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.
- 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.
- Gertsch, W.J. and N.I. Platnick. 1979. A revision of the spider family Mecicobothriidae (Araneae, Mygalomorphae). American Museum Novitates No. 2687: 1-32.
- 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.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
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Dwarf tarantulas, also known as sheet funnel-web spiders are a type of spider from the family Mecicobothriidae. Dwarf tarantulas are one of several families of the sub-order Mygalomorphae; this larger group also includes the true tarantulas.
Dwarf tarantulas, as the name indicates, appear like other species of tarantula, but are physically much smaller. Many specimens are smaller than 1 cm in length, and the largest in the family are seldom larger than 2 cm. The spiders, like all Mygalomorphae, have downward pointing fangs; dwarf tarantulas also have long spinnerets.
Hexura Simon, 1884
Hexurella Gertsch & Platnick, 1979
- Hexurella apachea Gertsch & Platnick, 1979 — USA
- Hexurella encina Gertsch & Platnick, 1979 — Mexico
- Hexurella pinea Gertsch & Platnick, 1979 — USA
- Hexurella rupicola Gertsch & Platnick, 1979 — USA
Mecicobothrium Holmberg, 1882
- Mecicobothrium baccai Lucas et al., 2006 — Brazil
- Mecicobothrium thorelli Holmberg, 1882 — Argentina, Uruguay
Megahexura Kaston, 1972
- Megahexura fulva (Chamberlin, 1919) — USA
- Costa, F.G. & Pérez-Miles, F. (1998). Behavior, life cycle, and webs of Mecicobothrium thorelli, The Journal of Arachnology 26:317-329 PDF
- Gertsch, W.G. & Platnick, N.I. (1979). A revision of the spider family Mecicobothriidae (Araneae, Mygalomorphae). American Museum novitates 2687 PDF (14Mb) - Abstract
- Lucas, Sylvia Marlene; Indicatti, Rafael Prezzi; Brescovit, Antonio Domingos; Francisco, Rafael Carlo (2006). "First record of the Mecicobothriidae Holmberg from Brazil, with a description of a new species of Mecicobothrium (Aranea, Mygalomorphae)". Zootaxa 1326: 45–53.
- Platnick, Norman I. (2014): The world spider catalog, version 14.5. American Museum of Natural History. doi:10.5531/db.iz.0001
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