Modisimus mariposas, 2010

Huber, Bernhard A., Fischer, Nadine & Astrin, Jonas J., 2010, High level of endemism in Haiti’s last remaining forests: a revision of Modisimus (Araneae: Pholcidae) on Hispaniola, using morphology and molecules, Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society 158 (2), pp. 244-299 : 280-282

publication ID 10.1111/j.1096-3642.2009.00559.x


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scientific name

Modisimus mariposas



( Figs 76 View Figures 63–82 , 166–168 View Figures 166–172 , 200 View Figure 200 )

Type: Male holotype from near Jima (19°01.4 ′ N, 70°28.8 ′ W), Monseñor Nouel Prov., Dominican Republic; degraded forest at brook through plantation, ~ 700 m a.s.l., near ground, 8 November 2005 (B.A. Huber), in ZFMK ( DR 11 View Materials ) GoogleMaps .

Etymology: The species name honours the Mirabal sisters, who fervently opposed the dictatorship of Trujillo, and formed a group of opponents known as Las Mariposas (The Butterflies) . Three of them were assassinated in 1960; the name is used as a noun in apposition.

Diagnosis: Medium-sized species, easily distinguished from congeners by procursus shape ( Fig. 166 View Figures 166–172 ; dorsal projection), club-shaped hairs on male chelicerae ( Fig. 176 View Figures 173–178 ; median hairs on apophyses), and epigynum shape ( Fig. 168 View Figures 166–172 ).

Male (holotype): Total length, 1.9; carapace width, 0.8. Leg 1: 21.5 (5.2 + 0.3 + 5.3 + 8.7 + 2.0); tibia 2, 3.5; tibia 3, 2.6; tibia 4, 3.4. Tibia 1 L/d: 70. Habitus similar to M. jima sp. nov. (cf. Fig. 19 View Figures 17–37 ), carapace pale ochre-yellow, with light-brown lateral bands, dark median line and wider dark median band visible through cuticle; ocular area also darker, clypeus with pair of brown stripes; sternum mostly light brown, medially whitish; legs ochre to light brown, tips of femora and tibiae lighter, very indistinct darker rings subdistally on femora and tibiae; abdomen bluish grey, densely covered with small black spots dorsally and laterally, with indistinct whitish lines. Ocular area elevated; thoracic furrow distinct. PME–PME, 70 Mm; PME diameter, 105 Mm; PME–ALE, 105 Mm; AME tiny, but apparently with lenses. Sternum wider than long (0.6/0.4), unmodified. Chelicerae with short modified hairs in distinctive pattern, median group on apophysis, lateral group not elevated ( Fig. 167 View Figures 166–172 ). Palps as in Figure 166 View Figures 166–172 , coxa with retrolateral apophysis, femur with proximal flap retrolaterally and distal apophysis ventrally; procursus with rounded dorsal projection and widened distally (mostly membranous structures); bulbal apophysis very wide in dorsal view. Legs with many short vertical hairs on all femora; no curved hairs and no spines; retrolateral trichobothrium on tibia 1 at 12%; prolateral trichobothrium missing on tibia 1, but present on other tibiae; tarsus 1 with ~30 pseudosegments.

Female: In general similar to male; tibia 1 missing in female from near Jima; epigynum in female from near Jima apparently artificially spread, with a pair of dark structures visible through the frontal plate; dorsal view as in Figure 76 View Figures 63–82 . The female from Loma Quita Espuela has a very similar, but slightly smaller, epigynum, and is therefore assigned tentatively; tibia 1: 4.0.

Distribution: Known from two localities (one tentative) in the central Dominican Republic ( Fig. 200 View Figure 200 ).

Material examined: Dominican Republic: Monseñor Nouel Prov., near Jima : 1♂, holotype above; same data, 1♀ and one juvenile ( ZFMK, DR 11 View Materials ) .

Assigned tentatively: Dominican Republic: Duarte Prov., Reserva Científica Loma Quita Espuela , at ~ 500 m a.s.l. (19°21.5 ′ N, 70°09 ′ W), 10 November 2005 (B.A. Huber), 1♀ ( ZFMK, DR 27 View Materials ) GoogleMaps .


Zoologisches Forschungsmuseum Alexander Koenig