Pterinochilus taxonomy.

skinheaddave

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I've been putting this off for far too long. I notice that "Usambaras" are sometimes identified as Pterinochilus murinus, but most times as Pternochilus sp. Are they the nominate species? Are they not going down to the species level? How many Pternochilus are there that can be confused? Can anyone point me in the right direction re: the taxonomy?

Cheers,
Dave
 

Henry Kane

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According to the Schultz's book, taxonomy among that genus can be tricky. Apparently even T's of the same species in that genus can have pattern variations from one colony to the next. Even colonies within close proximity can display color and pattern variations.


Atrax
 

minax

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Taxonomy?

Hey Dave , greetings! Last I heard , the usambar was placed in the murinus genus; In other words , they are a color variant or different locality of the P. murinus. I thought Wade posted this not long ago also; Opinion Wade? I bet the debate will rage on with the taxonomists!
 
U

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I wish they had an official journal of taxonomy readily available on the web for us all to see.

Someone obviously decides what the real taxonomy officially is so why can't they post it on a site? At least we could all keep up that way.

I have also heard that the Usambaras are considered Murinus now... BUT this is heresy because I have only heard it on forums. I will look into this further and let you all know.
 

MrDeranged

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Oh God, please not Pterinochilus taxonomy..... :)

I believe that Gallon has published his revision of this Genus, but I am not 100% sure on that. From what I've heard, in this publication, "usambara's" are said to be a color form of P. murinus.

Scott
 

AlbinoDragon829

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Originally posted by skinheaddave
I've been putting this off for far too long. I notice that "Usambaras" are sometimes identified as Pterinochilus murinus, but most times as Pternochilus sp. Are they the nominate species? Are they not going down to the species level? How many Pternochilus are there that can be confused? Can anyone point me in the right direction re: the taxonomy?

Cheers,
Dave
I had a thread some time ago called Haplopelma Lividum and somehow the topic got turned to Pterinochilus taxonomy. Wade posted a really long explanation about the naming rage between usumbars and starbursts. Usumbars are Pterinochilus Mamillatus and Starbursts are Pterinochilus Murinus. Since the thread is old, I'll go find it and quote wade for you guys :)
 

AlbinoDragon829

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Wade's take on this issue

Originally posted by Wade
On the name confusion issue, I'd like to squeeze in a little plug for the ATS. The American Arachnological Society (different group) has a committee that compiles an "official" common names list for Arachnids. This list is available as a free download at atshq.org and the tarantula and scorpion portion is printed in each issue of the Forum magazine. The idea of an official common name may seem silly to many folks, but it would be helpful if we were all using the same names! Also, common names aren't dominated by the sometimes complex rules of scietific names, so they should stay the same during the various taxonomic upheavals the scientific ones go through.

The official common name for P. murinus is Mombasa golden starburst tarantula. They generally avoid generic and confusing names like "baboon", the only common name that has that word is "king baboon tarantula". The list doesn't include ALL the tarantulas in the trade, but most of the common ones are there. The AAS doesn't assign common names to tarantulas that are rare or of dubious taxonomy. At present, "Usambara" is sort of in limbo. It can't have an official common name until it has an official scientific one.

Richard Gallon is the taxonomist who working on revising Pterinochilus, and it's supposed to be published soon. Word in the street has it that "Usambara" will turn out to be a color morph of P. murinus, and many dealers are already calling them this on their pricelists. I've heard that there's some rumblings of disagreement about this decision however. Some say that the golden and red morphs cannot be bred together, indicating different species. I don't know if there's any truth to this however.

Wade
 

AlbinoDragon829

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More useful taxonomy info

Originally posted by VolkervonWirth
Hi,

Richard Gallon published his Revision about the Genus Pterinochilus and Eucratoscelus before some Weeks ago. The Reference is:
Gallon, R. (2002): Revision of the african genera Pterinochilus and Eucratoscelus (Aranea, Theraphosidae, Harpactirinae) with description of two new genera. Bull. Br. arachnol. Soc. 12, (5): 201 - 232

Within this Revision, Richard synonymised Pterinochilus mamillatus with Pterinochilus murinus.My "special" friend Dr. Schmidt "identified" the "usambara" as belonging to the Species Pterinochilus mamillatus, a species which was described by the german arachnologist Embrik Strand in 1906. Unfortunately the Holotype of this Species was destroyed during the second world war,so we only have the very bad original description.For Schmidt, this original description was so good :-(, that he recognised the "usambara" as being a member of the Pterinochlius mamillatus Species.Now, Richard compared the "usambara" with the Holotype-Material of Pt. murinus for his Revision and he only recognised differences within the coloration of both form.The logical consequence was to synonymise both "Species".
BTW, I haven't heard of any breeding experiments between both color-types!

Cheers, Volker
 

Wade

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The end result of all this is now we should be able to officially call the orange bitey things P. murinus. When I first replied to the lividum thread, I was not aware that Gallon's paper had been published, but since it has (thanks for letting us know that, Volker!) it's now "official".

Until now, I was in the habit of calling them "Pterinochilus sp." because the paper wasn't out, but in the future, I am going to refer to them as P. murinus, probably with a modifier like "orange form". Since the AAS common name is "Mombassa golden starburst tarantula", don't expect the confusion on the part of many dealers to go away soon!

I also metioned some controversy as to weather or not the two forms could be bred together. This was based on something someone posted on one of the yahoo groups, where they claimed they couldn't be bred, indicating different species. Unfortunately, I don't remember by whom or under what circumstaces these breeding attemts were made.

A final disclaimer: I hope I haven't given anyone the impression that I'm a taxonomist or even a scientist. I'm just a dedicated amatuer like the rest of us. Any info I have has been gleened from various sources, including the ATS, various internet newsgroups, online forums such as Arachnopets, and a few fine books (Shultz, Marshall...). If it weren't for genuine scientists like Volker, none of us would have so much great info at our fingertips!

Wade
 

skinheaddave

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Thanks everyone. Makes things a bit simpler, I think.

Cheers,
Dave
 

AlbinoDragon829

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Originally posted by skinheaddave
Thanks everyone. Makes things a bit simpler, I think.

Cheers,
Dave
Hey, no problem. Pterinochilus is one of my favorite T species.
 

krucz36

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Originally posted by lam
You guys are way over my head.
me too.
i think i'll get an "usambara" and try to get it to get it on with my P. murinus, though. that should be interesting.
i'll let you all know what happens! hee
 

Wade

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The taxonomy stuff makes it sound more complicated than it is.

In a nutshell, the spider known as "Usambara" is really just a differently colored P. murinus.

The rules of taxonomy required a certain amount of work to determine this, so until Gallon published his work, the spider was known as simply "Pterinochilus sp.", indicating that we recognized the genus, but were not yet sure of the species.

Wade
 

krucz36

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aren't the two-work scientific names "genera" plus "epithet" or something like that?
btw, you may be an amateur hobbyist but you've got a great mind for this stuff. i promise not to kidnap you if you continue with the fine posts.
 
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