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Spider Identification - Ecuador

Discussion in 'Other Spiders & Arachnids' started by zeb, Oct 15, 2019.

  1. zeb

    zeb Arachnopeon

    I got to go on night hikes in the cloud forests of Ecuador recently and saw a lot of different kinds of interesting spiders, but unfortunately no tarantulas. I've attached the pictures of the larger ones. They are in the range of 3"-6" (leg span). Can anyone identify any of these?
    My searches were quite inconclusive, but some of them may be wandering spiders and wolf spiders.

    Attached Files:

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  2. NYAN

    NYAN Arachnoking Active Member

    It looks like most of them are Ctenidae & friends. I think 2 and 4 are Phoneutria. 5 may be Enoploctenus? 6 also looks like a Cupiennius.

    @Stefan2209 come save us
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
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  3. Stefan2209

    Stefan2209 Arachnodemon Old Timer

    None of them is Phoneutria.

    Some "seem" to be a Cupiennius species. The problem is, that the only known Cupiennius species from Ecuador is C. bimaculatus which the ones in the pictures are NOT.

    The suspected Cupiennius species you found there seems to be very common in some parts of EC, especially in the Mindo area. There are many pictures on inaturalist that apparently show the same species. Example can be found here:


    If you use the map feature on inat and search for Cupiennius in EC more will come up.

    About the other spiders you found, no idea. Might be Ctenidae, but i have no idea about genus.
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  4. zeb

    zeb Arachnopeon

    Thank you for the huge help.
    I found a few perfect matches on iNaturalist. Indeed, most of them appear to be of Genus Cupiennius.
    The one on the first photo is definitely something different.
  5. Stefan2209

    Stefan2209 Arachnodemon Old Timer

    Your welcome. It's quite interesting what can be found there.

    Cupiennius is in a bad spot to my opinion. New species have been described quite regularly over the years and also research about its relationship position has been conducted and finally led to its transfer to Trechaleidae.
    What is needed though is - again: to my personal opinion - a complete revision of the genus and someone who develops a good understanding about the genus. The last revision is from when? 1985?

    Ctenidae, as a family, sees quite some love and attention from professional science. Cupiennius was the red-headed stepchild for quite some time and now has been placed into another family. Should be interesting to see if the species in the picture gets identified or described anytime soon.

    ETA: forgot to add:
    The spiders on inat that look like yours and are tagged with Cupiennius have NOT been properly identified (taxonomically) as members of this genus! It's an estimation, not more.
    As you can see in the link i posted there is quite some discussion about it. While many think it's a Cupiennius, many others find it difficult or even impossible to give a definite statement WHY it could be a member of this genus.
    The last revisions of Cupiennius have been written in german, my native language, i read those but found to be not too helpful to ID specimens via pictures alone.
    So while the "community ID" on inat is an interesting concept one has to be aware of its limitations. Often people just tag things as being this or being that without giving one single bit of information WHY they think it is what they tag it with.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
  6. pannaking22

    pannaking22 Arachnoemperor Active Member

    Interesting, I didn't know Cupiennius got transferred to a different family. I agree that a revision is definitely needed.

    Fascinating discussion in the link, I'm sorry I haven't weighed in on it (or any others you may have tagged me in :sorry:), I haven't been on inat in a while and I admit coming back to probably several hundred if not a couple thousand notifications to grind through is kind of daunting lol.
  7. Stefan2209

    Stefan2209 Arachnodemon Old Timer

    No worries. I don't consider this done yet.

    The story had a "part 2" that was going on on Twitter at the same time, as Jen had the pic posted there too and asked about opinions. Same situation, different players.

    I'm primarily (98%) interested in Phoneutria when i do inat and am active there just since some months, so there's still quite an amount of older observations for me to dig through. As many get mis-ID'ed, i also started to look at Lycosoidea and sometimes Araneae which means it takes much longer to dig through all obs in hoping to find something.
    Some observations though (about Phoneutria) had already been highly interesting which results in me spending my time on those and not digging into the topic of this strange suspected Cupiennius further.

    I did a bit though, read the past revisions and species descriptions. Got hold of the contact details of Dr. Grasshoff and Dr. Barth, but haven't contacted one of them as i learned both are around 80 years (+/- 1) old.

    For now i still have several things on my list with Phoneutria. When that is done or if i might get bored i'll spend some time again on the Cupiennius issue.

    Feel free to comment on that at any time you like, new input is always welcome!



    Fresh observations from South-America just NOW. Look at some of them, more of the suspected Cupiennius in EC.
    Last edited: Oct 15, 2019
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