Taxonomic revision of the tarantula genus Aphonopelma Pocock, 1901 (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Theraphosidae) within the United States


This systematic study documents the taxonomy, diversity, and distribution of the tarantula spider genus Aphonopelma Pocock, 1901 within the United States. By employing phylogenomic, morphological, and geospatial data, we evaluated all 55 nominal species in the United States to examine the evolutionary history of Aphonopelma and the group's taxonomy by implementing an integrative approach to species delimitation. Based on our analyses, we now recognize only 29 distinct species in the United States. We propose 33 new synonymies (Aphonopelma apacheum, Aphonopelma minchi, Aphonopelma rothi, Aphonopelma schmidti, Aphonopelma stahnkei = Aphonopelma chalcodes; Aphonopelma arnoldi = Aphonopelma armada; Aphonopelma behlei, Aphonopelma vogelae = Aphonopelma marxi; Aphonopelma breenei = Aphonopelma anax; Aphonopelma chambersi, Aphonopelma clarum, Aphonopelma cryptethum, Aphonopelma sandersoni, Aphonopelma sullivani = Aphonopelma eutylenum; Aphonopelma clarki, Aphonopelma coloradanum, Aphonopelma echinum, Aphonopelma gurleyi, Aphonopelma harlingenum, Aphonopelma odelli, Aphonopelma waconum, Aphonopelma wichitanum = Aphonopelma hentzi; Aphonopelma heterops = Aphonopelma moderatum; Aphonopelma jungi, Aphonopelma punzoi = Aphonopelma vorhiesi; Aphonopelma brunnius, Aphonopelma chamberlini, Aphonopelma iviei, Aphonopelma lithodomum, Aphonopelma smithi, Aphonopelma zionis = Aphonopelma iodius; Aphonopelma phanum, Aphonopelma reversum = Aphonopelma steindachneri), 14 new species (Aphonopelma atomicum sp. n., Aphonopelma catalina sp. n., Aphonopelma chiricahua sp. n., Aphonopelma icenoglei sp. n., Aphonopelma johnnycashi sp. n., Aphonopelma madera sp. n., Aphonopelma mareki sp. n., Aphonopelma moellendorfi sp. n., Aphonopelma parvum sp. n., Aphonopelma peloncillo sp. n., Aphonopelma prenticei sp. n., Aphonopelma saguaro sp. n., Aphonopelma superstitionense sp. n., and Aphonopelma xwalxwal sp. n.), and seven nomina dubia (Aphonopelma baergi, Aphonopelma cratium, Aphonopelma hollyi, Aphonopelma mordax, Aphonopelma radinum, Aphonopelma rusticum, Aphonopelma texense). Our proposed species tree based on Anchored Enrichment data delimits five major lineages: a monotypic group confined to California, a western group, an eastern group, a group primarily distributed in high-elevation areas, and a group that comprises several miniaturized species. Multiple species are distributed throughout two biodiversity hotspots in the United States (i.e., California Floristic Province and Madrean Pine-Oak Woodlands). Keys are provided for identification of both males and females. By conducting the most comprehensive sampling of a single theraphosid genus to date, this research significantly broadens the scope of prior molecular and morphological investigations, finally bringing a modern understanding of species delimitation in this dynamic and charismatic group of spiders.

DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.560.6264

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@inproceedings{Hamilton2016TaxonomicRO, title={Taxonomic revision of the tarantula genus Aphonopelma Pocock, 1901 (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Theraphosidae) within the United States}, author={Chris A. Hamilton and Brent E. Hendrixson and Jason E . Bond}, booktitle={ZooKeys}, year={2016} }