Thyene crudelis Peckham & Peckham 1903

Hill, David E. & Mariante, Rafael M., 2019, Review of specimens corresponding to three species of Thyene (Araneae: Salticidae: Plexippini) in the Peckham Collection, Peckhamia 185 (1), pp. 1-12: 2-6

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Thyene crudelis Peckham & Peckham 1903


Thyene crudelis Peckham & Peckham 1903  

This species, for which only the male was described, is of interest to us because Berland & Millot (1941) synonymized it with Thyene coccineovitta   ( Hyllus coccineovittatus Simon 1886   ), but also associated the male with the drawing of a female Thyene   ( Figure1 View Figure 1 , 71B) that resembles our Thyene cf. pulchra   from Rio de Janeiro ( Mariante & Hill 2018).

Although the Peckhams (1903) only listed two males from Durban, South Africa, there are three males in the Peckham collection ( MCZ: IZ:20956; Table 2) associated with this locality (Figures 2-4). The Peckhams described yellowish-white, iridescent scales in a band across the front of the eye region, in bands around the eye region, and comprising a middorsal band on the opisthosoma where it was edged with red   . Behind this were several pairs of white spots. There was a single stout tooth on the posterior margin of each fang groove and the endites were extended to a point anterolaterally ( Figure 3 View Figure 3 ). The Peckhams drew a pedipalp with many coils of the apophysis and a very small retrolateral tibial apophysis ( RTA); the RTA is even smaller in their specimens and if present is partly concealed behind the coiled apophysis (Figure 4)   .

Based on this review, it is reasonable to associate Thyene crudelis   with subsequent illustrations of the male T. coccineovittata   ( Berland & Millot 1941; Wesołowska & Haddad 2009; Oger & Van Keer 2017). But did Berland & Millot correctly synonymize T. crudelis   with the latter species in 1941? If not, then the much earlier name of T. crudelis Peckham & Peckham (1903)   has priority. Simon (1886) described the male Hyllus coccineovittatus   , from Dakar, Senegal, but did not designate any type specimens. Berland & Millot wrote that they subsequently examined some of Simon's specimens, in poor condition, but we have not yet been able to locate these and suspect that they no longer exist. However a number of features in Simon's Neolatin (text only) description of H. coccineovittatus   lead us to concur with Berland & Millot in their synonymy of T. crudelis   . These include the presence and distribution of yellowish scales, the stout posterior tooth of the fang groove, and the long spiral embolus, distinct lateral cymbial tuft, and very small (minutissima dentiformi) RTA of the pedipalp.

Figure 4. Pedipalps associated with three male specimens labeled Thyene crudelis   from the Peckham Collection (1-3 & 5-6, 8- 10, 11, 12; MCZ:IZ:20956), with the Peckhams' published drawings of a left pedipalp (4) and tibia with small apophysis (7). Two of these pedipalps (1-3 & 5-6, 8-10) were loose in the specimen vial and almost all appendages of the three specimens were detached. However both pedipalps (11-12) were still attached to male #3 (see Figure 2:5-7). In each specimen the RTA, if visible, was very small and hidden behind the coils of the embolus (3, arrow, corresponding to 4).

The identify of the female Thyene coccineovittata   is far less certain. The description of salticid species has often been troubled by the erroneous association (or lack thereof) of dimorphic males and females, and there is no consensus on how this should be decided in the absence of solid evidence from the field ( Edwards 2014). As noted above, the female described by Berland & Millot (1941) looks like the Thyene cf. pulchra   that we previously reported from Brazil ( Mariante & Hill 2018) in dorsal view, but their drawing of the epigynum does not agree with that species. Their dorsal view of the female is, however, compatible with Simon's brief description of the female H. coccineovittatus   . Berland & Millot also synonymized the female (but not the male) T. ogdeni   with T. coccineovittata   . In the next section we will discuss why we think that the latter synonymy is not valid.


Museum of Comparative Zoology


Instituto de Zoologia