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My find in Costa Rica

Discussion in 'Field Trips (Natural Habitats)' started by Sarkhan42, Mar 17, 2019.

  1. Sarkhan42

    Sarkhan42 Arachnolord

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    1909BC40-A5CA-42A8-B1C1-B78F16714ECF.jpeg A900A0E2-2A98-42C1-AF14-EF957BF44A3B.jpeg 32E924C4-C820-499F-9327-6961F0A9F291.jpeg 44CE3B57-3714-4E96-AEE7-91DBD6240F18.jpeg 596778A7-BD32-4BBB-ABC3-9DCBFB7D74E8.jpeg 97906547-7D22-48D7-90EC-5244F1940B08.jpeg 9601BCB4-BE6D-4C32-97E0-2AF5687DDAB0.jpeg 975CF866-2351-4218-94A6-A6C86EA20B60.jpeg 7B60E887-AFF2-4290-968B-8A3AA107E805.jpeg 058C2FED-FD2D-4907-AD01-641263992A53.jpeg This last week I was afforded the opportunity to study abroad in Costa Rica, and spend time at several places immersed completely in the rainforest, dry forest, highland cloud forest, mangrove forest, etc around me.

    I have dozens of photos to post once I get settled back at home, but this for me was one of the Crown Jewels that just couldn’t wait.

    It was the only species of Theraphosidae that I was able to find over the brief week, but from what I’ve been able to break down- it’s not a described species, having only 1 stock photo(that I could find) out there on the internet. If anyone has more info or an actual description I’d love to have it, as right now I’m lovingly referring to it as Aphonopelma sp. “Puravida”.

    In total I found and photographed 7 specimens, and did my best not to disturb them, which is why I completely lack ventral photos. From what I do have, they seem near identical in characteristics to Aphonopelma seemani- except they trade out those charismatic leg stripes for an anywhere from cream to yellow orange gradient (probably based on size/molt cycle) up the first two pairs of legs.

    Enjoy the photos I was able to snap while I was there, albeit maybe not the best quality(curse the iPhone camera) I’m still incredibly pleased to even have the opportunity to see them in the wild. If it isn’t described I look forward to perhaps going back during graduate school better equipped to learn more about them, and give them a proper name.
     
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  2. spookyvibes

    spookyvibes Arachnobaron Active Member

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    Those are beautiful!
     
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  3. MikeyD

    MikeyD Arachnosquire

    Very cool. Did you find them active on the surface or did you have to tease them out? There are at least 3-4 species of Aphonopelma in Costa Rica and surely some other lesser known genera as well. Did you go to La Selva Biological Station as part of your trip?

    I am headed back in May for my second time and am excited that it will be the beginning of the wet season and not the beginning of the dry season like my first visit. All I was able to see were a few smaller Ts in their burrows in a dry earthen bank. They were very shy and at most all I saw was the tips of their feet before they retreated and even then only at night.
    This time I'll be headed to Monteverde to see cloud forest, some more time in the tropical dry forest zone in Guanacaste where I saw those Ts the first time, and then down South to Manuel Antonio. I think next time I will have to visit the Caribbean slope and the coast because it's one of the only areas I have not been to yet.
     
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  4. Sarkhan42

    Sarkhan42 Arachnolord

    I had to tease all 7 out, even after sundown at best I saw toes. Do you have a solid resource for arachnid ID in Central America? I’ve got a few more IDs I’d like to make as well.

    We did go to La Selva for an afternoon but didn’t stay there, honestly one of the places I wish I had more time with. I definitely need to go back as there are so many places I’d like to still visit, including Monteverde and the Caribbean coast.
     
  5. MikeyD

    MikeyD Arachnosquire

    That's been my dilemma so far when it comes to field guides or resources for Central America. There are some good ones for insects but none cover arachnids at all. You can try using iNaturalist.org and searching by location like in the link below.

    La Selva is interesting because you can stay there as a visitor even if you aren't with a research group doing field study or visiting university students. One of the few Biological stations open to the general public.

    https://www.inaturalist.org/taxa/808282-Theraphosinae
     
  6. Sarkhan42

    Sarkhan42 Arachnolord

    Perhaps this is Aphonopelma lanceolatum? There is one mention on that site of them in northwestern Costa Rica (not where I was) but they’re otherwise from what I can find thought to be primarily Nicaraguan. It also doesn’t help there is almost no material on them online.

    @Austin S. I remember you selling several from Nicaragua a while back, do you have any photos/info you’d be able to share?

    Edit: I take that back, the lanceolatum do not match up well with these specimens from what I can find.
     
  7. MikeyD

    MikeyD Arachnosquire

    I would consider the genus Pseudhapalopus as well.
     
  8. Sarkhan42

    Sarkhan42 Arachnolord

    After some more digging, perhaps genus Stichoplastoris would be a better fit?

    EDIT: Looks to certainly be Stichoplastoris!
     
    Last edited: Mar 23, 2019
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  9. MikeyD

    MikeyD Arachnosquire

    That’s great! Did you end up getting any leads elsewhere or just managed to figure it out? I can’t say I was familiar with that genus but it sure looking fitting for the ones you saw.
     
  10. Sarkhan42

    Sarkhan42 Arachnolord

    I was linked a paper by Carlos E. Valerio about the Theraphosids of Costa Rica and went from there. I still believe this is not a species included in the paper(and would probably need mature males and spermatheca to confirm), but that absolutely helped clarify what’s present where.
     
  11. MikeyD

    MikeyD Arachnosquire

    Well if I find and photograph any Tarantulas while I’m there in May hopefully you wouldn’t mind sending me a link to that paper? I’ll let you know and will post some photos on the forum as well.
     
  12. Sarkhan42

    Sarkhan42 Arachnolord

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  13. Sarkhan42

    Sarkhan42 Arachnolord

    Well as of today I believe this is actually what has been described as Brachypelma fossorium, though obviously placed incorrectly into Brachypelma. I would love to get my hands on some to work on reclassification, though I’m curious if the upcoming Brachypelma revision will touch on them.
     
  14. Sarkhan42

    Sarkhan42 Arachnolord

    This is actually incorrect, I was previously correct in saying Stichoplastoris, likely obelix.