|Year of Publication:
|U. Lachmuth, Grasshoff, M., Barth, F. G.
So far the genus Cupiennius is represented by 21 nominal species. All the type specimens available as well as further collected material, amounting to a total of 533 adult specimens, were examined. The characteristic features of the genus are: a) the presence of a third claw on the plantula, b) the presence of claw tufts, c) the shape of these claw tufts, d) the structure of the copulatory organs, and e) the circular shape of the anterior lateral eyes. Seven species could be distinguished morphologically. These are C. getazi, coccineus, salei, foliatus, granadensis, cubae and panamensis n. sp., which has been overlooked and is described here. Three species are excluded from the genus, which is justified on the basis of both their original descriptions as well as their places of origin. These species are: argentinus, celerrirnus and diploccllatus. The remaining species are distinguished mainly by the structure of their genital organs. These differ with respect to the terminal region of the d bulbi and the internal (dorsal) structure of the Y epigynae. In C. getazi the pattern formed by the folium and the coloration of the body are additional distinctive features. Characters previously used in the literature such as the distribution of spines on the legs, the size and the location of the eyes, the number and shape of the teeth on the chelicerae and the length ratio of the legs are of no value for the distinction of species. The species distinguished herein are to be regarded as morphospecies. Four of them, C. coccineus, salei, and getazi were successfully bred in the laboratory and have thus been shown to he biospecies. C. foliatus cry have been raised from the same cocoon. The genus clearly belongs to the family Ctenidae. In accordance with the classical typological assignment of the families this classification is based on the combined occurrence of a 3rd claw and claw tufts together with the specific distribution of the eyes and the structure of their retinae. The genus exclusively occurs in Central America.