Kukulcania benita, 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: 137-141

publication ID

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



persistent identifier


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scientific name

Kukulcania benita

sp. nov.

Kukulcania benita   , sp. nov.

Figures 4B View FIGURE 4 , 9F View FIGURE 9 , 83–85 View FIGURE 83 View FIGURE 84 View FIGURE 85

TYPE MATERIAL: HOLOTYPE: MEXICO. Baja California: Islas San Benito, Middle Island [N28.31048°, W115.56785°], S.C. Williams, 9. iv.1981, 1♀ (CAS 9060669). PARATYPES: same data as the holotype, 1♀ (CAS 9060671), 1♂ (CAS 9060689); T. Cozana, 27.xii.1971, 1♀ (USNM IFM-1277); Benitos del Oeste [N28.3021°, W115.58734°], D.C. Lightfoot and V.F. Lee, 4.vii.1983, 1♀ 1 imm. (CAS 9060684).

REMARKS: We initially thought this to be a variant of K . geophila   . The male palpal morphology is nearly identical between the two species and differs only in proportions of the articles. The females, however, present a different genital morphology, with a much shorter membranous portion of the spermathecae. They are also larger and more lightly colored. Considering that this an insular population and the nearest record of K . geophila   is more than 500 km to the north of the San Benito Islands, we believe it is safe to assume that both species represent independent evolutionary lineages.

ETYMOLOGY: The name has been taken from the type locality and should be treated as an adjective.

DIAGNOSIS: Males are very similar to K . geophila   : the cymbium has two strong setae on the prolateral face, the bulb has a semicircular base and the embolus is thin and is loosely in the shape of an S. Males of K . benita   can be distinguished by the longer palpal tibia (fig. 83) (8.1× longer than high in the single known male, between 5.1 and 6.1 in K . geophila   ). Females are similar to K . geophila   and some populations of K . bajacali   in lacking sclerotized bars and having at the apex of the spermathecae a small, semicircular glandular portion beside the membranous portion of the spermathecae. They can be distinguished from K . geophila   by the shorter and stubbier (i.e., not finger-shaped) membranous portion of the spermathecae, and from K . bajacali   by the shorter membranous base of the spermathecae (fig. 85) and by the lighter coloration (fig. 84).

DESCRIPTION: Male paratype from Middle Island, San Benito Islands, Baja California, Mexico (CAS 9060689). Coloration orange yellow. Carapace with small V-shaped median pattern and lateral borders finely stippled with brown. Abdomen dorsum brownish yellow. Anterior margin of the carapace slightly shortened. Total length 8.03. Carapace length 3.55, width 2.78, clypeus length 0.33. Eye diameters and interdistances: AME 0.16; PME 0.17; ALE   0.2; PLE 0.19; AME–AME 0.07; PME–PME 0.2. Palp: femur length 3.37, height 0.43; tibia length 3.02, height 0.37. Abdomen: length 4.53, width 2.37. Leg macrosetae present on all femora, tibiae and metatarsi. Palp: cymbium long, with prolateral edge slightly protruding and bearing two strong setae; bulb short, semicircular at base; sperm duct with three coils; embolus long, sinuous.

Female paratype from San Benito Islands, Baja California, Mexico (USNM). Coloration yellow-brown. Carapace finely stippled with light brown. Sternum and legs not particularly hirsute. Legs with yellow longitudinal stripes on coxae, femora, and tibiae. Anterior margin of the carapace unmodified. Sternum oval, with two pairs of sigillae. Total length 11.79. Carapace length 5.11, width 4.16, clypeus length 0.88. Eye diameters and interdistances: AME 0.196; PME 0.31; ALE   0.32; PLE 0.316; AME–AME 0.092; PME– PME 0.268. Sternum length 2.81, width 2.39. Palp: femur length 2.88, height 1.09; tibia length 1.79, height 1.01. Leg I: femur (fe) 6.14; patella (pa) 2.37; tibia (ti) 5.4; metatarsus (mt) 5.06; tarsus (ta) 2.67. II: fe 4.89; pa 1.82; missing from tibia. III: fe 3.89; pa 1.58; ti 3.23; mt 3.14; ta 1.77. IV: fe 5.42; pa 1.91; ti 4.65; mt 4.42; ta 2.05. Abdomen: length 7.42, width 4.94. Palp macrosetae on ventral surface of tibia and tarsus. Leg macrosetae present on ventral surfaces of tibiae, metatarsi, and tarsi; all femora and metatarsi III with 2–4 dorsal macrosetae. Calamistrum with three rows with 9–12 setae each. Interpulmonary fold large, rounded, covering the spermathecae dorsally. Sclerotized lateral bars absent; membranous portion of the spermathecae apex short, lobe shaped; glandular portion semicircular, sclerotized. State of the specimen: good, genitalia dissected, both legs II missing from tibia.


DISTRIBUTION: Known only from five adult individuals from the San Benito Islands, in Baja California, Mexico (fig. 4). The three islands together have an area of less than 6 km 2, making this the rarest and most geographically restricted species of the genus.