The family Hypochilidae (lampshade weavers) includes just a dozen described species, including two species known from China in the genus Ectatosticta and 10 species in the United States in the genus Hypochilus (Platnick 2013). The body of a hypochilid is dorsoventrally (i.e., top to bottom) flattened and the legs are long, especially in males. Member of this family are the only araneomorph spiders in North America with two pairs of book lungs. (Paquin and Hedin 2005) Hypochilus species are found in three disjunct regions of North America: the southern Appalachian Mountains (five species), the southern Rocky Mountains (two species) and the California mountains (three species) (Catley 1994; Hedin 2001; Paquin and Hedin 2005).
Hypochilus are typically found on the bare surfaces of boulders, on walls of overhanging cliffs (often near streams and creeks), on the walls of cave entrances, and sometimes in man-made habitats such as mines and culverts. The broad circular web (Gertsch 1958, 1964), sometimes said to resemble a lampshade, is constructed of a heavy mesh of sticky, hackle-band threads (i.e., silk produced from the cribellum and calamistrum) and attached to a substrate by numerous dry lines. The spider rests against the rock face at the center of the web with its long, thin legs held spread apart in a distinctive posture, often bent at a right angle between the femur and patella. (Bradley 2013) Hypochilus spiders can run quickly for a short distance if disturbed (Paquin and Hedin 2005).
Shear (1969) investigated the predatory behavior of H. gertschi. Fergusson (1972) studied the natural history of H. pococki (as H. thorelli). Foelix and Jung (1978) reported on aspects of the anatomy of H. thorelli. Riechert and Cady (1983) and Hodge and Marshall (1996) studied the community ecology of H. thorelli and ecologically similar spiders with which it coexists. Coyle (1985) studied the life cycle of H. pococki. The male reproductive system was studied by Alberti and Coyle (1991). The mating systems and reproductive biology of H. pococki were studied by Eberhard et al. (1993) and Catley (1993), respectively.
As noted above, ten Hypochilus species were recognized as of 2013. Hypochilus thorelli was described by Marx in 1888 and W.J. Gertsch described two additional species in 1958 (H. petrunkevitchi) and 1964 (H. bonneti). Gertsch, in turn, had a new Hypochilus species named after him by Hoffman in 1963 (H. gertschi). Platnick (in Forster 1987) described four new species of Hypochilus (H. pococki, H. coylei, H. sheari, and H. kastoni) and Catley (1994) described two additional species (H. jemez from New Mexico and H. bernardino, previously misidentified as H. petrunkevitchi, from southern California). Catley also included a map showing the known distributions of all ten known Hypochilus species.The systematics of H. coylei and H. sheari was examined by Huff and Coyle 1992. Hedin (2001) and Hedin and Wood (2002) investigated the phylogenetics and phylogeographic structure of Hypochilus. The two Ectatosticta species were described in 1889 (E. davidi) and 2009 (E. deltshevi).
Paquin and Hedin (2005) briefly reviewed the taxonomic history of Hypochilidae, noting its significance as the apparent sister group to all other araneomorph spiders (Paquin and Hedin 2005 and references therein).
Catley (1994) suggested that many Hypochilus species known from only a few populations may be vulnerable to extinction.
- Gertsch, W.J. 1964. A review of the genus Hypochilus and a description of a new species from Colorado (Araneae, Hypochilidae). American Museum Novitates No. 2203: 1-14.
- Gertsch, W.J. 1958. The spider family Hypochilidae. American Museum Novitates No. 1912: 1-28.
- Catley, K.M. 1994. Description of new Hypochilus species from New Mexico and California with a cladistic analysis of the Hypochilidae (Araneae). American Museum Novitates No. 3088: 1-27.
- Forster, R.R., N.I. Platnick, and M.R. Gray. 1987 A review of the spider superfamilies Hypochiloidea and Austrochiloidea (Araneae, Araneomorphae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History 185(1): 1-116.
- Catley, K.M. 1993. Courtship, mating, and post-oviposition behaviour of Hypochilus pococki (Araneae, Hypochilidae). Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 33(2): 469-474.
- Alberti, G. and F.A. Coyle. 1991. Ultrastructure of the primary male genital system, spermatozoa, and spermiogenesis of Hypochilus pococki (Araneae: Hypochilidae). Journal of Arachnology 19: 136-149.
- Bradley, R.A. 2013. Common Spiders of North America. University of California Press, Berkeley.
- Coyle, F.A. 1985. Two year life cycle and low palpal character variance in a Great Smoky Mountain population of the lamp-shade spider (Araneae: Hypochilidae: Hypochilus). Journal of Arachnology 13: 211-218.
- Eberhard, W.G., S. Guzman-Gomes, and K.M. Catley.1993. Correlation between spermathecal morphology and mating system in spiders. Journal of the Linnean Society 50: 197-209.
- Fergusson, I.C. 1972. Natural history of the spider Hypochilus thorelli Marx (Hypochilidae). Psyche 70: 179-199.
- Foelix, R.F. and H. Jung. 1978. Some anatomical aspects of Hypochilus thorelli with special reference to the calamistrum and cribellum. Symposium of the Zoological Society of London 42: 417-422.
- Hedin, M.C. 2001. Molecular insights in species phylogeny, biogeography, and morphological stasis in the ancient spider genus Hypochilus (Araneae: Hypochilidae). Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 18(2): 238-251.
- Hedin, M.C. and D.A. Wood. 2002. Genealogical exclusivity in geographically proximate populations of Hypochilus thorelli Marx (Araneae, Hypochilidae) on the Cumberland Plateau of North America. Molecular Ecology 11: 1975-1988.
- Hodge, M.A. and S.D. Marshall. 1996. An experimental analysis of intraguild predation among three genera of web-building spiders: Hypochilus, Coras, and Achaeranea (Araneae: Hypochilidae, Amaurobiidae, and Theridiidae). Journal of Arachnology 24: 101-110.
- Huff, R.P. and F.A. Coyle. 1992. Systematics of Hypochilus sheari and Hypochilus coylei, two southern Appalachian lampshade spiders (Araneae, Hypochilidae). Journal of Arachnology 20: 40-46.
- Paquin, P. and M. Hedin. 2005. Hersiliidae. Pp. 120-121 in D. Ubick, P. Paquin, P.E. Cushing, and V. Roth (eds.) Spiders of North America: an Identification Manual. American Arachnological Society.
- 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
- Riechert, S.E. and A.B. Cady. 1983. Pattern and resource use and test for competitive release in a spider community. Ecology 64: 899-913.
- Shear, W.A. 1969. Observations on the predatory behavior of the spider Hypochilus gertschi Hoffman (Hypochilidae). Psyche 76(4): 407-417.
Molecular Biology and Genetics
Statistics of barcoding coverage
Specimens with Sequences:23
Specimens with Barcodes:23
Species With Barcodes:11
The Lampshade spiders of the family Hypochilidae are among the most primitive of araneomorph spiders. There are two genera and twelve species currently recognized. Like mygalomorphs, hypochilids have two pairs of book lungs, but like araneomorphs they have intersecting fangs. These long-legged spiders build typical "lampshade" style webs under overhangs and in caves. In the United States the fauna is primarily associated with the Appalachian, Rocky and California Mountains. Ten of the known species are found in these ranges, all in the genus Hypochilus. The genus Ectatosticta is found in China.
Hypochilus Marx, 1888 — USA
- Hypochilus bernardino Catley, 1994
- Hypochilus bonneti Gertsch, 1964
- Hypochilus coylei Platnick, 1987
- Hypochilus gertschi Hoffman, 1963
- Hypochilus jemez Catley, 1994
- Hypochilus kastoni Platnick, 1987
- Hypochilus petrunkevitchi Gertsch, 1958
- Hypochilus pococki Platnick, 1987
- Hypochilus sheari Platnick, 1987
- Hypochilus thorelli Marx, 1888
- Coddington, J.A. & Levi, H.W. (1991). Systematics and Evolution of Spiders (Araneae). Annu. Rev. Ecol. Syst. 22:565-592.
- How to Know the Spiders by B. J. Kaston. Dubuque, 1953.
- Forster, R.R., Platnick, N.I. and Gray, M.R. (1987). A review of the spider superfamilies Hypochiloidea and Austrochiloidea (Araneae, Araneomorphae). Bulletin of the AMNH 185(1):1-116 Abstract - PDF (50Mb)
- Shear, W.A. (1969). Observations on the predatory behavior of the spider Hypochilus gertschi Hoffman (Hypochilidae). Psyche 76:407-417 PDF
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