Kukulcania gertschi, Magalhaes & Ramírez, 2019

Magalhaes, Ivan L. F. & Ramírez, Martín J., 2019, The Crevice Weaver Spider Genus Kukulcania (Araneae: Filistatidae), Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 426, pp. 1-153: 75-80

publication ID

http://doi.org/ 10.1206/00030090-426.1.1



persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Kukulcania gertschi

sp. nov.

Kukulcania gertschi   , sp. nov.

Figures 4B View FIGURE 4 , 7D View FIGURE 7 , 30 View FIGURE 30 C–D, 45–48 View FIGURE 45 View FIGURE 46 View FIGURE 47 View FIGURE 48

TYPE MATERIAL. HOLOTYPE: MEXICO. Chihuahua: 1 mile E La Sauceda [N26.9167°, W106.0167°, 2100m], W.J. Gertsch, 21.vii.1947, 1♂ ( AMNH IFM-1551), in the same vial as 2♀ and 1 imm. (IFM-1512). GoogleMaps   PARATYPES: same data as the holotype, 1♂ 3♀ 1 imm. (AMNH). Chihuahua: Santa Bárbara [N26.80132°, W105.82009°, 1900m], G.M. Bradt, 20.i.1947, subadult♀ (AMNH); [N26.80132°, W105.82009°, 1920m], 15.ii.1947, 1♀ (AMNH); [N26.80132°, W105.82009°], W.J. Gertsch, 17.vii.1947, 1♀ (AMNH); 18.vii.1947, 1♀ (AMNH), 2♀ (AMNH). Coahuila: 16 km SE Saltillo, Rt . 57 [N25.28334°, W100.78577°, 2225m], J.K. Liebherr, 27.v.1981, 1♀ (AMNH); Sierra de La Concordia   , 14 km S “el Nogal” (N25.14426°, W101.25826°, 1915m), D. Sissom and B. Hondiixon, 22.vii.2006, 2♀ (CNAN-Ar 8183). Nuevo León: 4 miles W Iturbide, near León [N24.72287°, W99.9008°], E.S. Ross, 9.xi.1946, 1♀ (AMNH). Tamaulipas: Guayalejo [N23.22181°, W98.82213°], W. Graham, 18.ii.1973, 3♀ (AMNH).

REMARKS: W.J. Gertsch recognized this species under the manuscript name “ Filistata encina   .”

ETYMOLOGY: The name is a patronym in honor of the late Willis J. Gertsch, former curator of the arachnology collection at the AMNH,

in recognition of his contributions to the study of North American spiders. Gertsch collected and sorted many of the specimens examined by us for the completion of this revision, including the holotype of this species. He also had started a revision of American filistatids himself, which he unfortunately could not complete before passing away. He was the first to recognize this species as new (which he identified under the manuscript name “ Filistata encina   ”), and we find it fitting to name it in his honor.

DIAGNOSIS: Males resemble K . mexicana   in the shape of the bulb and the long embolus with two loose, drawn-out coils (fig. 46B), but differ by lacking incrassate setae on the cymbium. Males differ from K . utahana   (which also have two coils in the embolus) by the more conspicuous embolus keel. They can be further distinguished from K . mexicana   , K . utahana   , and K . arizonica   by the short macrosetae of femur I and by having fewer macrosetae on the prolateral faces of the first tibiae and metatarsi. Females are very similar to those of K . arizonica   in the shape of the spermathecae (figs. 7D, 30C–D, 48,): the sclerotized bars are gently curved and tapered posteriorly, the membranous portions of the spermathecae apex are digitiform, extend well beyond the margin of the uterus externus, and are slightly bent dorsally, and the glandular portion forms a well-defined ventral patch. Distinguishing between the two species is often difficult, but specimens of K . gertschi   usually have the spermathecae longer and with a stronger bend, sometimes resembling the hooked handle of an umbrella, and a smaller glandular portion (figs. 30C–D, 48); they are often smaller in size and the legs are slightly stouter (fig. 47) than those of K . arizonica   .

DESCRIPTION: Male holotype from 1 mile E of La Sauceda, Chihuahua, Mexico (AMNH IFM- 1551). Coloration light yellow. Abdomen dorsum grayish cream, with brown cardiac area. Clypeus short. Sternum oval, sigillae not visible. Total length 4.82. Carapace length 2.14, width 1.82, clypeus length 0.135. Eye diameters and interdistances: AME 0.159; PME 0.142; ALE   0.17; PLE 0.161; AME–AME 0.051; PME–PME 0.178. Sternum length 1.09, width 1.15. Palp: femur length 3.49, height 0.346; tibia length 3.35, height 0.483. Leg I: femur (fe) 3.87; patella (pa) 1.09; tibia (ti) 3.89; metatarsus (mt) 4.08; tarsus (ta) 2.14. II: fe 3.2; pa 0.87; ti 2.58; mt 3.22; ta 1.57. III: fe 2.99; pa 0.83; ti 2.23; mt 3.01; ta 1.63. IV: fe 3.74; pa 0.95; ti 3.59; mt 4.3; ta 2.32. Abdomen: length 2.86, width 1.58. Palp macrosetae long, in several rows along femur ventral and dorsal faces. Leg macrosetae: fe I 7d, 1p, 10v, 1r; ti I 3d, 9p, 6v, 1r; mt I 2d, 14p, 10v, 3r; ta I 10v; fe II 4d, 6v; ti II 2p, 6v; mt II 1d, 3p, 10v, 4r; ta II 6v; fe III 7d, 6v; ti III 2p, 4v, 2r; mt III 3d, 3p, 8v, 3r; ta III 6v; fe IV 4d; ti IV 4v, 1r; mt IV 2d, 4p, 11v, 2r; ta IV 12v. Palp: cymbium about as long as bulb, with anterior border bearing a ring of setae that end close to the embolus; bulb short, robust; sperm duct with three tightly packed coils; embolus long, with two loose coils and inconspicuous keel. State of the specimen: good, left palp and left leg I dissected, some leg articles artificially flattened.

Female paratype from 1 mile E of La Sauceda, Chihuahua, Mexico (AMNH IFM-1407). Coloration light, reddish brown. Carapace finely stippled with brown. Sternum and legs not particularly hirsute. Legs brown, with lightbrown longitudinal stripes on coxae, femora, and tibiae. Abdomen dorsum grayish brown. Anterior margin of the carapace unmodified. Sternum oval, with two pairs of sigillae. Total length 11.39. Carapace length 3.95, width 3.22, clypeus length 0.4. Eye diameters and interdistances: AME 0.134; PME 0.187; ALE   0.31; PLE 0.261; AME–AME 0.006; PME–PME 0.23. Sternum length 1.77, width 1.88. Palp: femur length 2.28, height 1.06; tibia length 1.4, height 0.85. Leg I: femur (fe) 4.28; patella (pa) 1.59; tibia (ti) 3.74; metatarsus (mt) 3.25; tarsus (ta) 1.82. II: fe 3.44; pa 1.56; ti 2.71; mt 2.86; ta 1.25. III: fe 2.9; pa 1.27; ti 2.15; mt 2.27; ta 1.23. IV: fe 3.87; pa 1.49; ti 3.12; mt 2.92; ta 1.47. Abdomen: length 8.22, width 5.6. Palp macrosetae on ventral surface of tibia and tarsus. Leg macrosetae present on ventral surfaces of tibiae, metatarsi, and tarsi; all femora with 2–4 dorsal macrosetae, metatarsus III with one dorsal macroseta. Calamistrum with three rows with 8–10 setae each. Interpulmonary fold large, rounded, covering the spermathecae dorsally. Sclerotized bars present, slightly curved and slender; membranous portion of the spermathecae apex elongate and curved dorsally, without glandular pores; glandular portion positioned ventrally to the membranous portion in a small, subrounded patch. State of the specimen: good, right leg III missing from tibia, genitalia dissected and mounted for SEM.

INTRASPECIFIC VARIATION: Males (N = 3): total length 3.63–5.77 (4.74), carapace length 1.73–2.56 (2.14), femur I length 3.21–4.98 (4.02), tibia I length 3.89–5.02 (4.46), femur/carapace ratio 1.81–1.95 (1.87). Females (N = 5): total length 10.32–13.04 (11.49), carapace length 3.95–4.67 (4.33), femur I length 4.28–4.84 (4.57), tibia I length 3.74–4.1 (3.97), femur/carapace ratio 1.02–1.08 (1.06). Only three males are known, two from the type locality and a third one from near Camargo, Chihuahua; this last one is significantly smaller and has a distinct bulb morphology, with the embolus less coiled (fig. 46E–G). As we have examined only a few specimens, we prefer to be conservative and consider them as morphological variations until more material becomes available. The genital morphology of females varies as well, especially in the length of the membranous portion of the spermathecae apex (fig. 48). A single female specimen from Lerdo, Durango (fig. 48D), seems aberrant but is more similar to this species than to any other; a male from the same locality is needed to ascertain its identity.

NATURAL HISTORY: Unknown; the few specimens present in collections do not have natural history data on their labels.

DISTRIBUTION: Northeastern Mexico, from the states of Chihuahua to Tamaulipas (to the east) and to Zacatecas (to the south) (fig. 4B).

ADDITIONAL MATERIAL EXAMINED: MEXICO. Chihuahua: 25 miles W Camargo [N27.6283°, W105.53105°], W.J. Gertsch, 13.vii.1947, 1♂ (AMNH IFM-1595); Catarinas [N26.64025°, W105.5234°, 1760m], 25.vii.1947, 1♀ (AMNH); [N26.64025°, W105.5234°], 1♀ (AMNH); Crucero Guajanache (N26.9552°, W106.68665°, 2556m), O. Francke et al., 3.viii.2005, 1♀ (CNAN-Ar 6501); Huejotitán [N27.05578°, W106.18112°], W.J. Gertsch, 20.vii.1947, 1♀ (AMNH); Santa Bárbara [N26.80154°, W105.82006°], 18.vii.1947, 1♀ (AMNH); Torrecillas [N26.86667°, W105.98333°, 2100m], G.M. Bradt, 17.viii.1947, 1♀ (AMNH). Durango: 3 miles W Lerdo [N25.54473°, W103.52634°], C.M. Bogert, 24.viii.1946, 1♀ (AMNH IFM-1571); La Quebrada [N26.01167°, W106.17056°], W.J. Gertsch, 30.vii.1947, subadult female, 2♀ (AMNH); Las Puentes, 23.vii.1947, 1♀ (AMNH); Ojo de Los Encinos, G.M. Bradt, 4–5. vi.1947, 2♀ (AMNH); Providencia   [N24.01477°, W104.65769°, 2350m], A.M. Davis, 24.viii.1947, 1♀ (AMNH). Tamaulipas: Highway 101, km 14 [N25.66337°, W97.60483°], T.R. Mollhagen and C. McConnell, 22.ii.1973, 2♀ (AMNH); Highway 101, km 152 .5 [N24.10985°, W98.74616°], 22–23.ii.1973, 3♀ (AMNH); Highway 101, km 92 [N24.75547°, W98.24228°], T.R. Mollhagen, 22.ix.1973, 1♀ (AMNH). Zacatecas: 25 km SW Valparaiso [N22.77091°, W103.56972°], W.J. Pulawski, 6. ix.1984, 1♀ (CAS 9057607); 25 km W San Juan Capistrano (N23.66667°, W104.333°), 7.ix.1984, 1♀ (CAS 9057594).


USA, New York, New York, American Museum of Natural History