Phoneutria depilata (Strand, 1909) sp. reval.,

Hazzi, Nicolas A. & Hormiga, Gustavo, 2021, Morphological and molecular evidence support the taxonomic separation of the medically important Neotropical spiders Phoneutria depilata (Strand, 1909) and P. boliviensis (F. O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1897) (Araneae, Ctenidae), ZooKeys 1022, pp. 13-50: 13

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Phoneutria depilata (Strand, 1909) sp. reval.


Phoneutria depilata (Strand, 1909) sp. reval.  Figs 1A, BView Figure 1, 4C, DView Figure 4, 7A-CView Figure 7, 8A, BView Figure 8, 9B, DView Figure 9, 10C, DView Figure 10

Ctenus depilatus  Strand, 1910. Holotype male from Colombia ( ZMB 30615View Materials, examined). Valerio 1983: 101, fig. 2 (female). 

Ctenus peregrinoides  : Strand, 1910: 318 (syntypes: two females from Guatemala, in ZMB 30717View Materials, not examined). New synonymy  .

Phoneutria depilata  : Schmidt, 1954: 417-418.

Phoneutria colombiana  Schmidt, 1956: 418; 1956: 28 (female holotype from Colombia, in SMF, not examined). New synonymy.

Phoneutria boliviensis  : Simó & Brescovit, 2001: 74 (as senior synonym of P. depilata  ); Rozwałka, Rutkowski and Bielak-Bielecki 2017: 61, fig. 1b, c (female); Hazzi et al. 2018: 112, fig. 10D (male).

Phoneutria cf. boliviensis  : Cathrine & Longhorn, 2017: 13, figs 1-6 (female).


In their revision of Phoneutria  Simó and Brescovit (2001) distinguished the Amazonian specimens of Phoneutria boliviensis  from the specimens from Colombia and Central America (which we identify now as P. depilata  ) based on the epigynal morphology: "In specimens from Central America to Colombia it is triangular, with a wide base and a narrow apex, but in specimens from Ecuador to Bolivia the apex is more rounded". Based on the fact that Simó & Brescovit were able to distinguish these epigynal morphological differences among these two Phoneutria  species and that the only species of Phoneutria  in the trans-Andean region is P. depilata  , we suggest that Ctenus peregrinoides  (from Guatemala) is a junior synonym of P. depilata  . Strand described Ctenus signativenter  in 1909 based on immature syntypes from Paramba, Ecuador (one male and two female syntypes, all immatures, 3500 ft, 28 April 1898, Rosenberg leg., in ZMB 306View Materials, not examined). We have designated Ctenus signativenter  as a nomen dubium because the exact identity of this species cannot be ascertained with immature specimens, but we note that the type locality suggests that the C. signativenter  syntypes belong to P. depilata  . Based on the epigynal morphology ( Schmidt 1956, fig.3), we synonymize Phoneutria colombiana  with P. depilata  . Both Ctenus peregrinoides  and Phoneutria colombiana  had been synonymized with P. boliviensis  by Simó and Brescovit (2001)  .

Other material examined.

Nicaragua: Región Autónoma de la Costa Caribe Sur: one female, Escondido River (12.1065°N, 84.0256°W, 10 m), 12.VII.1892, C.W. Richmond ( USNM)GoogleMaps  . Panama: Panama: one male, Pearls Island, San Jose (8.270219°N, - 79.112038°W, 30 m), 02.IV.1944, J.P. Morrinson ( USNM)GoogleMaps  ; Bocas del Toro: one female, Changinola , El Silencio (9.3845°N, 82.5356°W, 20 m), E. Marrango ( USNM)GoogleMaps  , one male and one female, Gamboa (9.1176°N. 79.6959°W, 50 m), 05.XIII.2018, N. Hazzi and S. Maneses ( MCZ IZ 162179View Materials)GoogleMaps  ; Chiriquí: one male, one female, Puerto Amuelles (8.2841°N, 82.8691°W, 10 m), 25.VII.2018, N. Hazzi, J. Bernal, T. Rios ( MCZ IZ 162180View Materials)GoogleMaps  . Costa Rica: Alajuela: one male and one female, San Ramón, Muelle San Carlos (10.4335°N, 84.5622°W, 990 m) ( MZUCR)GoogleMaps  ; one male, Canalete, Upala (10.8358°N, 85.0437°W, 950 m), 25.XI. 1979 ( MZUCR)GoogleMaps  , two females and two males, San Carlos, Peje Viejo (9.644°N, 82.7516°W), F. Garray ( MZUCR)GoogleMaps  , 00. X.1999; Limón: one female, Guapiles (10.2217°N, 83.7705°W, 450 m), 30.IX.1977 ( MZUCR)GoogleMaps  ; one female, Batan (10.0842°N, 83.3364°W), 12.VIII.1984, Federico Muñoz ( MZUCR)GoogleMaps  , Reserva Biológica Hitoy Cerere (9.647°N, 83.0709°W); one female, Talamanca, Amumbri de Bratsi (9.6501°N, 82.7542°W) ( MZUCR)GoogleMaps  ; Puntarenas: one female, Rincon de Osa (8.6986°N, 83.4876°W, 20 m), 00. III.1967, C. Valerio ( MZUCR)GoogleMaps  ; one male, Conte, Casa de la Guardia Rural (8.443°N, 83.0401°W, 990 m), 14.VII.1984; one female and one male Cirenas (9.7199°N, 85.2119°W, 10 m), 00. VI.2018, N. Hazzi ( MCZ IZ 162181View Materials)GoogleMaps  , Cartago: one female, Turrialba, Bajo Pacuare (9.862°N, 83.5203°W, 730 m), 25.IV.1983, F. Calderón ( MZUCR)GoogleMaps  ; Heredia: one juvenile, Sarapiqui, Reserva Tirimbina (10.4164°N, 84.1199°W, 160 m), 10. VI.2019, N. Hazzi; one male, San Isidro (10.0182°N, 84.0551°W, 1300 m) ( MCZ IZ 162183View Materials)GoogleMaps  . Ecuador: Esmeraldas: Esmeraldas, Caimito (0.7005°N, 80.0741°W, 10 m), 1.10.2019, N. Hazzi ( MCZ IZ 162184View Materials)GoogleMaps  . Colombia: Chocó: one female, Bahía Solano, Ciudad Mutis (6.2186°N, 77.4075°W, 5 m), 5. V.1973 ( ICN-AR)GoogleMaps  ; one juvenile, Acandí, Capurgana (8.6338°N, 77.3503°W, 15 m), 08.X.2007, C. Duran ( MPUJ)GoogleMaps  ; Cundinamarca: Fusagasugá (4.3439°N, 74.3678°W, 1600 m), 00. XII.2001 ( ICN-AR-5258); Yacupi, vereda La Oscura (5.45°N, 74.35°W, 1190 m), 03.I.2000 ( ICN-AR-907); Quipile, Vereda el Trigo (4.7455°N, 74.5341°W, 1300 m); 28.V.2000 ( ICN-AR-908); Pandi, vereda El Caucho (4.1911°N, 74.4875°W, 910 m), 20.IX.2000 ( ICN-AR-903); La Mesa (4.6333°N, 74.4666°W, 1080 m), 16.VI.1983 ( ICN-AR-343); Nilo, Pueblo Nuevo (4.3166°N, 74.6333°W, 480 m), 12.I.1980 ( ICN-AR-303)GoogleMaps  ; Santander: Chima, El Rodeo (6.3458°N, 73.3736°W, 113 m); 03.I.1970 ( ICN-AR-315); one female, Suaita (6.10°N, 73.45°W, 1550 m), 10. V.1998 ( ICN-AR-5261)GoogleMaps  ; Antioquia: one female, Urabá, Apartadó (7.8856°N, 76.6347°W, 20 m), 00. VII.2003 ( ICN-AR-5259); one female, Urabá, Turbó (8.0981°N, 76.7317°W, 20 m) ( ICN-AR-5260); one female, Urabá, Chigorodó (7.6769°N, 76.6864°W, 20 m), 00. IX.2003 ( ICN-AR-5262)GoogleMaps  ; Cauca: one male, PNN. Gorgona Island (2.98°N, 78.1825°W, 5 m), 00. XII.2003 ( ICN-AR-5263); one female and five males, Caloto, vereda Morales (3.0369°N, 76.4116°W, 1100 m), 00. X.2009, N. Muriel ( MUSENUV)GoogleMaps  ; Valle del Cauca: one female and one male, Cali, El Aguacatal (3.4617°N, 76.5560°W, 1000 m), N.Hazzi ( MUSENUV); one female, Cali (3.4616°N, 76.5560°W, 1000 m), 20.X.1982 ( MUSENUV); one femaleGoogleMaps  , same locality 00. X.1986 ( MUSENUV); one male, Cali, Barrio El Refugio (3.4372°N, 76.5225°W, 1000 m), 00. XI.1995 ( MUSENUV) one female, Dagua , El Palmar (3.6033°N, 76.6463°W, 1300 m), 27.IX.1994 ( MUSENUV); one female, Roldanillo (4.4147°N, 76.1547°W, 950 m) ( MUSENUV); KM 30, El Carmen (3.566°N, 76.6475°W, 1400 m); 10.XII.2008, N. Hazzi ( MUSENUV); one male, Buga, Liceo de los Andes (3.8833°N, 76.2986°W, 950 m), 12.XII.2009, N. Hazzi ( MUSENUV), one female, Buenaventura, Reserva Natural San Cipriano (3.8833°N, 76.9166°W, 180 m), 00. II.2012, N.Hazzi and J. Moreno ( MUSENUV)GoogleMaps  ; Boyaca: Puerto  Boyaca, Puerto Romero, vereda Los Quinchos (5.8375°N, 74.3408°W, 160 m)GoogleMaps  ; Risaralda: one female, Pereira (4.8133°N, 75.6961°W, 1400 m) ( MUSENUV); one male, Balboa (4.9517°N, 75.9572°W, 1400 m); 10.XI.1998 ( ICN-AR-5264)GoogleMaps  ; Quindío: one female, Montenegro, La Tebaida (4.5542°N, 75.7181°W, 1200 m), 27.I.2010, N. Hazzi ( MUSENUV); one female, Montenegro , Pueblo Tapado (4.5178°N, 75.7847°W, 1250 m), 00. X.2004 ( MUSENUV)GoogleMaps  ; Caldas: Samaná, Norcasia, Carrisa (5.5666°N, 74.8833°W, 600 m); 10.X.1992 ( ICN-AR342)GoogleMaps  .


Males of P. depilata  resemble those of P. boliviensis  by the truncated apex of the RTA (Fig. 9C, DView Figure 9), but differ from this and the remaining Phoneutria  species by the lateral pronounced projection of the locking lobes visible in ventral view (Fig. 9BView Figure 9). In addition, males present an embolus with an internal bulge which is absent in P. boliviensis  ; and a much larger tegulum (Figs 7BView Figure 7, 9BView Figure 9). Females of P. boliviensis  also resemble those of P. depilata  by the general configuration of the epigynum but differ by the narrow area of the EMF (Fig. 8AView Figure 8), copulatory ducts slightly sclerotized (Fig. 8AView Figure 8), and large spermatheca heads (Figs 8BView Figure 8, 10DView Figure 10). In addition, both males and females of P. depilata  can be distinguished from P. boliviensis  and the remaining Amazonian species ( P. perty  and P. fera  ) by the four conspicuous series of yellow dots in the ventral side of the abdomen (this character is also present in Phoneutria eickstedtae  Martins & Bertani, 2007).


Male (from Puerto Amuelles, Chiriquí, Panama, MCZ IZ 162180View Materials -1). Coloration (Figs 1BView Figure 1, 4C, DView Figure 4): Carapace brown with a longitudinal black line. Ocular area with brown setae and back oblique band from PLE to anterior dorsal shield of prosoma edge. Chelicerae brown with reddish setae. Sternum, endites and labium yellowish-brown. Abdomen yellow-brown dorsally, with yellow dots; ventrally dark brown with four conspicuous series of yellow dots. Total length 23.21. Carapace 12.38 long and 9.94 wide, eye diameters: AME 0.46, ALE 0.34, PME 0.55, PLE 0.55. Clypeal height 0.45, sternum 5.03 long, 4.65 wide; labium 1.62 long, 1.62 wide. Sternum 2.58 long and 2.50 wide, labium 1.99 long and 2.15 wide, endites 2.93 long and 1.70 wide. Leg measurements: I: femur 14.65, patella 5.77, tibia 15.75, metatarsus 14.31, tarsus 3.93, total 54.41; II: 13.72, 5.19, 13.85, 12.63, 3.30, total 48.69; III, 11.12, 4.95, 10.21, 10.09, 3.17, total 39.54; IV 13.56, 4.86, 13.25, 16.35, 3.96, total 51.98. Leg spination: I tibia v2-2-2-2-2, d1-1-1, p0-1-0, r1-1-0, metatarsus v2-2-2, p1-0-0 r1-0-0, II tibia v-2-2-2-2-2, d1-1-1, p1-1-0, r1-1-0, metatarsus v2-2-2, p1-0-0 r1-0-0, III v2-2-2, d1-1-1, p1-0-1-0, r1-0-1-0, metatarsus v2-2-2-2, p1-1-2, r1-1-2, IV tibia v2-2-2, d1-1-1, p1-0-1-0, r1-0-1-0, metatarsus v2-2-2-2, d0-1-0, p1-1-2, r1-1-2. Palp: RTA small and truncated at the apex (Figs 7CView Figure 7, 9DView Figure 9); embolus curve with internal bulge (Figs 7BView Figure 7, 9BView Figure 9); cup-shaped median apophysis constrain at the base (Figs 7BView Figure 7, 9BView Figure 9); conductor membranous, hyaline and C-shaped (Figs 7BView Figure 7, 9BView Figure 9); tegulum large with probasal rounded projection (Figs 7BView Figure 7, 9BView Figure 9).

Female (from Puerto Amuelles, Chiriquí, Panama, ( MCZ IZ 162180View Materials -2). Coloration (Figs 1BView Figure 1, 4C, DView Figure 4): Carapace brown with a longitudinal black line. Ocular area with brown setae and back oblique band from PLE to anterior dorsal shield of prosoma edge. Chelicerae brown with reddish setae. Sternum, endites and labium yellowish-brown. Abdomen yellow-brown dorsally, with yellow dots; ventrally dark brown with four conspicuous series of yellow dots. Total length 25.77. Carapace 12.56 long and 9.82 wide, eye diameter: AME 0.47, ALE 0.36, PME 0.60, PLE 0.65. Clypeal height 0.89, sternum long 5.15 and 4.76 wide, endites 3.89 long and 2.30 wide, labium 1.33 long and 1.59 wide. Leg measurements: I: femur 13.43, patella 5.09, tibia 12.78, metatarsus 9.99, tarsus 3.33, total 44.62; II, 11.22, 5.00, 11.57, 9.30, 3.00, total 40.09; III 7.83, 4.00, 7.89, 7.60, 2.50, total 29.83; IV 12.00, 4.62, 9.83, 12.72, 3.15, total 42.32. Leg spination: tibia I-II v2-2-2-2-2, metatarsus I-II v2-2-2-2-2; III tibia v2-2-2, d1-1-1, p1-0-1-0, r1-0-1-0; metatarsus v2-2-2-2, p1-1-2, r1-1-2; IV tibia v2-2-2, d1-1-1, p1-0-1-0, r1-0-1-0, metatarsus v2-2-2-2, d0-1-0, p1-1-2, r1-1-2. Epigynum (Figs 6AView Figure 6, 10CView Figure 10): middle field convex with straight edges, anteriorly divergent and posteriorly convergent; lateral field with lateral apophysis. Vulva (Figs 6BView Figure 6, 10DView Figure 10): copulatory ducts slightly sclerotized, enlarged spermatheca heads, fertilization ducts small and posteriorly located.


Males (n = 5): Total length 21.00-26.37, carapace 11.26-13.75, femur I 13.27-15.84. Females (n = 8): Total length 25.77-34.00, carapace 12.56-15.00, femur I 13.43-14.36.


Trans-Andean region (0-1700 m) in Ecuador, Colombia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras and Guatemala.

Natural history.

This species is found in disturbed habitats associated with both dry and humid tropical forests (0-1700 m), usually on the ground with sparse litter and low vegetation ( Hazzi 2014). The range of eggs per egg sac is 430-1300, and spiderlings emerge 28-34 days after the egg sacs are produced. Sexual maturity occurs after 14-17 molts, and spiders mature 300-465 days after emerging from the egg sac ( Hazzi 2014). Valenzuela-Rojas et al. (2020) reported that P. depilata  is an euryphagous predator with a broad diet made up predominantly of arthropods and to a lesser extent of small vertebrates ( Gekkonidae  , Hylidae  , and Sphaerodactylidae  ). There are human bite records of this species reported in Costa Rica and in banana plantations in Colombia ( Florez et al. 2003). All the cases reported have occurred with adults, and most of them have presented mild to moderate envenomation symptoms, with only one patient presenting severe symptoms such as renal failure ( Florez et al. 2003). Estrada-Gomez et al. (2015) partially characterized the venom of this species, detecting Ctenitoxin-Pb48 and Ctenitoxin-Pb53, which showed a high homology with other Ctenitoxins (family Tx3) from P. nigriventer  , P. keyserlingi  and P. reidyi  affecting voltage-gated calcium receptors (Cav 1, 2.1, 2.2 and 2.3) and NMDA-glutamate receptors. Valenzuela-Rojas et al. (2019) found that the venom of P. depilata  was significantly more effective on vertebrate (geckos) than invertebrate (spiders) prey in both LD50 and immobilization time. In addition, males had slightly more toxic venom (LD50) to geckos and much more toxic venom to spiders when compared to females ( Valenzuela-Rojas et al. 2019). For two periods, March to May and October to November, adult males and females with egg sacs are always found in homes in the Inter-Andean Cauca Valley of Colombia. This likely indicates two reproductive peaks that coincided with the two rainy seasons during those same periods (N. Hazzi, unpub. data).


Museum f�r Naturkunde Berlin (Zoological Collections)


Forschungsinstitut und Natur-Museum Senckenberg


Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History


Museum of Comparative Zoology


Instituto de Zoologia


Tavera, Department of Geology and Geophysics


Mykotektet, National Veterinary Institute


Royal British Columbia Museum - Herbarium


Západoceské muzeum v Plzni














Phoneutria depilata (Strand, 1909) sp. reval.

Hazzi, Nicolas A. & Hormiga, Gustavo 2021

Phoneutria colombiana

Schmidt 1956

Ctenus depilatus

Strand 1909