Most species of the Aviculariinae subfamily, which are found in the forests of the Neotropics, show remarkable color pattern change as the animals develop into adults. Typically, adolescents have vividly colored longitudinal and/or transverse striped patterns on their abdomens, whilst adults have more subdued coloration with shades of black, blue, and red predominating. Mature people also have sexual dimorphism in their coloring. However, unlike most aviculariines, nothing is known about ontogenetic alterations in Typhochlaena species (Bertani 2012). Before sexual structures were recognized as acceptable traits to differentiate species, color patterns were utilized instead, leading to inaccurate descriptions of various species. As a result, there is now a very extensive list of species that have been synonymized, which presents problems for the current taxonomy.
In 1802, Baron Walckenaer proposed the first system of spider classification, using the term “Mygale” (a nonscientific name) to distinguish the “mineuses” and “aviculaires” spiders (where it included species with two pairs of book lungs and paraxial chelicerae) from the other spiders. This marked the beginning of the taxonomic history of the aviculariines. Latreille (1802) designated the spider genus Mygale, describing the majority of mygalomorph spiders at the time.
Additional blog posts
- Typhochlaena costae – Pink Punk Jewel Tarantula
- Avicularia hirschii found in a special retreat!
- Pink Toe Tarantula Care
Additional links & references
- Overview of Aviculariinae at Tarantupedia / https://www.tarantupedia.com/aviculariinae
- Bertani, R. (2012). Revision, cladistic analysis and biogeography of Typhochlaena C. L. Koch, 1850, Pachistopelma Pocock, 1901 and Iridopelma Pocock, 1901 (Araneae, Theraphosidae, Aviculariinae). ZooKeys 230: 1-94. doi:10.3897/zookeys.230.3500
- Fukushima, C. S. & Bertani, R. (2017). Taxonomic revision and cladistic analysis of Avicularia Lamarck, 1818 (Araneae, Theraphosidae, Aviculariinae) with description of three new aviculariine genera. ZooKeys 659: 1-185, Suppl. 1-5. doi:10.3897/zookeys.659.10717
- Cifuentes, Y. & Perafán, C. (2020). Arboreal tarantulas and their allies: Aviculariinae and Psalmopoeinae. In: Pérez-Miles, F. (ed.) New World Tarantulas. Zoological Monographs, 6, pp. 93-119.