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Orphnaecus philippinus - classification

Discussion in 'Tarantula Questions & Discussions' started by pa3k_87, Dec 2, 2013.

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    Hi All,

    Just wondering if anyone is familiar with the whole Orphnaecus genus? I want to know if there are other mature male Orphnaecus species out there that do not have tibial hooks.

    My Orphnaecus philippinus just matured. No tibial hooks but with bulbous pedipalps. Compared it to my Orphnaecus sp. Blue Panay which has tibial hooks.

    I'm wondering why O philippinus was moved to Orphnaecus from Selenobrachys? Isn't the lack of tibial hooks enough to keep it separate from Orphnaecus? Unless there are other Orphnaecus out there that does not possess tibial hooks as mature males.

    Thank you all for your help!!! :)
  2. Poec54

    Poec54 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    There's still a lot of work to be done with Asian taxonomy, and spiders get moved around to different species and genera. It'll be a while before the dust settles, so expect some changes to the current names.
  3. advan

    advan oOOo Staff Member

    Where's Mr. Nunn? :D

    "Orphnaecus was retrieved as monophyletic (node 45) based upon three unambiguous synapomorphies: secondary rows of cheliceral strikers being lanceolate with very stout bases (character 4), reniform shape of lyra (character 5) and presence of male palpal patella with dorsal brush of setae (character 43). The species Orphnaecus philippinus comb. nov. was returned as a terminal branch in node 46 as sister taxon to Orphnaecus species (A), together are sister group to type species O. pellitus. Even though lyrate morphology for O. philippinus was scored separately to other Orphnaecus (as it does not show reniform morphology of O. pellitus, only derived in Orphnaecus), variation of lyra was not sound enough to shift this species out of node 45 (Orphnaecus). Despite an intensive search for additional supporting characters that show variation to Orphnaecus, none were found. The oval with proximally truncate lyrate patch in O. philippinus, while considered an autapomorphy, must also be considered homoplasious with node 50 and of questionable value. The tombstone-shaped morphology of O. philippinus spermathecae is also present in Orphnaecus species (A), a spider that possesses reniform-shaped lyra, and all other characters noted in Orphnaecus species. We, therefore, consider Selenobrachys Schmidt 1999 a junior synonym of Orphnaecus (Simon 1892) syn. nov. Clade support was mild for monophyly of Orphnaecus (Bremer support 1; jack-knife 73)."

    From: A new tarantula genus, Psednocnemis, from West Malaysia (Araneae: Theraphosidae), with cladistic analyses and biogeography of Selenocosmiinae Simon 1889(West, Nunn and Hogg 2012)

    I see no mention of tibial spurs or lack thereof in the paper. Maybe Mr. Nunn will comment further. :)
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  4. Steve Nunn

    Steve Nunn Arachnoprince Old Timer

    To date, not one of the 120 odd described subfamily Selencosmiinae species possess tibial spurs in mature males. The loss of tibial spurs is considered a synapomorphy without homoplasy for the subfamily (refer to our 2012 paper on Psednocnemis - look to the diagnosis of the subfamily; and Raven 1985). So, why would this character trait in the blue Panay species be of generic value and not specific?? I think that's the question you are asking. Personally, I have not examined any feature of the so-call blue Orphnaecus from Panay, and to be frank, it would be a MASSIVE shock to hear ANY Orphnaecus species male would have tibial spurs. The spurs in mature male Selenocosmiinae were not lost recently, the loss, as I said, is in ALL selenocosmiine species (hence it being a synapomorphy without homoplasy).

    Now, this new blue one is also the arboreal one yeah?? So, there's a VERY unique adaption there not known in Selenocosmiinae, to date no other species is strictly arboreal either within this subfamily. So I ask the question that would be most obvious, do you have a shot of the lyra of this male??? AND, are you sure it's the arboreal blue Selenocosmiinae from Panay, or from the Ornithoctoninae?

    I'm not dismissing a new selenocosmiine species may display a reversal (to the primitive state) with the presence of tibial hooks in the male, I'm just saying it is so unlikely that I'd be shocked. Before I'd believe it, I'd need to see it, both the hooks on the tibia, combined with ANY synapomorphy of Orphnaecus (namely the reniform/kidney shaped lyra). I would sooner bet there was a mixup during collection or shipping and that you have one of the male Ornithoctoninae from The Philippines..........

    Regardless, we are working on the genus and one of our co-authors does have some in his possession, I'll see what he has to say about the blue Orphnaecus mature males.......

    Hope this helps,
    Last edited: Dec 2, 2013
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  5. advan

    advan oOOo Staff Member

    I'm wondering if Steve is correct, are you sure you have Orphnaecus sp.? I have an adult male here and he does not possess spurs. Can you get a picture?

    Adult male Orphnaecus sp. 'Blue' (Panay Island, Philippines)

    Leg I joint between the metatarsus and tibia

    Thank you for taking the time to reply. If you would like to see macros of the lyra and I can probably get some soon. -Chad
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  6. Steve Nunn

    Steve Nunn Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Hi Chad,
    Now that's what I would have expected to see in the blue species. There's also another trait your male shows which proves it is an Orphnaecus species too ;)

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  7. Interesting! I bought my O sp Panay blue when it was a sling here in Canada therefore I can't prove that it is indeed from Panay, and I can't prove it's even an Orphnaecus.

    As for my mature male O sp Panay blue, it does look a bit different from Advan's. I know a tarantula's color is not something we can use to determine a specie, but mine's a little more on the grey side and it does have a tibial hooks.

  8. Steve Nunn

    Steve Nunn Arachnoprince Old Timer

    Well, it's very common that wild caughts are often mixed up during collection/shipping/unpacking/ re-labelling and further, that most species in the trade don't even come from the locales given by the original collectors (who usually wish to hide said locale from opposition collectors). So it's not that uncommon to receive material other than what you'd expect, particularly out of SE Asia. It's hard to lay blame on someone, if you bought from Martin Gamache, I can tell you if he sold it as that species, that's how he received it. Martin is one of the best tarantula dealers on the planet, and like other dealers, he can only follow the data he is given by the seller (who may have not even found or collected the species him/herself).......

    Selenocosmiinae are largely very cryptic, it can be quite hard to pin down exactly what you have, we're working hard to correct this issue, it's time consuming and there are more undescribed spp. in the trade than described, compounding the issue further.

    Clear as mud I know ;)

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  9. Oh gosh yeah I'm definitely not blaming the seller. If my stuff aren't labeled, I'd get them mixed up too.

  10. Steve Nunn

    Steve Nunn Arachnoprince Old Timer