblyothele  species from 5.67 to 10.45. Furthermore, the legs of Pirata  species are more or less densely clothed in semi-erect setae while those of Amblyothele  species have only a sparse clothing of short, adpressed setae. Overall, most Amblyothele  species are smaller than Pirata  species although the smallest Pirata  (e.g. P. latitans  ) overlap in size with the largest Amblyothele  .

In the palp of the genera Proevippa  , Trabea  and Pterartoria  , the basal part of the tegulum bears one or more, more or less translucent, poorly sclerotised membranous extensions (see Fig. 10bView Figures 10-13 in Russell-Smith 1981 and Fig. 1aView Figure 1 in Russell-Smith 1982) which are lacking in Amblyothele  . Furthermore, the terminal apophysis in Proevippa Purcell, 1903  and Trabea Simon, 1876  is much larger than that in Amblyothele  and has a characteristic tongue-shaped form with a sharply reflexed distal portion ( Russell-Smith 1981, 1982).












Amblyothele Simon, 1910

Russell-Smith, Tony, Jocqué, Rudy & Alderweireldt, Mark 2009


Simon 1910

Amblyothele albocincta

Simon 1910