|Haplopelma lividum (cobalt blue tarantula)|
Melopoeus Pocock, 1895
Haplopelma species are medium to large spiders; for example, H. schmidti females have a total body length, including chelicerae, of up to 85 mm (3.3 in), with the longest leg, the first, being about 70 mm (2.8 in) long. The carapace (upper surface of the cephalothorax is generally dark brown. They have eight eyes grouped on a distinctly raised portion of the cephalothorax, forming a "tubercle". The forward facing (prolateral) side of the maxillae have "thorns" which act as a stridulating organ. The first leg is usually the longest, followed by the fourth, second and third. Mature females have an M-shaped spermatheca. Mature males have a spur on the forward facing side of the tibia of the first leg and a pear-shaped palpal bulb with a wide curved embolus.
In 1890, Tamerlan Thorell described a species of spider under the name Selenocosmia doriae. In 1892, Eugène Simon decided that this species was sufficiently different from others placed in the genus Selenocosmia to warrant a new genus, Haplopelma, with one species, Haplopelma doriae.
- Haplopelma albostriatum (Simon, 1886) – Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia
- Haplopelma doriae (Thorell, 1890) (type species) – Borneo
- Haplopelma hainanum (Liang et al., 1999) – China
- Haplopelma lividum Smith, 1996 – Myanmar, Thailand
- Haplopelma longipes von Wirth & Striffler, 2005 – Thailand, Cambodia
- Haplopelma minax (Thorell, 1897) – Myanmar, Thailand
- Haplopelma robustum Strand, 1907 – Singapore
- Haplopelma salangense (Strand, 1907) – Malaysia
- Haplopelma schmidti von Wirth, 1991 – China, Vietnam
- Haplopelma vonwirthi Schmidt, 2005 – Southeast Asia
- Transferred to other genera
- Haplopelma chrysothrix (Schmidt & Samm, 2005) → Ornithoctonus aureotibialis
- Haplopelma costale Schmidt, 1998 → Ornithoctonus costalis
Distribution and habitat
The genus is found in Southeast Asia (China, Myanmar, Thailand, Cambodia, Malaysia, Singapore, Vietnam) and Borneo. They live in underground silk-lined tubes, often with a surrounding web of radiating signal threads. They are usually found in small colonies at the base of trees or bamboos. Some species favour steep south-facing slopes.
Like all old-world tarantulas, the spiders in Haploplema lack the urticating hairs found in their New World counterparts, and hence use biting as a primary means of both attack and defence. Haplopelma species are among those reported to have more toxic venom. Although bites may cause severe pain and a range of other effects, no fatalities are known. Haplopelma lividum, H. hainanum and H. schmidti (under its synonym Selenocosmia huwena) are species that have had their venom characterized. The last two produce hainantoxins and huwentoxins respectively.
- "Gen. Haplopelma Simon, 1892", World Spider Catalog (Natural History Museum Bern), retrieved 2016-05-17
- Zhu, M.S. & Zhang, R. (2008), "Revision of the theraphosid spiders from China (Araneae: Mygalomorphae)", Journal of Arachnology 36: 425–447
- Simon, E. (1892), "Haplopelma, nov. gen.", Histoire naturelle des araignées I, Paris: Roret, p. 151, retrieved 2016-05-18
- Ngamniyom, Arin; Manaboon, Manaporn; Panyarachun, Busaba & Showpittapornchai, Udomsri (2014). "Phylogenetic Relationships of Two Earth Tiger Tarantulas, Haplopelma livid and H. longipes (Araneae, Theraphosidae), within the Infraorder Mygalomorph Using 28S Ribosomal DNA Sequences". International Journal of Zoological Research 10 (1): 15–19. Retrieved 2016-06-08.
- Bertani, Rogério & Guadanucci, José Paulo Leite (2013), "Morphology, evolution and usage of urticating setae by tarantulas (Araneae: Theraphosidae)", Zoologia (Curitiba) 30 (4): 403–418, doi:10.1590/S1984-46702013000400006
- Escoubas, Pierre & Rash, Lachlan (2004), "Tarantulas: eight-legged pharmacists and combinatorial chemists", Toxicon 43 (5): 555–574, doi:10.1016/j.toxicon.2004.02.007
- Gallery of tarantulas: Photographs of Haploplema species