Instituto de Biociências

Laboratório de Aracnologia

Taxonomy, molecular phylogeny and phylogeography of a harvestmen genus endemic to the Southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest


In a new paper titled: “Systematics and phylogeography of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest endemic harvestmen Neosadocus Mello-Leitão, 1926 (Arachnida: Opiliones: Gonyleptidae)“, Daniel, Elen and Ricardo performed a taxonomic revision of the harvestmen genus Neosadocus (Opiliones). Also, they presented a molecular phylogeny of the genus, as well as an inference of the divergence times of its main lineages and populational analyses.

Congratulations, Jairo!


Jairo has sucessfully defended his Ph.D. thesis about the phylogeny of the Tityus clathratus species group and other groups and subgenera of Tityus (Scorpiones, Buthidae). Congrats, Jairo!

Two new species of whip-spiders from South America


In a new paper titled: “Two new species of the whip-spider genus Heterophrynus (Arachnida: Amblypygi) with complementary information of four species“. Daniel and Jairo, described two new species of the whip-spider genus Heterophrynus (Amblypygi). Also, they presented additional morphological information of other four species of the genus and provided SEM images of the female genitalia.

Patterns of Species and Lineage Diversity in the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil


In a recent published book, Elen, Ricardo and other collaborators presented a chapter called: “Patterns of Species and Lineage Diversity in the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil“. In their chapter, they summarize main spatial patterns of diversity, flagging areas of higher species accumulation, turnover, and endemism from the Atlantic Rainforest of Brazil.

Two new Colombian harvestmen


In a new paper titled: “Two new Colombian harvestmen of the genus Quindina Roewer, 1914 (Opiliones: Nomoclastidae)” Conchita and Ricardo, described Quindina hermesi (Bolívar, San Jacinto) and Quindina discolor (Magdalena, Ciénaga). Also they provided an updated phylogenetic hypothesis for the genus Quindina, using MP under different convavity values (k= 1, 2, 3).

Congratulations Caio!


Caio, sucessfully defended his M.Sc. thesis on the phylogeny and biogreography of Mischonyx (Opiliones: Gonyleptidae). Congrats Caio!

Congratulations Brittany!


Brittany, sucessfully defended her Ph.D. thesis. She is now returning to the U.S. where pretend to continue working on Cosmetid Opiliones. Have safe return Brittany!

Description of two new species of Progonyleptoidellus (Opiliones) and phylogenetic analysis

Welcome back Jairo!


Jairo came back from his BEPE fellowship in the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), New York. Now, he is preparing to write his thesis. Good luck!

Taxonomic monograph on Tityus (Archaeotityus) (Scorpiones, Buthidae) using morphometry and morphology


In a new paper: “Taxonomic revision of the Colombian Tityus (Archaeotityus) (Scorpiones, Buthidae) species: a morphological and morphometric approach, with a description of a new species“, Jairo and collaborators, examined more than 385 specimens and evaluated new and previously used qualitative and quantitative morphological characters. They redescribed the Colombian species, described a new species Tityus guane sp. nov. and presented two synonyms.

Biogeography of Global Peripatos (Onycophora)


In a new paper: “The ‘Peripatos’ in Eurogondwana?–Lack of evidence that south-east Asian onychophorans walked through Europe” Gonzalo (a collaborator of the aracnolab), Cristiano, Ricardo, among other coathors, presented a molecular phylogenetic analysis of Onychophora that includes previously unsampled and undersampled lineages and they analysed the expanded dataset using a series of nested taxon sets designed to increase the amount of information available for particular subclades.

Welcome Conchita!


Conchita Pinzón Morales has started her CNPq-funded Master on the study of the genus Eucynortula (Opiliones, Cosmetidae). Conchita will conduct laboratory work and examination of museum specimens. Her analysis will include molecular and morphological evidence.

Evolution of sensorial leg structures in the Order Opiliones


In the new contribution: “Evolution of a sensory cluster on the legs of Opiliones (Arachnida) informs multi-level phylogenetic relationships” Guilherme, Rodrigo (both from USP-LESTE), Ricardo, and collaborators, investigated with SEM a promising character system across Opiliones: the sensilla on the distalmost article of legs I and II. They identified four discrete characters and scored species of nearly all families of Laniatores (28 families, 44 species), three Dyspnoi, two Eupnoi and two Cyphophthalmi.

Redescription of Meterginus basalis (Cosmetidae, Opiliones) with comments on the genitalia


In this new paper: “Giving attention to the oldies: redescription of Meterginus basalis (Arachnida: Opiliones: Cosmetidae) with some notes on the genitalia” Brittany and the aracnolab collabolator Andrés García (Museo Nacional do Rio de Janeiro) redescribed the enigmatic species Meterginus basalis, providing a full species description with SEM images for the first time for that species.

Have a good trip Jairo!


Jairo got a BEPE-FAPESP grant, for his project: “Morphology still matters in the genomic era: a case study in the scorpion subgenera Tityus (Archaeotityus) Lourenço, 2006 and the genus Mesotityus González-Sponga, 1981 (Scorpiones: Buthidae)”. During the next six months, Jairo will be examining scorpion material at the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH), under the advise of Dr. Lorenzo Prendini.

Phylogeography of Sodreaninae (Opiliones, Gonyleptidae) harverstmen from the Atlantic Forest


In the new paper: “Phylogeography of Sodreaninae harvestmen (Arachnida: Opiliones: Gonyleptidae): Insights into the biogeography of the southern Brazilian Atlantic Forest” Elen, Alípio, Ricardo and collaborators, investigated the molecular phylogeny and phylogeography of Sodreana to clarify the species relationships and to make inferences about the historical biogeography of the southern Atlantic Forest.

Spatial variation in phylogenetic diversity among Atlantic Forest harvestmen (Opiliones)


In a new paper titled: “Spatial variation in phylogenetic diversity of communities of Atlantic Forest harvestmen (Opiliones, Arachnida)” André, Cibele, Márcio, Alípio, and Ricardo, with the help of one close collaborator of the aracnolab (Leonardo Carvalho), calculated the spatial variation in species richness, taxonomic beta diversity, and alpha and beta phylogenetic diversity (PDa and PDb, respectively) of
Atlantic Forest harvestman communities using a data set containing 556 species from 68 sites, distributed in 12 Brazilian states.

Alpha and Beta diversity of Harvestman  (Opiliones) communities form the Atlantic Forest


In a new paper titled: “Historical signatures in the alpha and beta diversity patterns of Atlantic Forest harvestman communities Arachnida: Opiliones”. André, Cibele, Marcio, and Ricardo, all together with two collaborators, presented an study on alpha and beta diversity patterns of Brazilian Atlantic Forest harvestman communities and related them to environmental and historical factors.

Redescription of Juticus furcidens (Opiliones, Gonyleptidae), with a discussion of its affinities within Gonyleptinae


In a new paper titled: “Redescription of Juticus furcidens Roewer, 1943 (Opiliones: Gonyleptidae),
with a discussion of its relationships in the subfamily Gonyleptinae
“. Marcos, Ricardo and Alipio, redescribed Juticus furcidens Roewer, 1943, under modern standards; previously member of Pachylinae, it is now transferred to Gonyleptinae sensu stricto, and its type locality is clarified.

Congratulations Dr. Jimmy Cabra!


Jimmy, successfully defended his Ph.D. thesis the third week of May. He is now returning to Colombia to assume his position as associated professor at Universidad del Valle, Cali (Univalle). We are proud of you Jimmy!

Plucking with the plectrum: total evidence analysis of the New World subfamily Centruroidinae (Scorpiones: Buthidae)


In a new paper entitled: “Plucking with the plectrum: phylogeny of the New World buthid scorpion subfamily Centruroidinae Kraus, 1955 (Scorpiones: Buthidae) reveals evolution of three pecten-sternite stridulation organs“. Ricardo and collaborators, performed a total evidence analysis of Centruroidinae (90 morphological characters and 5 loci sanger), they redefined genera and determined that the stridulatory organ appears at least three times independently.

Optimizing survey methods for spiders and harverstmen in Amazonas upland forests


In a new paper entitled: “Optimizing survey methods for spiders and harvestmen assemblages in an Amazonian upland forest“. Ricardo and collaborators, compared the number of species and composition of spiders and harvestmen using three sampling methos along the urucu River, Coaria, Amazonas. Finding that nocturnal search saves 75% of the survey costs for harvestmen assemblages and 46% of spiders assemblages.

Distributions patterns can predict local habitat of Arachnids


In a new paper entitled: “Regional distribution patterns can predict the local habitat specialization of arachnids in heterogeneous landscapes of the Atlantic Forest“. Ricardo and collaborators, formally evaluates the ability of three models to use geographical data on species distribution to predict the habitat use patterns of species in heterogeneous landscapes.

Best oral presentation at the V CLA 2017, congratulations Jimmy!


At the V CLA (2017) our lab member Jimmy Cabra was the first place winner in the oral presentation category of  Sistematics and Related areas, with the work: “Sistemática del género neotropical Wagneriana F. O. Pickard-Cambridge, 1904 (Araneae: Araneidae): explorando el impacto de evidencia fenotípica en una matriz dominada por caracteres moleculares”.

New short-tailed whip-scorpions (Arachnida: Schizomida: Hubbardiidae) species from the Andes of South America


In a new paper entitled: “Two new species of Calima Moreno-González and Villarreal, 2012 (Arachnida: Schizomida: Hubbardiidae) from the Colombian Andes, with a discussion on the male flagellar microsetae of Hubbardiinae“. Jairo and a colleague from the MNRJ (Rio de Janeiro, RJ), described two additional new species of the genus Calima, providing a discussion about the homology of flagellar microsetae within the subfamily.

Phylogeography of Acutisoma longipes (Arachnida: Opiliones) showed deep signature of historical events


In a new paper entitled: “A short-range endemic species from South-eastern Atlantic Rain Forest shows deep signature of historical events: phylogeography of harvestmen Acutisoma longipes (Arachnida: Opiliones)“. Elen, Ricardo, Manuel and Márcio, evaluated the phylogeographic history of the Atlantic Rain Forest, using one mitochondrial and two nuclear markers of Acutisoma longipes.

Historical relationships of areas of endemism of Brazilian Atlantic Forest, using harvestman (Arachnida: Opiliones) under cladistic biogeography approach


In a new paper entitled: “Historical relationships of areas of endemism of the Brazilian Atlantic rain forest: a cladistic biogeographic analysis of harvestman taxa (Arachnida: Opiliones)“. Ricardo and two colleagues from UFPB (João Pessoa, PB) and UNAM (Mexico D.F.), based on a cladistic biogeographic analysis of 6 speces-level phylogenies of harvestman, they searched for congruencie in the gistorical relationships of 12 areas of endemism of the Brazilian Atlantic rain forest.

New phylogenetic hypothesis for Heteropachylinae, with description of two new species (Opiliones: Laniatores: Gonyleptidae)


In a new paper entitled: “Description of two new species of Magnispina and a new hypothesis of phylogenetic relationships for Heteropachylinae (Opiliones: Laniatores: Gonyleptidae)“. Caio, Ricardo and a colleague from Rio de Janeiro, described Magnispina robusta sp. n. and Magnispina bahiana sp. n. from Serra Bonita Natural Reserve, Bahia State; also presented a phylogenetic analysis which corroborates the monophyly of Heteropachylinae.

Systematic revision of the neotropical Club-tailed scorpions (Physoctonus, Rhopalurus and Troglorhopalurus)


In a new contribution dealing with club-tailed scorpions, Humberto Yamaguti, Ricardo and colleagues used 90 morphological characters and 4260 aligned DNA nucleotides, from three mitochondrial and two nuclear markers, to reconstruct the phylogeny of the club-tailed scorpions. They described two new genera and three new species, and proposed ten new combinations, plus fifteen new junior synonyms.

Revision of Thaumatocranaus Roewer, 1932, with description of two new species (Opiliones: Laniatores: Gonyleptoidea)


In a new paper entitled: “Revision of Thaumatocranaus Roewer, 1932, with description of two new species
(Opiliones: Laniatores: Gonyleptoidea)
“. Marcos, Cibele and Ricardo, presented a revision on the genus Thaumatocranaus, describing two new species from the Colombian Amazonian region.

A new species of Phrynus Lamarck, 1801 (Arachnida: Amblypygi), from Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela, with a redescription of Phrynus pulchripes (Pocock, 1894)


In a new paper entitled: “A new species of Phrynus Lamarck, 1801 (Arachnida: Amblypygi),
from Trinidad and Tobago, and Venezuela, with a redescription of Phrynus pulchripes (Pocock, 1894)
. Daniel Chirivi, presented the description of a new species: Phrynus calypso sp. nov., and a redescription of Phrynus pulchripes.

Cladistic analysis of the family Nomoclastidae with
descriptions of a new genus and eight new species


In a new paper entitled: “Cladistic analysis of the family Nomoclastidae with
descriptions of a new genus and eight new species
(Opiliones, Laniatores)
“. Ricardo and Cibele, presented a cladistic analysis of the family Nomoclastidae, as result of its revision many taxonomic changes are proposed and a new genus and eigth new species are described.

Welcome back Jimmy!


Jimmy has returned from The George Washington University, where he expended the last 6 months working in the Hormiga Lab. Jimmy carried out the research project “Exploring the morphological phylogenetic signal: a case study in the orb-weaving spider genus Wagneriana F.O.P. Cambridge, 1904 (Araneae: Araneidae)“. This internship was possible through the Internship Grant Program (BEPE) of FAPESP.

Spiders (Arachnida, Araneae) from the state of Roraima, northern Brazil


In the paper “New records of spiders (Arachnida, Araneae) from the state of Roraima, northern Brazil“, Jimmy and other brazilian arachnologists, presented new geographic and natural history data of spiders collected in the Amazonian state of Roraima, northern Brazil.

First New World species of the pseudoscorpion family Feaellidae


In the paper “The first New World species of the pseudoscorpion family Feaellidae (Pseudoscorpiones: Feaelloidea) from the Brazilian Atlantic Forest“, Ricardo and two more colleagues, recorded for the first time the pseudoscorpion family Feaellidae from South America, with description of a new genus and a new species.

Two new genera of cave-dwelling schizomids from Brazil


In the paper “Two new cave-dwelling genera of short-tailed whip-scorpions from Brazil (Arachnida: Schizomida: Hubbardiidae)” Ricardo, Jairo and a colleague described two new genera of schizomids from Brazilian iron ore and canga caves in the Carajás region, Pará, Brazil.

The effects of habitat size and quality on the orb-weaving spider guild


In the latest issue of the Journal of Arachnology, André and Ricardo assessed the importance of forest patch size and vegetation structure on the richness, diversity, abundance, and composition of the orb-weaving spider guild in an area of the Atlantic Forest (São Paulo, Brazil). They concluded that vegetation structure was more important to the composition of orb-weaving communities than the size of the forest patch, and also highlighted the importance of continuous areas as possible diversity sources for fragments.

Welcome Jairo!


Jairo A. Moreno-González has started his FAPESP-funded PhD on the phylogenetics relationships of Tityus (Archaeotityus). Jairo will conduct extensive field work to obtain fresh tissues for gathering molecular data. He will also analyze morphological characters using different techniques.

Arachnology lab in Cladistics!


In the paper “A protocol for the delimitation of areas of endemism and the historical regionalization of the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest using harvestmen distribution data“, Marcio, Ricardo and a colleague from UFPB introduce a grid-based protocol for delimiting Areas of Endemism (AoEs) using alternative recognition criteria that are empirically tested with harvestmen species distributions in the Atlantic Rain Forest (abstract).

Phylogenetics and Phylogeography of the Brazilian Atlantic Rain Forest genus Promitobates


Cibele, Ricardo and two colleagues published a novel phylogenetic hypothesis of the genus Promitobates based on molecular evidence. In addition, the authors conducted a phylogeographic study of a new species complex (‘P. ornatus complex’) revealing poor dispersal among populations and a low genetic diversity. This work is the first attempt to understand the population genetics of a Neotropical group of Opiliones (abstract).

Taxonomic review of Neopachylus


Vivian, Cibele and Ricardo published the taxonomic revision of the neotropical genus Neopachylus. The paper includes updated diagnoses and descriptions, scanning electron microscope images and a distribution map (full paper).

How velvet worms can spray a web rapidly to entangle their prey?


Cristiano Sampaio Costa collaborated with researchers of Adolfo Ibañez University/Chile, Universidad Nacional de Costa Rica/Costa Rica and Harvard University/USA in a recent paper published in Nature Communications that unveiled the bio-physics behind the squirting mechanism of velvet worms. (video)

The first troglomorphic species of the genus Phrynus


Amblypygi are known for inhabiting in caves, however, they usually can move to other environments to hunt and copulate; few species are cave-restricted and present morphological modifications associated to troglobitic life. Daniel and his mexican colleagues described the first troglomorphic species of the genus Phrynus from Chiapas, Mexico. This new species (P. perrii) opens the discussion about the definition of true troglomorphic characters and the magnitude of Amblypygi’s hidden diversity.

A new family of Opiliones


Cibele, Marcos and Ricardo proposed a new family of Opiliones (Gerdesiidae fam. nov.) based on molecular and morphological evidence. Diagnoses and descriptions of the included genera (Gerdesius and Gonycranaus) are provided and the phylogenetic relationships of Gerdesiidae within Gonyleptoidea are discussed.

A new global database


In the paper “The PREDICTS database: a global database of how local terrestrial biodiversity responds to human impacts” is described and assessed a new global database of more than 1.6 million samples from 78 countries representing over 28,000 terrestrial species. Jimmy Cabra (co-author of the paper) contributed with arachnid data of tropical dry forest fragments from Colombia.

Cristiano receives a BEPE-FAPESP grant to work in The Giribet Lab


Cristiano Sampaio will start his FAPESP-funded internship in The Giribet Lab at Harvard University next year. Cristiano will apply next-generation sequencing techniques to Onychophora systematics. Congratulations Cris!