Hogna blackwalli (Johnson, 1863)

Crespo, Luis C., Silva, Isamberto, Enguidanos, Alba, Cardoso, Pedro & Arnedo, Miquel, 2022, Island hoppers: Integrative taxonomic revision of Hogna wolf spiders (Araneae, Lycosidae) endemic to the Madeira islands with description of a new species, ZooKeys 1086, pp. 84-135 : 84

publication ID


publication LSID


persistent identifier


treatment provided by

ZooKeys by Pensoft

scientific name

Hogna blackwalli (Johnson, 1863)


Hogna blackwalli (Johnson, 1863)

Figures 6 View Figure 6 , 7 View Figure 7 , 8 View Figure 8

Lycosa blackwalli Johnson, 1863: 152 (Dmf).

Trochosa maderiana Thorell, 1875: 167 (mf, misidentification).

Geolycosa blackwalli Roewer, 1955: 241.

Geolycosa blackwalli Roewer, 1960: 691, fig. 387a-d (mf).

Geolycosa ingens Denis, 1962: 96, f. 78 (f, misidentification).

Hogna maderiana Wunderlich, 1992: 461, fig. 720c-e (mf, S).

Hogna maderiana Wunderlich, 1995: 416, fig. 28 (f).


Syntypes: Madeira • 2 ♀♀; Pico Ruivo, leg. Johnson, stored at OUMNH, collection number 1617. Examined.

Material examined.

Madeira • between Pico do Areeiro and Poiso, 1 ♀ ( SMF65685 View Materials ), leg. K. Groh; Caramujo , 32.77161°N, 17.06205°W, 1 ♂ (CRBALC0010: LC010), 23.VIII.2016 (collected as subadult, reared in captivity to adult on 7.X.2016) GoogleMaps , hand collecting, leg. L. Crespo; “Funchal” [probably north of it because " 600 to 2000 ft. " is written in label], 1 ♀ (NHM, mounted dry), V.1895, leg. O. Grant; Paul da Serra , 1 ♀ ( SMF65684 View Materials ), hand collecting, leg. I. Silva, 1 ♀ (CRBALC0496: LC254) and 3 juveniles (CRBALC0495: LC253, CRBALC0497: LC255, CRBALC0499: LC256), 32.78182°N, 17.09978°W, 28.III.2017 GoogleMaps , hand collecting, leg. L. Crespo & I. Silva; Paul da Serra / Rabaçal, 5 ♀♀ ( SMF65696 View Materials ); Pico do Areeiro, 32.739067°N, 16.934448°W, 1 ♀ (CRBALC0516: LC270), 27.III.2017 GoogleMaps , hand collecting, leg. I. Silva; Pico do Cidrao , 32.74036°N, 16.93877°W, 1 ♀ (CRBALC0489: LC286), 27.III.2017 GoogleMaps , hand collecting, leg. L. Crespo; Rabaçal, 1 ♀ (MNHNP AR16185), IV.1957, leg. H. Coiffait, 1 ♀ ( SMF65683 View Materials ), 18.VIII.1991 , hand collecting, leg. I. Silva; Ribeiro Bonito, 32.79582°N, 16.93710°W, 1 juvenile (CRBALC0014: LC014), 4.VIII.2016, hand collecting, leg. L. Crespo; trail from Paul da Serra to Montado dos Pessegueiros, 32.78837°N, 17.09857°W, 1 ♀ (CRBALC0271: LC252) and 2 juveniles (CRBALC0498: LC292, CRBALC0502: LC293), 28.III.2017 GoogleMaps , hand collecting, leg. L. Crespo & I. Silva, 2 ♀♀ (CRBALC0503: LC257, CRBALC0515: LC259) and 1 juvenile (CRBALC0514: LC258), 31.III.2017, hand collecting, leg. L. Crespo, M. Arnedo & P. Oromí, 1 ♂ (CRBALC0718), 2 ♀♀ (CRBALC0601, CRBALC0605) and 2 juveniles (CRBALC0603, CRBALC0698), 4.IV.2018, hand collecting, leg. L. Crespo & A. Bellvert; 1 ♀ (SMF9910750), 1 ♂, 2 ♀♀ and 4 juveniles (NHRS-JUST-000001114), 2 ♀♀ (NHM, mounted dry), [no collection data except for the data of collection of one of these females, IX.1963].


Hogna blackwalli can be diagnosed from all other Madeiran Hogna by the aspect of its legs, with two small patches of yellow setae in the joints of anterior tibiae with metatarsi and of metatarsi with tarsi (Fig. 26A View Figure 26 ). In addition, by the genitalia: in males, the embolus with tip tilted retrolaterally and a tegular apophysis with a long, sharp ventral spur (Fig. 6A-C View Figure 6 ). In females, the epigynal anterior pocket shows a small indentation on the lateral border (white arrow in Fig. 6D View Figure 6 ).


Male (CRBALC0718): (Fig. 6A-C View Figure 6 ). Total length: 18.9; carapace: 9.1 long, 6.8 wide.

Colour: carapace brown, with short black setae except anteriorly and laterally, where short white setae and long black setae are present; median cream longitudinal band present, covered with short white setae, anteriorly broadened, with suffused greyish brown patches covered by yellow setae; two yellow marginal bands, suffused with greyish brown patches, covered with short white setae; four black striae well visible on each flank. Chelicerae black, covered mostly in black setae but with sparse yellow setae. Gnathocoxae very dark orange-brown, labium blackish; sternum black, with a faint, thin longitudinal stripe extending to less than half of sternum length. Legs grey to greyish brown, with seven or eight patches of white setae (anterior legs with eight, posterior legs seven) except the patches in anterior metatarsi, both yellow. Pedipalpal femur as legs, patella, tibia and proximal cymbium with yellow to orange setae, apical cymbium covered in black setae. Abdomen with a pair of anterolateral black patches, extending laterally into grey to black flanks, interspersed with white patches; a median orange lanceolate patch is bordered by the aforementioned pattern, posteriorly also by dark chevrons; venter with a wide longitudinal black band, bordered by a mesh of white and black patches.

Eyes: MOQ: MW = 0.7 PW, MW = 1.1 LMP, MW = 1.1 AW; Cl = 0.5 DAME. Anterior eye row slightly procurved.

Legs: Measurements: Leg I: 27.3, Ti: 6.4; Leg IV: 29.7, Ti: 6.6; TiIL/D: 5.8. Spination of Leg I: Fe: d1.1.0, p0.0.2; Ti: p0.0.1, v2l.2l.2s; Mt: p0.0.1, r0.0.1, v2l.2l.1s. Mt with very dense scopulae.

Pedipalp: cymbium with eight dark, stout, macrosetae at tip, Fe with two dorsal and an apical row of four spines, Pa with one prolateral spine, Ti with one dorsal, one dorsoprolateral, and one prolateral spines. Tegular apophysis with ventral spur long, sharp, with a concave ridge leading to a thin apical point (Fig. 6A, B View Figure 6 ); terminal apophysis blade-shaped with sharp end (Fig. 6A-C View Figure 6 ); embolus short, with tip directed laterally (Fig. 6A-C View Figure 6 ); palea large (Fig. 6A View Figure 6 ).

Female (CRBALC0516): (Fig. 6D, E View Figure 6 ). Total length 29.9; carapace: 10.4 long, 8.0 wide.

Colour: overall as in male, but darker. Sternum entirely black. Yellow setae in pedipalp restricted to the joints of tibia with tarsus and patella with tibia.

Eyes: MOQ: MW = 0.7 PW, MW = 1.2 LMP, MW = 1.1 AW; Cl = 0.7 DAME. Anterior eye row slightly procurved.

Legs: Measurements: Leg I: 27.7, TiI: 6.3; Leg IV: 31.8, TiIV: 6.8; TiIL/D: 3.8. Spination of Leg I: FeI: d1.1.0, p0.0.2; TiI: p0.0.1, v2l.2l.2s; MtI: p0.0.1, r0.0.1, v2l.2l.1s. MtI with very dense scopulae.

Epigyne: anterior pockets almost touching, short, with lateral borders anteriorly parallel, medially slightly divergent after a small sinuosity (white arrow in Fig. 6D View Figure 6 ); anterior pocket cavities deep; median septum with narrow posterior transverse part (Fig. 6D View Figure 6 ); spermathecae globular (Fig. 6E View Figure 6 ); copulatory ducts with small, stout diverticulum ventrally (Fig. 6E View Figure 6 ); fertilisation ducts emerging at the base of copulatory duct (Fig. 6E View Figure 6 ).

Intraspecific variation.

Carapace length, males: 7.4-9.1, females: 8.9-10.4. Suffused greyish brown patches in median yellow longitudinal band not necessarily covered with yellow setae. Epigyne can present two small depressions in the base of median septum, which can be of variable length, position and concavity of inflexion of the lateral hood walls can also be variable, either placed near hoods or medially, median septum can be swollen medially.


This species is known from areas in or near the laurel forest patch in Madeira, in the north half of the island (Fig. 8 View Figure 8 ).


Hogna blackwalli can be found in montane grasslands surrounding laurel forest areas or Erica shrubland. Surprisingly, it can also be found in closed canopy laurel forest, where, at night, specimens can be found climbing tree trunks.

Conservation status.

Hogna blackwalli was assessed according to the IUCN Red List criteria as H. maderiana , with the status of Least Concern ( Cardoso et al. 2018a). The coastal records reported in the referred publication are probably of H. nonannulata .


There has been a great deal of confusion surrounding H. blackwalli and H. maderiana . Walckenaer’s original description of H. maderiana ( Walckenaer 1837) based on material from Madeira island indicated that legs were “(…) reddish brown, suffused brown underneath ( …)”. Subsequently, Blackwall described the alleged male of Walckenaer’s H. maderiana but mentioned a striking leg coloration: “(…) the femora, on the upper side, have a yellowish grey hue, that of the tibia, metatarsi and tarsi being bright orange-red, and the colour of the underside of all the joints is dark brown tinged with grey; ( …)” ( Blackwall 1857). Additionally, he reported the locality of origin of those specimens to be Porto Santo, not Madeira. Six years later, Johnson (1863) described H. blackwalli from Madeira island, indicating that "The metatarsus and tarsus of the two anterior pairs of legs are black, or very dark brown. At the distal extremities and on the upper sides of the femur and genua of the first two pairs of legs, as well as at the extremities of some of the joints of the two posterior pairs of legs, there is a patch of orange setae". In the same publication, he also described and identified as H. maderiana specimens from Ilhéu de Ferro, near Porto Santo. It is unclear on how many specimens Johnson based his description, but we could locate a part of this material at the OUMNH, thus revalidating H. blackwalli Johnson, 1863.

The next author to make a taxonomic contribution on these spiders was Thorell (1875), who redescribed H. maderiana based on specimens from Madeira. However, his reference to the legs colouration that reads "palporum partibus pateliari et tibiali apice supra croceis, metatarsis tibiisque pedum anteriorum apice quoque croceis vel flavis" suggests that his redescription corresponds to H. blackwalli instead. We could locate 14 specimens labelled as H. maderiana in the NHRS, which most likely were the ones examined by Thorell, and we confirmed they correspond to H. blackwalli . Kulczynski (1899) followed Blackwall’s judgement to redescribe the large specimens from Porto Santo and Ilhéu de Ferro under the name Trochosa maderiana . Almost one century later, Roewer (1960) provided redescriptions of three Madeiran Hogna , but no reference was given to the leg coloration, which is the easiest way to distinguish these larger, aforementioned species. His epigyne drawings provided little additional information and were confusing. While the epigyne of H. ingens allows identification of this species ( Roewer 1960: fig. 387e), the same is not true for the illustrations of Isohogna maderiana and Geolycosa blackwalli ( Roewer 1960: figs 319a and 387a, respectively), which look rather the same. However, he reports that Thorell’s Trochosa maderiana specimens are H. blackwalli , for which we assume Roewer’s redescription of Geolycosa blackwalli to correspond to the same species we identify as H. blackwalli . Denis (1962) cited two females of Geolycosa ingens (Blackwall, 1857) and one male and two females of H. insularum from locations where H. blackwalli is usually found, Rabaçal and Paúl da Serra, on Madeira island. We could find the female identified as H. insularum (MNHNP AR16185), and confirm that this is H. blackwalli . We confidently attribute the remaining citations of H. insularum (specimens not found) to misidentified specimens of H. blackwalli The last taxonomic works on Madeiran Hogna were by Wunderlich (1992, 1995). In the first of these ( Wunderlich 1992), the species H. maderiana and H. blackwalli were wrongly synonymised and it was stated that "up to Denis (1962), most authors assumed that H. maderiana occurred both in Madeira and Porto Santo." This is not accurate, since Johnson discriminated between H. blackwalli from Madeira and H. maderiana from Ilhéu de Ferro. In fact, this synonymy is even stranger because while revising the material present at the SMF, we found vial 9910750 of the Roewer collection, with an identification note by Wunderlich stating " H. blackwalli (Johnson)". Finally, we have located only part of the type material described by Johnson at the OUMNH, because no males were found, even though his description mentioned males. Therefore, the whereabouts of the remaining specimens of the type series are unknown.