Myrmekiaphila howelli, BOND & PLATNICK, 2007

BOND, JASON E. & PLATNICK, NORMAN I., 2007, A Taxonomic Review of the Trapdoor Spider Genus Myrmekiaphila (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Cyrtaucheniidae), American Museum Novitates 3596 (1), pp. 1-32 : 26-27

publication ID 10.1206/0003-0082(2007)3596[1:ATROTT]2.0.CO;2


persistent identifier

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scientific name

Myrmekiaphila howelli

new species

Myrmekiaphila howelli , new species

Figures 12 View Figs , 22 View Figs , 85 View Fig , 93–98 View Figs

TYPES: Male holotype from 1 mile east of Union , [32.5716 –89.1056], Newton County, Mississippi (Feb. 12, 1983; T. Lockley), deposited in AMNH, courtesy of Dr. Patricia Miller GoogleMaps .

ETYMOLOGY: The specific name is a patronym in honor of Dr. W. Howell of Samford University, Birmingham, Alabama.

DIAGNOSIS: Males can be recognized by the presence of a bifurcate palpal bulb, with the lower auxiliary prong being much shorter than the embolus, bearing a swollen, distinct accessory ledge which gives it the appearance of being doubled distally, with the tip of the prong curved, and by the ledge of the palpal tibia being short and stubby (figs. 12, 98). Females are unknown.

MALE (HOLOTYPE): Specimen preparation and condition. Specimen collected live from ‘‘under a log’’, preserved in ca. 70% ethanol. Coloration appears to be faded. Both pedipalps, leg I left side removed and stored in vial with specimen. General coloration. Carapace, chelicerae, and legs dark red (2.5YR 3/6). Abdomen very dusky red (2.5YR 2.5/2) dorsally, ventrum and spinnerets pale yellow; faint dusky stripes on dorsum. Cephalothorax. Carapace 5.94 long, 4.94 wide, glabrous, stout black bristles along fringe; surface smooth, pars cephalica elevated. Fringe, posterior margin with black bristles. Foveal groove deep, slightly procurved. Eyes on low mound. AER straight to slightly procurved, PER slightly recurved, PME, AME subequal in diameter. Sternum moderately setose, STRl 3.28, STRw 3.08. Posterior sternal sigilla large, positioned centrally, contiguous, anteri- or sigilla pairs small, oval, marginal. Chelicerae with distinct anterior tooth row (10 teeth), posterior margin with patch of small denticles. Palpal endites with patch of small cuspules on proximal, inner margin, labium with three cuspules, LBw 1.12, LBl 0.62. Rastellum consisting of five very stout spines on mound. Abdomen. Setose, heavier black setae intermingled with fine black setae. Legs. Leg I: 5.12, 2.40, 4.04, 2.80, 2.56; leg IV: 5.00, 2.20, 4.40, 4.48, 2.68. Very light tarsal scopulae present on legs I, II. Tarsus I with single, slightly staggered row of seven trichobothria. Leg I spination pattern illustrated in Figures 22 View Figs , 93–95 View Figs ; TSp 7, TSr 11, TSrd 3. Pedipalp. Articles stout, lacking distinct spines (figs. 96–98). PTw 0.80, PTl 1.67, Bl 1.05. Ledge on distal-retrolateral surface of palpal tibia. Palpal bulb (figs. 12, 98) distally bifurcate, embolus relatively slender, auxiliary prong very thick, with swollen, distinct accessory ledge.

FEMALE: Unknown.

MATERIAL EXAMINED: Only the holotype.

DISTRIBUTION: Known only from the type locality in Mississippi (fig. 85).


This group includes a single species, from Florida, that may represent the sister group of all other Myrmekiaphila . Males lack the expanded ledge on the palpal tibia (fig. 102) and show only vague traces of a single embolar tooth (on the distal, rather than proximal, edge of the embolus). Alternatively, these features could represent a derived condition, thus representing a loss rather than a plesiomorphy.


Tavera, Department of Geology and Geophysics


American Museum of Natural History