The mygalomorph spider family Mecicobothriidae (midget funnelweb tarantulas) includes just nine species, six of which are known from western North America, with the remaining three from Mexico and South America (Platnick 2013). The ninth species, Mecicobothrium baccai, was described from Brazil in 2006 (Lucas et al. 2006). Midget funnelweb tarantulas have long, flexible, widely separated posterior spinnerets. The abdomen has two hard plates at the front, which are sometimes fused. Most species build small horizontal sheetwebs with tube-shaped retreats. These webs are hidden under rocks, decomposing wood, or debris. The spider may continue to add silk to the web for years, extending the sheet as well as building new layers. The web of the large Megahexura fulva is large for the family and exposed and could be confused with the web of an agelenid funnel weaver (Gertsch and Platnick 1979). (Coyle 2005; Bradley 2013)
Costa and Pérez-Miles (1998) reported on their detailed study of the biology of Mecicobothrium thorelli.
- Gertsch, W.J. and N.I. Platnick. 1979. A revision of the spider family Mecicobothriidae (Araneae, Mygalomorphae). American Museum Novitates No. 2687: 1-32.
- Bradley, R.A. 2013. Common Spiders of North America. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Costa, F.G. and F. Pérez-Miles. 1998. Behavior, life cycle, and webs of Mecicobothrium thorelli (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Mecicobothriidae). Journal of Arachnology 26 (3): 317-329.
- Coyle, F.A. 2005. Mecicobothriidae. Pp. 50-51 in D. Ubick, P. Paquin, P.E. Cushing, and V. Roth (eds.) Spiders of North America: an Identification Manual. American Arachnological Society.
- Lucas, S.M., R.P. Indicatti, A.D. Brescovit, and R.C. Francisco. 2006. First record of the Mecicobothriidae Holmberg from Brazil, with a description of a new species of Mecicobothrium (Araneae, Mygalomorphae).
- Platnick, N. I. 2013. The world spider catalog, version 14.0. American Museum of Natural History, online at http://research.amnh.org/entomology/spiders/catalog/index.html.
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