Advertisement 1.) Yamamoto, F. U., S. M. Lucas & A. D. Brescovit. 2012. Catanduba, a new Theraphosinae spider genus from Central Brazil (Araneae, Theraphosidae). Zootaxa 3172: 1–19 [ Click here for AB thread ] Abstract. A new genus, Catanduba, is proposed and supported on the cladistic analysis with the following synapomorphies: embolus tapering abruptly from half of the length, embolus tooth associated with PIK and a triangular basal nodule on male metatarsus I. Homoeomma simoni and Plesiopelma flavohirtum are transferred to Catanduba and five new species are described: C. tuskae, C. araguaia, C. piauiensis, C. canabrava and C. peruacu. The species occur mainly in central Brazil in Cerrado areas, with some species also occurring in Atlantic forest (C. tuskae sp. n.) and Caatinga (C. piauiensis sp. n. and C. peruacu sp. n.). 2.) Trabalon, M. & C. Blais. Juvenile Development, Ecdysteroids and Hemolymph Level of Metabolites in the Spider Brachypelma albopilosum (Theraphosidae). Article first published online: 6 FEB 2012 DOI: 10.1002/jez.1717 [ Click here for AB thread ] Abstract. In the present work, juvenile development and physiological state of mygalomorph Brachypelma albopilosum were investigated by means of individual rearing under controlled conditions. Males required 4–5 years for development from first juvenile instar to adulthood, passing through 8 to 12 juvenile molts. Females developed to adults in 5–6 years with a variable juvenile molt number from 9 to 13. The development and growth of males and females took place in a similar way until the last juvenile molt leading to subadults. Ecdysteroids, total lipid, cholesterol, and protein concentrations increased along with the different development instars in both males and females. After the last juvenile molt, spiders presented morphological and biochemical sex differences. Subadult and adulthood males were smaller in size and weight than females; hemolymph levels of ecdysteroids, total lipids, cholesterol, and glucose were higher in males. These physiological and biochemical differences can be correlated to the different sexual development between males and females. 3.) Gonzalez-Filho, H. M. O., S. M. Lucas, F. dos S. Paula, R. P. Indicatti & A. D. Brescovit. 2012. On the Taxonomy of Acanthoscurria Ausserer from Southeastern Brazil with Data on the Natural History of A. gomesiana Mello-Leitão (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Theraphosidae). International Journal of Zoology, Volume 2012 , Article ID 721793, 11 pages DOI: 10.1155/2012/721793 [ Click here for AB thread ] Abstract. The study of type material and specimens of A. gomesiana of several Brazilian spider collections offered us the possibility to redescribe this species and consider synonyms of the first one of the following: A. violacea, A. pugnax, and A. aurita. Acanthoscurria cunhae and A. melanotheria are considered Species inquirendae, the types were not located, and the descriptions are not enough for identification of similar ones. We considered as valid only two species from the southeast of Brazil: A. paulensis and A. gomesiana. The distribution range of A. gomesiana is enhanced in the state of Minas Gerais, Brazil. Some data on natural history and phenology are presented. [Open access article. Click the DOI link for the full text.] 4.) Kimura, T., S. Ono & T. Kubo. 2012. Molecular Cloning and Sequence Analysis of the cDNAs Encoding Toxin-Like Peptides from the Venom Glands of Tarantula Grammostola rosea. International Journal of Peptides, Volume 2012, Article ID 731293, 10 pp. DOI: 10.1155/2012/731293 [ Click here for AB thread ] Abstract. Tarantula venom glands produce a large variety of bioactive peptides. Here we present the identification of venom components obtained by sequencing clones isolated from a cDNA library prepared from the venom glands of the Chilean common tarantula, Grammostola rosea. The cDNA sequences of about 1500 clones out of 4000 clones were analyzed after selection using several criteria. Forty-eight novel toxin-like peptides (GTx1 to GTx7, and GTx-TCTP and GTx-CRISP) were predicted from the nucleotide sequences. Among these peptides, twenty-four toxins are ICK motif peptides, eleven peptides are MIT1-like peptides, and seven are ESTX-like peptides. Peptides similar to JZTX-64, aptotoxin, CRISP, or TCTP are also obtained. GTx3 series possess a cysteine framework that is conserved among vertebrate MIT1, Bv8, prokineticins, and invertebrate astakines. GTx-CRISP is the first CRISP-like protein identified from the arthropod venom. Real-time PCR revealed that the transcripts for TCTP-like peptide are expressed in both the pereopodal muscle and the venom gland. Furthermore, a unique peptide GTx7-1, whose signal and prepro sequences are essentially identical to those of HaTx1, was obtained. [Open access article. Click the DOI link for the full text.] 5.) Ferretti, N., G. Pompozzi, S. Copperi, F. Pérez-Miles & A. González. 2012. Mygalomorph spider community of a natural reserve in a hilly system in central Argentina. Journal of Insect Science 12:31 available online: insectscience.org/12.31 [ Click here for AB thread ] Abstract. The diversity, abundance, spatial distribution, and phenology of the mygalomorph spider community in the “Ernesto Tornquist” Strict Nature Reserve were analyzed in this study. Located in southwestern Buenos Aires, Argentina, the Reserve is representative of the Ventania system, which is a sigmoidal mountain belt 180 km in length. This exceptional hilly ecosystem is home for many endemic species and rich native fauna and flora. Spider abundance was sampled monthly from October 2009 to October 2010 by hand capture and pitfall traps on grassland slopes. The species recorded in the study area were: Actinopus sp.1 (Actinopodidae); Grammostola vachoni and Plesiopelma longisternale (Theraphosidae); Acanthogonatus centralis (Nemesiidae); and Mecicobothrium thorelli (Mecicobothriidae). Grammostola vachoni and Acanthogonatus centralis were the dominant species in hand capture and pitfall traps, respectively. The seasonal variation, diversity, and abundance of the mygalomorph community are analyzed and discussed here. The Mygalomorphae of the Ventania system comprises an important group of sedentary and cryptozoic spiders that seem to be highly dependent on habitat type and environmental factors. [The article can be downloaded from the link in the citation.] 6.) Foelix, R. F., B. Rast & A. M. Peattie. 2012. Silk secretion from tarantula feet revisited: alleged spigots are probably chemoreceptors. Journal of Experimental Biology (April 1, 2012) 215, 1084–1089. doi: 10.1242/jeb.066811 [ Currently working link: http://jeb.biologists.org/content/215/7/1084.short ] [ Click here for AB thread ] Abstract. Controversial views have been expressed about whether tarantula feet can secrete fine silk threads that could prevent them from falling off smooth vertical surfaces. Two studies have claimed that ‘ribbed hairs’ on the tarsi of tarantulas produce silk. We examined these ribbed hairs in several tarantula species using light and scanning electron microscopy, and compared them with the silk-producing spigots on the abdominal spinnerets. We found that, morphologically, these ribbed hairs correspond very closely to known chemosensitive hairs in spiders; they have a distinct socket, a bent hair shaft with fine cuticular ridges, an eccentric double lumen within the hair shaft, and a blunt tip with a subterminal pore. Spigots on the spinnerets have a large bulbous base instead of a socket, a long shaft with a scaly surface and a central terminal pore. We never observed any silk threads coming out of these ribbed hairs under the electron microscope. By contrast, silk threads exiting the spigots on the spinnerets were common. Interestingly, ribbed hairs also occur on the spinnerets, often side by side with the silk-producing spigots. Our conclusion is that the ribbed hairs are chemoreceptors, not spigots. Observations of live tarantulas clinging inverted to glass coverslips confirmed that some substance is produced by the ribbed hairs, but it remains unclear whether this secretion is actually silk. In any case, the thousands of adhesive setae on the tarsi of legs and pedipalps almost certainly far outweigh any potential contribution from the sparsely distributed trails secreted by the ribbed hairs.