Aphonopelma catalina Hamilton, Hendrixson & Bond

Hamilton, Chris A., Hendrixson, Brent E. & Bond, Jason E., 2016, Taxonomic revision of the tarantula genus Aphonopelma Pocock, 1901 (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Theraphosidae) within the United States, ZooKeys 560, pp. 1-340: 52-57

publication ID

http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.560.6264

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scientific name

Aphonopelma catalina Hamilton, Hendrixson & Bond
status

sp. n.

Taxon classification Animalia Araneae Theraphosidae

Aphonopelma catalina Hamilton, Hendrixson & Bond  sp. n. Figures 25, 26, 27, 28, 29

Types.

Male holotype (APH_1440) from Coronado National Forest, along Bug Spring Trail, Pima Co., Arizona, 32.34544 -110.71602 4, elev. 5255ft., 17.xii.2011, coll. Brent E. Hendrixson and Thomas Martin; deposited in AUMNH. Paratype female (APH_1602) from Coronado National Forest, along Bug Spring Trail, Pima Co., Arizona, 32.34544 -110.71602 4, elev. 5255ft., 9.xi.2012, coll. Brent E. Hendrixson; deposited in AUMNH. Paratype male (APH_1439) from Coronado National Forest, along Bug Spring Trail, Pima Co., Arizona, 32.34544 -110.71602 4, elev. 5255ft., 17.xii.2011, coll. Brent E. Hendrixson and Thomas Martin; deposited in AMNH.

Etymology.

The specific epithet is a noun in apposition taken from type locality, the Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona, where this new species appears to be endemic.

Diagnosis.

Aphonopelma catalina  (Fig. 25) is a member of the Marxi  species group and can be distinguished by a combination of morphological, molecular, and geographic characteristics. Nuclear and mitochondrial DNA identifies Aphonopelma catalina  as a phylogenetically distinct monophyletic lineage (Figs 7-8), supported as a sister lineage to Aphonopelma chiricahua  sp. n. (a species endemic to the Chiricahua Mountains). The significant measurement that distinguishes male Aphonopelma catalina  from its closely related phylogenetic and syntopic species is F1. Male Aphonopelma catalina  can be distinguished by possessing a larger F1/A3 (≥2.25; 2.25-2.49) than Aphonopelma chiricahua  (≤1.86; 1.55-1.86), Aphonopelma madera  sp. n. (≤2.14; 2.02-2.14), Aphonopelma parvum  sp. n. (≤1.98; 1.79-1.98), Aphonopelma peloncillo  sp. n. (≤2.23; 1.86-2.23), Aphonopelma saguaro  sp. n. (1.96 ± (only 1 specimen)), and Aphonopelma vorhiesi  (≤2.17; 1.71-2.17). Significant measurements that distinguish female Aphonopelma catalina  from its closely related phylogenetic and syntopic species are Cl and M3. Female Aphonopelma catalina  can be distinguished by possessing a larger M3/A4 (≥1.07; 1.07-1.10) than Aphonopelma chiricahua  (0.80 ± (only 1 specimen)), Aphonopelma madera  (≤1.07; 0.96-1.07), Aphonopelma parvum  (≤0.92; 0.86 -0.92), and Aphonopelma saguaro  (0.92 ± (only 1 specimen)), but smaller than Aphonopelma peloncillo  (≥1.11; 1.11-1.23); and by possessing a smaller Cl/F4 (≤1.18; 1.17-1.18) than Aphonopelma chiricahua  (1.21 ± (only 1 specimen)), Aphonopelma madera  (≥1.20; 1.20-1.27), Aphonopelma peloncillo  (≥1.22; 1.22-1.34), and Aphonopelma vorhiesi  (≥1.23; 1.23-1.37).

Description of male holotype

(APH_1440; Fig. 26). Specimen preparation and condition: Specimen collected live crossing trail, preserved in 80% ethanol; original coloration faded due to preservation. Left legs I, III, IV, and left pedipalp removed for measurements and photographs; stored in vial with specimen. Right leg III removed for DNA and stored at -80°C in the AUMNH (Auburn, AL). General coloration: Generally black or faded black. Cephalothorax: Carapace 12.39 mm long, 11.33 mm wide; densely clothed with black/faded black pubescence, appressed to surface; fringe covered in long setae not closely appressed to surface; foveal groove medium deep and procurved; pars cephalica region rises gradually from foveal groove, gently arching anteriorly toward ocular area; AER procurved, PER recurved; normal sized chelicerae; clypeus straight; LBl 1.18, LBw 1.56; sternum hirsute, clothed with short black/brown, densely packed setae. Abdomen: Densely clothed in short black/brown pubescence with numerous longer, lighter setae interspersed (generally red or orange in situ); dense dorsal patch of black Type I urticating bristles ( Cooke et al. 1972); ventral setae same as dorsal. Legs: Hirsute; densely clothed with short, similar length black/brown setae, and longer setae dorsally. Metatarsus I very slightly curved. F1 14.64; F1w 2.83; P1 5.31; T1 12.78; M1 8.91; A1 5.95; F3 10.40; F3w 2.88; P3 3.89; T3 8.63; M3 9.18; A3 5.89; F4 12.90; F4w 2.78; P4 4.54; T4 10.96; M4 12.34; A4 7.11; femur III is normal - not noticeably swollen or wider than other legs. All tarsi fully scopulate. Extent of metatarsal scopulation: leg III (SC3) = 53.0%; leg IV (SC4) = 30.6%. Five ventral spinose setae on metatarsus III; eleven ventral spinose setae, one prolateral and one retrolateral spinose seta on metatarsus IV; one large megaspine is present on the retrolateral tibia at the apex of the mating clasper - this can be seen when viewing the prolateral face of the mating clasper; the prolateral branch of the tibial apophyses possesses a very large megaspine that projects anteriorly. Coxa I: Prolateral surface a mix of fine, hair-like and tapered/thin tapered setae. Pedipalps: Hirsute; densely clothed in the same setal color as the other legs, with numerous longer ventral setae; one spinose seta at the apical, prolateral femur and two spinose setae on the prolateral tibia; PTl 8.058, PTw 2.911. When extended, embolus tapers with a gentle curve to the retrolateral side near apex; embolus slender, no keels.

Variation (4).Cl 9.57-12.39 (10.595 ± 0.62), Cw 8.88-11.33 (9.708 ± 0.55), LBl 0.967-1.237 (1.114 ± 0.06), LBw 1.102-1.56 (1.354 ± 0.11), F1 11.28-14.64 (12.765 ± 0.7), F1w 2.18-2.83 (2.467 ± 0.14), P1 3.73-5.31 (4.483 ± 0.32), T1 9.89-12.78 (11.132 ± 0.61), M1 6.42-8.91 (7.446 ± 0.54), A1 5.0-5.95 (5.392 ± 0.2), L1 length 36.32-47.59 (41.217 ± 2.34), F3 7.97-10.4 (9.098 ± 0.5), F3w 2.1-2.88 (2.465 ± 0.16), P3 3.04-4.084 (3.551 ± 0.26), T3 5.74-8.63 (7.039 ± 0.6), M3 6.72-9.18 (7.882 ± 0.51), A3 4.82-5.89 (5.37 ± 0.23), L3 length 28.29-37.99 (32.94 ± 2.02), F4 9.75-12.9 (11.077 ± 0.66), F4w 2.05-2.78 (2.357 ± 0.15), P4 3.26-4.54 (3.902 ± 0.26), T4 7.82-10.96 (9.444 ± 0.64), M4 9.26-12.34 (10.762 ± 0.63), A4 5.41-7.11 (6.095 ± 0.4), L4 length 35.5-47.85 (41.279 ± 2.53), PTl 6.587-8.058 (7.173 ± 0.32), PTw 2.328-2.911 (2.572 ± 0.12), SC3 ratio 0.481-0.53 (0.514 ± 0.01), SC4 ratio 0.228-0.359 (0.286 ± 0.03), Coxa I setae = tapered/thin tapered, F3 condition = normal.

Description of female paratype

(APH_1602; Figs 27-28). Specimen preparation and condition: Specimen collected live from burrow, preserved in 80% ethanol; original coloration faded due to preservation. Left legs I, III, IV, and pedipalp removed for photographs and measurements; stored in vial with specimen. Right leg III removed for DNA and stored at -80°C in the AUMNH (Auburn, AL). Genital plate with spermathecae removed and cleared, stored in vial with specimen. General coloration: Black/faded black and brown. Cephalothorax: Carapace 14.79 mm long, 13.74 mm wide; Hirsute, densely clothed with black/faded black, pubescence closely appressed to surface; fringe densely covered in longer setae; foveal groove medium deep and straight; pars cephalica region gently rises from thoracic furrow, arching anteriorly toward ocular area; AER very slightly procurved, PER straight; robust chelicerae, clypeus extends forward on a slight curve; LBl 1.81, LBw 1.97; sternum hirsute, clothed with shorter black/faded black setae. Abdomen: Densely clothed dorsally in short black setae with numerous longer, lighter setae interspersed (generally red or orange in situ); dense dorsal patch of black Type I urticating bristles ( Cooke et al. 1972); ventral setae same as dorsal. Spermathecae: Paired and separate, tapering and slightly curving medially to wards capitate bulbs, with wide bases that appear fused. Legs: Very hirsute, particularly ventrally; densely clothed in short and medium black pubescence, with longer setae colored similarly as the long abdominal setae; F1 11.87; F1w 3.84; P1 5.36; T1 9.77; M1 6.92; A1 6.04; F3 9.74; F3w 3.32; P3 4.52; T3 7.26; M3 7.29; A3 6.07; F4 12.52; F4w 3.41; P4 4.92; T4 10.00; M4 10.98; A4 6.64. All tarsi fully scopulate. Extent of metatarsal scopulation: leg III (SC3) = 68.6%; leg IV (SC4) = 46.5%. Six ventral spinose setae on metatarsus III; nine ventral spinose setae and one prolateral spinose seta on metatarsus IV. Coxa I: Prolateral surface a mix of fine, hair-like and tapered setae. Pedipalps: Densely clothed in the same setal color as the other legs; two prolateral spinose setae and one ventral spinose seta on the tibia.

Variation (2).Cl 14.79-16.39 (15.59 ± 0.8), Cw 13.74-15.06 (14.4 ± 0.66), LBl 1.81-2.03 (1.92 ± 0.11), LBw 1.97-2.67 (2.32 ± 0.35), F1 11.87-13.85 (12.86 ± 0.99), F1w 3.84-4.24 (4.04 ± 0.2), P1 5.36-5.58 (5.47 ± 0.11), T1 9.77-11.33 (10.55 ± 0.78), M1 6.92-7.57 (7.245 ± 0.33), A1 6.04-6.05 (6.045 ± 0), L1 length 39.96-44.38 (42.17 ± 2.21), F3 9.74-11.31 (10.525 ± 0.79), F3w 3.32-3.78 (3.55 ± 0.23), P3 4.52-5.33 (4.925 ± 0.41), T3 7.26-8.35 (7.805 ± 0.55), M3 7.29-8.42 (7.855 ± 0.57), A3 6.07-6.77 (6.42 ± 0.35), L3 length 34.88-40.18 (37.53 ± 2.65), F4 12.52-13.95 (13.235 ± 0.72), F4w 3.41-3.86 (3.635 ± 0.23), P4 4.92-5.54 (5.23 ± 0.31), T4 10.0-11.17 (10.585 ± 0.59), M4 10.98-11.74 (11.36 ± 0.38), A4 6.64-7.84 (7.24 ± 0.6), L4 length 45.06-50.24 (47.65 ± 2.59), SC3 ratio 0.629-0.686 (0.657 ± 0.03), SC4 ratio 0.37-0.465 (0.418 ± 0.05), Coxa I setae = medium tapered. Spermathecae variation can be seen in Figure 28.

Material examined.

United States: Arizona: Pima: Coronado National Forest, along Bug Spring Trail, 32.34544 -110.71602 4, 5255ft., [APH_0454, 28/12/2008, 1♂, Paul E. Marek, Charity Hall, AUMNH]; [APH_1438, 11/12/2011, 1♂, Jillian Cowles, Bill Savary, AUMNH]; [APH_1439-1440, 17/12/2011, 2♂, Brent E. Hendrixson, Thomas Martin, AUMNH & AMNH]; [APH_1602, 9/11/2012, 1♀, Brent E. Hendrixson, AUMNH]; .5 miles W of Catalina Hwy, 2 miles N of Molino Basin, Santa Catalina Mtns, 32.336526 -110.718179 4, 4886ft., [AUMS_2615, 15/9/1974, 1♀, W. Icenogle, AUMNH].

Distribution and natural history.

Aphonopelma catalina  is known from only six individuals collected within a few kilometers of each other but this species appears to be a sky island endemic found in the Santa Catalina Mountains in Pima County, Arizona at elevations above 1480 meters in oak-grassland communities (Figs 1, 29); it is possible that this species is also found in bordering sections of the Rincon Mountains but the range has not been thoroughly sampled for tarantulas. Aphonopelma catalina  can be found inhabiting the Madrean Archipelago Level III Ecoregion; the upper elevational limit for Aphonopelma catalina  remains unknown but the species can likely be found in adjacent oak and pine-oak woodlands at higher elevations similar to its close relatives Aphonopelma chiricahua  and Aphonopelma madera  . This species has not been observed in syntopy with other Aphonopelma  spp. but can probably be found alongside Aphonopelma chalcodes  and Aphonopelma vorhiesi  in oak-grassland communities along the lower elevations of the Santa Catalina Mountains. Only a single burrow (of an adult female, APH_1602, Fig. 25) of this species has been observed, located a few meters from a hiking trail surrounded by grasses and large rocks. The structure of the burrow was fairly typical for a North American theraphosid (i.e., circular and covered by a thin veil of silk) and did not appear too deep or well drained; the specimen was easily flooded from its burrow with less than a liter of water. Each adult male of Aphonopelma catalina  examined in this study was found during daylight hours in December, suggesting that the breeding period for this species is restricted to late autumn and early winter; one of these males was found wandering along a snow bank on a sunny afternoon (APH_0454, P. Marek 2008, pers. comm.). An unconfirmed adult male (no voucher specimen available, identification tentatively assigned based on a photograph and locality data) was found above 1760 meters in an oak woodland community during early February (P. MacDuff 2015, pers. comm.).

Conservation status.

It is difficult to fully assess the distribution and abundance (and therefore the conservation status) of Aphonopelma catalina  due to a lack of specimens and thorough sampling; however, as previously mentioned, the species appears to be narrowly endemic to the Santa Catalina Mountains, which may put the species at some risk. This mountain range is entirely contained within the Coronado National Forest (Santa Catalina Ranger District) which is afforded some degree of protection; however, increased urbanization of the Tucson Metropolitan Area (one of the most rapidly growing areas in the United States), increased recreation in the mountains, and climate change have impacted these habitats ( Coronado Planning Partnership 2008, Brusca et al. 2013, Moore et al. 2013, Hendrixson et al. 2015) and pose additional threats to Aphonopelma catalina  .

Remarks.

As noted in Hendrixson et al. (2015), Aphonopelma catalina  is morphologically very similar to other Madrean sky island endemics in the Marxi  species group, although generally larger than Aphonopelma chiricahua  and Aphonopelma madera  and possess a more hirsute appearance than Aphonopelma vorhiesi  . Other important ratios that distinguish males: Aphonopelma catalina  possess a larger T1/M3 (≥1.39; 1.39-1.47) than Aphonopelma parvum  (≤1.34; 1.16-1.34) and Aphonopelma saguaro  (1.16 ± (only 1 specimen)); by possessing a smaller Cl/T1 (≤0.97; 0.90-0.97) than Aphonopelma chiricahua  (≥1.00; 1.00-1.17), Aphonopelma madera  (≥1.06; 1.06-1.12), Aphonopelma peloncillo  (≥1.01; 1.01-1.22), and Aphonopelma vorhiesi  (≥0.99; 0.99-1.34). Other important ratios that distinguish females: Aphonopelma catalina  possess a smaller A3/M4 (≤0.58; 0.55-0.58) than Aphonopelma chiricahua  (0.71 ± (only 1 specimen )), Aphonopelma parvum  (≥0.60; 0.60-0.69), and Aphonopelma saguaro  (0.67 ± (only 1 specimen)); by possessing a smaller Cl/M3 (≤2.03; 1.94-2.03) than Aphonopelma chiricahua  (2.36 ± (only 1 specimen)), Aphonopelma madera  (≥2.06; 2.06-2.31), and Aphonopelma saguaro  (2.10 ± (only 1 specimen)); by possessing a smaller Cl/Cw (≤1.09; 1.07-1.09) than Aphonopelma chiricahua  (1.02 ± (only 1 specimen)), Aphonopelma peloncillo  (≥1.11; 1.11-1.17), and Aphonopelma vorhiesi  (≥1.11; 1.11-1.21). For both males and females, certain morphometrics have potential to be useful, though due to the amounts of variation, small number of specimens, and the small differences between species, no other are claimed to be significant at this time (see Suppl. material 2). During evaluation of PCA morphospace, males of Aphonopelma catalina  separate from Aphonopelma chalcodes  , Aphonopelma peloncillo  , Aphonopelma vorhiesi  , and all miniature species along PC1~2, but do not separate from Aphonopelma chiricahua  , Aphonopelma madera  , and Aphonopelma marxi  . Females of Aphonopelma catalina  separate from Aphonopelma chalcodes  , Aphonopelma chiricahua  and all miniature species along PC1~2, but do not separate from Aphonopelma madera  , Aphonopelma marxi  , Aphonopelma peloncillo  , and Aphonopelma vorhiesi  . Interestingly, Aphonopelma catalina  males separate from Aphonopelma chalcodes  , Aphonopelma peloncillo  , Aphonopelma saguaro  , and Aphonopelma vorhiesi  in three-dimensional PCA morphospace (PC1~PC2~PC3), but do not separate from Aphonopelma chiricahua  , Aphonopelma madera  , and Aphonopelma marxi  . Aphonopelma catalina  females separate from Aphonopelma chalcodes  , Aphonopelma chiricahua  , Aphonopelma marxi  , and Aphonopelma saguaro  but do not separate from Aphonopelma madera  , Aphonopelma peloncillo  , and Aphonopelma vorhiesi  . PC1, PC2, and PC3 explain ≥96% of the variation in all analyses.