Wednesday, June 15, 2022

[Arachnida • 2022] Loxosceles vicentei • A New Species of Loxosceles Heineken & Lowe, 1832 (Araneae: Sicariidae) from Chile

Loxosceles vicentei 
Taucare-Ríos, Brescovit & Villablanca, 2022

 photos by Vicente Villablanca

A new species of Loxosceles of the laeta species-group, L. vicentei sp. nov., found in Chile is described and illustrated. The male of this species can be distinguished from that of other species by having a long and straight embolus with a truncated tip. The female is distinguished by the spermatheca with a large base and two slender, curved receptacles in both sides.

Keywords: Chilean recluse spider, desert, endemism, laeta species-group, medically important spider

Family Sicariidae Keyserling, 1880 

Genus Loxosceles Heineken & Lowe, 1832

Live specimens of Loxosceles vicentei sp. nov. found under rocks in type locality
A. Female paratype, dorsal view. B. Male holotype, dorsal view.
 photos by Vicente Villablanca

Loxosceles vicentei sp. nov.

Diagnosis. Loxosceles vicentei sp. nov. can be confused in Chile only with L. coquimbo, but can be distinguished by the presence of dark-brown spots on carapace (Figs. 1A-B). The male resembles L. coquimbo by its palp with a globose bulb, but differs by having a long embolus, straight with a truncated tip (Figs. 2 A-C), while in L. coquimbo the embolus is short and sinuous at tip; in other species of laeta species-group such as L. laeta and L. surca Gertsch, 1967 the embolus is slender and curved. In L. vicentei sp. nov. the male palpal tibia is shorter (1.5 long, 0.6 wide) (Figs. 2 A-B) than in L. coquimbo (2.1 long, 0.5 wide). The females can be distinguished from other Chilean species by the spermatheca with large base and two slender, curved receptacles in both sides. The seminal receptacles of females of L. vicentei sp. nov. and L. coquimbo are similar, however in the new species the distance between the base of the receptacles is larger (1.3 times) than in L. coquimbo (Fig. 2D). 

Etymology. The specific name is a patronymic for Vicente Villablanca, son of Javier Villablanca and the collector of the type material. 

Habitat of Loxosceles vicentei sp. nov. in the type locality. 

Andrés Taucare-Ríos, Antonio D. Brescovit and Javier Villablanca. 2022. A New Species of Loxosceles Heineken & Lowe, 1832 (Araneae: Sicariidae) from Chile. Revista Chilena De Entomología. 48(1);