Carepalxis quasimodo, Ferreira-Sousa & Motta, 2022

Ferreira-Sousa, Leonardo & Motta, Paulo César, 2022, Diagnostic notes on the spider orb-weaving genera Carepalxis and Ocrepeira (Araneae: Araneidae), with description of three new species from Central Brazil, Zootaxa 5087 (2), pp. 389-399 : 391-393

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Carepalxis quasimodo

new species

Carepalxis quasimodo new species

Figs. 1–15 View FIGURES 1–10 View FIGURES 11–15 , 30 View FIGURE 30

Material examined. Female holotype from Brazil, Distrito Federal, Brasília , Parque Ecológico Ermida Dom Bosco [-15.798263, -47.809500] collected by L. Ferreira-Sousa, XI.2017 ( DZUB 9000 ) GoogleMaps ; three females ( DZUB 9274 ) and one male paratype ( DZUB 9284 ) from Brazil, Bahia, Jaborandi, Fazenda Trijunção [-14.643925, -45.802133] collected by P. C. Motta, XI.2018 GoogleMaps .

Etymology. This species is named in reference to the fictional character Hunchback of Notre-Dame.

Generic placement. . This species was placed in Carepalxis because the females have two large cephalic humps. The male does not match the descriptions of the Australian Carepalxis males by the presence of the following characters: the unbranched second tibia ( Fig. 13 View FIGURES 11–15 ), third and fourth coxae armed with macrosetae ( Fig. 14 View FIGURES 11–15 ), rodshaped paramedian apophysis connected to the conductor. This issue is discussed on the diagnostic notes section below.

Diagnosis. This species is most similar to C. camelus Simon due to the shape of the epigynum. Both share wide lateral plates and a hidden median plate in posterior view, moreover the scape is long and has a longitudinal groove. Carepalxis quasimodo n. sp. is different by having a larger scape and a narrower base. In ventral view, the scape has almost half the width of the base rather than one quarter ( Fig. 2 View FIGURES 1–10 ). The scape is slightly curved instead of straight. Additionally, the females lack the anterior median abdominal protuberance present in C. camelus ( Levi, 1992, fig. 4). It differs from C. perpera Petrunkevitch and C. topazio n. sp. by having only one pair of tubercles ( Figs. 6, 7, 9, 10 View FIGURES 1–10 . The posterior median plate is hidden, unlike those of similar C. topazio n. sp. ( Fig. 18 View FIGURES 16–21 ). The male is the first of this genus found in the Americas. It differs from the Australian C. furcifera Keyserling and C. tuberculata Keyserling by the characters listed on the “generic placement” section above.

Description. Female holotype from Parque Ecológico Ermida Dom Bosco, Brasília. Total length 7.24. Carapace: 3.32 long, 2.98 wide, cephalic humps 1.90 high, thoracic region 1.09 high. Cephalic region brown, humps with dark top, thoracic region with light margin. Clypeus: 0.19. Chelicerae: brown, with a transversal dark stripe, fangs brown. Eyes: AME 0.12, ALE 0.06, PME 0.14, PLE 0.09. Eye interdistances: AME–AME 0.22, AME–ALE 0.52, PME–PME 0.29, PME–PLE 0.69, AME–PME 0.13. Endites: 0.79 long, 0.56 wide, brown, white from the half to median edges. Labium: 0.54 long, 0.69 wide, same color pattern as in endites. Sternum: 1.25 long, 1.41 wide, orange with numerous setae near to the first coxae. Legs: yellow with irregular brown rings and spots. Leg formula 1 2 4 3. Measures: L1. Femur 2.68, patella 1.15, tibia 2.05, metatarsus 1.97, tarsus 0.76 / L2. Femur 2.18, patella 0.90, tibia 1.73, metatarsus 1.96, tarsus 0.85 / L3. Femur 1.75, patella 0.93, tibia 1.13, metatarsus 0.95, tarsus 0.58/ L4. Femur 2.17, patella 1.11, tibia 1.53, metatarsus 1.86, tarsus 0.60 / Pedipalp. Femur 0.85, patella 0.53, tibia 0.61, tarsus 1.01. Abdomen: 6.11 long, 5.74 wide, 7.97 high. Grey with a big pair of anterior tubercles. Laterals with wavy black lines. Cardiac mark black, venter with a dark grey ellipse between epigynum and spinnerets. Epigynum with a long scape pointing to the spinnerets and wide lateral plates hiding the median plate. Spermathecae almost reaching the sides of the epigynum base; fertilization ducts in posterior half of the lateral plates.

Male paratype from Fazenda Trijunção, Jaborandi. Total length 5.28. Carapace: 2.93 long, 2.50 wide, 1.28 high. Cephalic region brown with a transverse light spot on top of slight elevations, thoracic region with dark sides and a black thoracic groove.A large seta is present near the PLE on each side. Clypeus: 0.23. Chelicerae: dark brown with brown fangs. Eye diameters: AME 0.13, ALE 0.09, PME 0.14, PLE 0.10. Eye interdistances: AME–AME 0.18, AME–ALE 0.46, PME–PME 0.28, PME–PLE 0.47, AME–PME 0.09. Endites: 0.39 long, 0.40 wide, colors as in females. Labium: 0.23 long, 0.44 wide, colors as in females. Sternum: 1.20 long, 1.02 wide, yellow with white spots. Legs: same colors as in females. All femora with a ventral row of large macrosetae. Second leg with highly modified, with a femoral groove, ventral row of thick and short spines and the tibia is armed with strong macrosetae. First coxae with a distal and retrolateral hook, third and fourth coxae and patella with a short macrosetae each, fourth femur with three proximal macrosetae. Leg formula 1 2 4 3. Measures: L1. Femur 3.04, patella 1.21, tibia 2.31, metatarsus 2.06, tarsus 0.87 / L2. Femur 2.75, patella 1.07, tibia 2.07, metatarsus 2.05, tarsus 0.83 / L3. Femur 1.47, patella 0.86, tibia 1.04, metatarsus 1.06, tarsus 0.50 / L4. Femur 2.22, patella 1.04, tibia 1.64, metatarsus 1.62, tarsus 0.63. Abdomen: 3.09 long, 2.43 wide, 1.63 high. Colors and features as in females, but no wavy black lines in the sides. The venter is uniformly grey.

Variation. Total length of females 7.9 to 9.0. The female from Brasilia has much higher tubercles (about 2.0) than the others from Jaborandi (about 0.7 high) ( Figs. 6, 7 View FIGURES 1–10 ). The cardiac mark might be black or white. Specimens from Jaborandi have a transversal light band on top of their cephalic humps ( Fig. 9 View FIGURES 1–10 ), in the male this band is even lighter ( Fig. 12 View FIGURES 11–15 ).

Matching sexes. The only known male and one female from Jaborandi were collected at night in the same tree. They are deemed to be conspecific based on the same colour pattern and similar modifications in the carapace, although the male cephalic elevation is much smaller.

Distribution and natural history. The females were hanging in the hub of complete orb-webs, the male was hanging in a single thread. All the specimens were collected in the early rainy season. In the laboratory, one female from Jaborandi made an egg sac and wrapped it with the data label (similar to what it probably does to hide its eggs with leaves in nature). The spiderlings started to hatch after 17 days. This species occurs in Central Brazil, in open vegetation from the Cerrado biome.