Selenops aissus Walckenaer, 1837

Crews, Sarah C., 2011, A revision of the spider genus Selenops Latreille, 1819 (Arachnida, Araneae, Selenopidae) in North America, Central America and the Caribbean, ZooKeys 105, pp. 1-182 : 70-73

publication ID

persistent identifier

treatment provided by

ZooKeys by Pensoft

scientific name

Selenops aissus Walckenaer, 1837


Selenops aissus Walckenaer, 1837 Figs 93-96202Map 10

Selenops aissus Walckenaer 1837: 547 (♀ lost, not examined).

Selenops aissus : Keyserling 1884: 683, pl. 21, Fig. 30 (♀).

Selenops confusus Petrunkevitch 1925: 134 (♀) (believed Keyserling's ♀ misidentified).

Selenops aissus : Petrunkevitch 1925: 134, Figs 50-52 (♀) (misidentified).

Selenops timidus Bryant 1940: 407, pl. 13, Fig. 183 (♀).

Selenops aissus : Muma 1953: 31, Fig. 55 (♀).

Selenops vexillarius Muma 1953: 30, Figs 53-54 (♂). Synonymized with Selenops aissus by Alayón-García (2005).

Selenops aissus : Alayón-García 2005: 26, Figs 21-24 (♀, ♂).

Type material.

Female holotype: Trinidad, Walckenaer (MNHN - likely an erroneous locality, and type is lost; see 'Remarks' below), not examined. Neotype female (designated here) from Bahamas, Abaco Island, Ralph's Chimney, off Queen's (Abaco) Highway, 26°14'58.2"N, 77°11'25.4"W, ~6 m, 14.V.2006, S. Crews, under bark of dead tree, SCC06_006, 1♀ (EME sel_315).

Other material examined.

BAHAMAS: Abaco: Abaco National Park, 26°03'44.0"N, 77°12'46.2"W, ~13 m, 14.V.2006, S. Crews, under bark, limestone rocks, SCC06_005, 1 imm. (EME sel_313). Andros: Fresh Creek, 23.IV.1953, L. Giovannolli, 1♂, 2 imm. (AMNH). Eleuthera: Spanish Wells (holotype male and allotype female of Selenops vexillarius USNM); 1965, A. Spielman, 1♂ (AMNH); New Portsmouth, 28.III.1953, G. Rabb, several (AMNH). Grand Bahama: 29.VI.1951, A.F. Carr, Jr., 1♀ (FSU); West End Settlement, 5.VI.1949, 2♀ (FSU); Freeport, V.1965, A. Spielman, 1♀ (MCZ). Great Exuma: George Town, Regatta Point, 23°30'24.7"N, 75°45'58.0"W, sea level, 18.V.2006, S. Crews, under fallen coconuts, and under bark, SCC06_009, 1♀, 5 imm. (EME sel_319-324); cays west of Green Turtle cut, 1973, R. Wetzler, 1♂ (MCZ); near Great Exuma, Wetzler, 1♂ (AMNH); Stanyard Cay, 13-I.1953, E. Hayden, 1♀ (AMNH). Long Island: Clarence Town, 14.III.1953, Hayden, Rabb, Giovannoli, 1♀ (AMNH); Deadman's Cay, 11.III.1953, E. Hayden, 1♀ (AMNH); Simons, 19.VII.1936, 1♀ (MCZ). San Salvador: Cockburn Town, 18.III.1953, Rabb, Giovannoli, 1♂ (AMNH); Gerace Field Station, trails behind field station, vic. 24°06.9'N, 74°27.8'W, ~3-25 m, 19.V.2006, S. Crews, under rocks and bark, SCC06_012, 4♀, 7 imm. (CAS sel_333-343). Stocking Island: near Great Exuma, 23°32'08.9"N, 75°46'29.6'W, sea level-~16 m, 18.V.2006, under bark of Casuarina and Bursera , S. Crews, SCC06_010, 2♀, 5 imm. (EME sel_325-331). CUBA: Cabanas: p dR, 5-8.IX.1913, 1♀ (AMNH). Cienfuegos Bay: Cays Ocampo, agave stump, 11.VII.1947, W.L. Nutting, 1♀ (MCZ); Ensenada de Cochina, 2.III.1917, Barbour, Brooks and Warner (holotype of Selenops timidus MCZ). UNITED STATES: Alabama: Montgomery Co., Montgomery, winter, 1946, A.F. Archer, 1♀; Florida: Key West, 1♀ (USNM).


Females can be separated from other species by the posterior margin of the epigynal plate which extends below the epigastric furrow and forms two points (Figs 93-94). Males can be separated from other species by the very large RTA which extends laterally, and curves back toward the bulb. The longest apophysis also has a small process (Figs 95-96).


Walckenaer (1837) described this species from Trinidad. The type was lost. This species is not found in Trinidad. Either Walckenaer (1837) described another species, or this type was from another locality where Selenops aissus actually occurs. The drawing of Selenops aissus from Muma (1953) is clearly the same as that provided by Keyserling (1884). Petrunkevitch (1925) doubted that Keyserling's (1884) Selenops aissus was the same as the type described by Walckenaer (1837), and described Selenops confusus . Petrunkevitch (1925) based this on leg lengths, which have problems associated with them, including intraspecific variation. Petrunkevitch (1925) also illustrated two species of ' Selenops aissus ' from Panamá, but the illustrations are clearly those of Selenops mexicanus . Alayón-García (2005) synonymized the male of Selenops vexillarius with Selenops aissus . Although the type was not figured by Walckenaer (1837), Muma (1953) believed this specimen to be the same as the one he was describing as Selenops aissus . This leads me to two conclusions, both with the same outcome: (1) Walckenaer (1837) had incorrect locality data for the specimen he described as Selenops aissus from Trinidad, or (2) the specimen Walckenaer (1837) described was introduced on materials shipped from somewhere within the range of the species. In either case, the name is valid, but the locality data is not. Thus, no changes have been made to the name. Yet, in order to stabilize the species name, the female neotype collected from the Bahamas has been designated.

The specimen from Montgomery, Alabama is regarded as a likely importation, and it is unlikely this species is established there, especially in the winter.

There is some variation in size. In particular, the specimens from Stocking Island are larger than specimens from elsewhere. For example, one specimen from Stocking Island (sel_325) has a body length of 15.20, while one from Great Exuma (sel_324) has a length of 8.20.There is variation in the morphology of the epigynum. In some species it is wider and shorter vs. others where it is narrower and longer. There is also variation in the markings on the abdomen. In some specimens there is only a festoon present. Other specimens have a festoon and faint pairs of spots anteromedially, some with festoon, spots and chevrons, caudally. There were not enough male specimens to assess variation.


Male (holotype of S. vexillarius):Color:carapace dark green-grey-brown; sternum grey-green; chelicerae red-brown, darker laterally; abdomen dorsally grey-brown, no markings visible; legs orange-brown, no visible markings. Carapace:0.90 times longer than broad. Eyes:AER slightly recurved; PER recurved; PME larger than AME, PLE largest, ALE smallest; eye diameters, AME 0.20, ALE 0.06, PME 0.25, PLE 0.38; interdistances AME-PME 0.03, PME-ALE 0.05, ALE-PLE 0.33. PME-PME 1.10. ALE-ALE 1.78; ocular quadrangle AME-AME 0.40, PLE-PLE 2.25. Legs:leg formula 2314 (Muma, 1953); leg II longest. Mouthparts:chelicerae with stout setae medially and anteriorly; maxillae longer than broad, with tuft of conspicuous setae distally; labium distally rounded. Abdomen:without terminal setal tufts. Pedipalp: Fm,spination, d 1-1-2; cymbium oval in ventral view, slightly angled posterolaterally; conductor large, located anterolaterally, pointed laterally, not extending beyond cymbium edge, curving around from lateral margin, tapering to hook, small circular space where conductor attached to bulb; embolus long, slender, curved, tapering, beginning at 4 o'clock, terminating at 11 o'clock; MA originating at 4 o'clock, directed ventrally, on narrow, long base, tapering distally, and curved into a small single hook; two tibial apophyses, ventral process smaller, curves outward ventrally and back toward bulb, uniform in shape,slightly pointed at tip; lateral process very long, nearly as long as the cymbium, but arises rather low on the palpal tibia it barely reaches the cymbium, curves outward, then back toward bulb, with second small process located near base; tibial apophyses barely reaching cymbium in ventral view (Figs 95-96). Dimensions: Total length 7.25. Carapace length 3.68, width 4.10. Abdomen length 3.58, width 2.60. Pedipalp: Fm 1.50, Pt 0.90, Ti 1.00, Ta 1.40, total 4.80. Leg I: Fm 4.50, Pt 1.20, Ti absent, Mt missing, Ta missing, total missing. Leg II: Fm 4.50, Pt 2.50, Ti 5.00, Mt 3.20, Ta missing, total missing. Leg III: Fm 4.50, Pt 2.40, Ti 4.90, Mt 3.20, Ta 2.00, total 17.00. Leg IV: Fm 3.90, Pt 1.60, Ti missing, Mt missing, Ta missing, total missing.

Female (holotype of S. timidus): Color:carapace (holotype) orange-brown, white setae present (neotype) red-brown to yellow-brown, tan, sometimes with dusky markings distally and darker laterally, white setae present; sternum light yellow to light brown; chelicerae (holotype) red-brown (neotype) red-brown darker laterally; maxillae light yellow to light brown, lightening distally; labium light yellow to light brown; abdomen dorsally (holotype) yellowish anteriorly, brown elsewhere, festoon no longer visible, dark spots barely visible (neotype) light grey; ventrally grey, no markings visible; legs (holotype) orange-brown, no visible markings (neotype) light yellow with faint annulations, legs darkening from the tibiae to tarsi. Carapace: 0.85 times longer than broad; fovea longitudinal, broad, very shallow. Eyes:AER nearly straight; PER recurved; PME larger than AME, PLE largest, ALE smallest; eye diameters, AME 0.28, ALE 0.08, PME 0.38, PLE 0.48; interdistances AME-PME 0.10, PME-ALE 0.10, ALE-PLE 0.55. PME-PME 1.50. ALE-ALE 2.43; ocular quadrangle AME-AME 0.55, PLE-PLE 2.60; clypeus 0.14 high. Mouthparts:chelicerae with a few scattered setae medially and anteriorly; maxillae longer than broad, with tuft of conspicuous setae distally; labium distally rounded. Sternum:1.08 times longer than broad, posteriorly indented. Legs:leg I much shorter than legs II, III and IV; leg formula 2341; scopulae present on all four tarsi, on metatarsi and distally on tibiae of legs I and II; tarsi I-IV with strong claw tufts; pr claw per foot slightly toothed; spination: leg I, Fm pr 2 –2– 0, d 1 –1– 1, rl 1 –0– 1; Ti v 2 –2– 2; Mt v 2-2; leg II, Fm pr 0 –2– 0, d 1 –1– 1, rl 1 –0– 1; Ti v 2 –2– 2; Mt v 2-2; leg III, Fm pr 1 –1– 0, d 1 –1– 1, rl 1 –1– 1; Ti v 2 –2– 0; Mt v 2-2; leg IV, Fm pr 1 –1– 0, d 1 –1– 1, rl 0 –0– 1; Ti v 2 –2– 0; Mt v 2-2. Abdomen:without terminal setal tufts. Pedipalp:claw with 8 teeth. Epigyne: epigynal plate triangular, extending posteriorly past epigastric furrow, into two points, median area with u-shape, genital openings located along posterior margin of this, epigynal pockets absent; internally, short ducts extend to large roundish spermathecae, fertilization ducts located anteriorly and directed anterolaterally, posterodorsal fold absent (Figs 93-94). Dimensions: Total length 10.38. Carapace length 4.58, width 5.40. Sternum length 2.60, width 2.40. Abdomen length 5.80, width 4.50. Pedipalp: Fm 1.00, Pt 0.50, Ti 1.00, Ta 1.75, total 4.25. Leg I: Fm 4.50, Pt 1.50, Ti 3.50, Mt 3.00, Ta 1.60, total 14.10. Leg II: Fm 6.00, Pt 2.00, Ti 5.00, Mt 3.75, Ta 1.60, total 18.35. Leg III: Fm 5.40, Pt 1.75, Ti 4.65, Mt 4.00, Ta 1.75, total 17.55. Leg IV: Fm 5.00, Pt 1.4,0 Ti 4.00, Mt 3.50, Ta 1.60, total 15.50.

Natural history.

Found under the bark of several types of trees, in agave, and under rocks (Fig. 202).


Found in the Florida Keys, the Bahamian islands of Abaco, Andros, Eleuthera, Grand Bahama, Great Exuma, Long Island, Staniel Cay, Stocking Island and San Salvador, as well as on the Greater Antillean island of Cuba (Map 10).