Brescovit, Rheims & Ott in
Brescovit, Bonaldo, Santos, Ott & Rheims, 2012
Predatoroonops is a genus of goblin spiders endemic to the Brazilian Atlantic Forest. The genus is characterized by the extremely modified male chelicerae and long pairs of ventral spines. It is the first fully revised endemic Brazilian genus of spiders, uncovered in 2012 after two and a half years of research at São Paulo's Instituto Butantan.
The generic name is in honor of the Predator from the eponymous 1987 film, as the researchers found the spiders' chelicerae similar to the creature's unmasked face. All the specific names of the genus reference the film's cast, crew or fictional elements.
Predatoroonops was first published in the Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History in June 2012. The genus is composed of seventeen new species. They are unique for the peculiar morphology of the male chelicerae and the lateral anterior borders of the carapace.
Members of the genus (all of which are endemic to Brazil) were discovered by a team of Brazilian scientists as part of the Planetary Biodiversity Inventory (PBI) project on the goblin spider family (Oonopidae). The team consisted of Alexandre B. Bonaldo, Adalberto J. Santos, Ricardo Ott, and Cristina A. Rheims. It was led by the arachnologist Antonio Domingos Brescovit of Instituto Butantan, who has been studying spiders in the Brazilian Atlantic Forest since 2006. According to Brescovit, the research took two and a half years. It could have been published as early as 2011 if not for the 2010 fire in the Instituto Butantan which destroyed a major part of the institute's specimen collections.
Members of Predatoroonops are small, ranging from 1.8 to 2.1 mm (0.071 to 0.083 in) in size. They are distinguished by the projected and articulated chelicerae of the males, the conspicuous posterior receptacle of the genitalia of the females, and the spines with pronounced bases on the legs of both sexes. They are usually found in the plant litter on the forest floor. Information on diet and behavior is currently unknown, however, given that all the research was done with dead specimens.
The generic name is a contraction of "Predator Oonops", in reference to the creature of the 1987 film Predator, as the scientists found the distinguished male chelicerae similar to the Predator's unmasked face. The specific names honor the film's cast, crew and elements. For instance, actor Arnold Schwarzenegger, who played protagonist 'Dutch' Schaeffer, was homaged with both Predatoroonops schwarzeneggeri and Predatoroonops dutch.
Two species groups within Predatoroonops were proposed, based on the presence or absence of a median furrow in the frontal median area of the male chelicerae. The schwarzeneggeri group presents both median and subdistal furrows, and a long lateral sclerotized groove at the anterior lateral border of the carapace in males; the peterhalli group lacks the median and distal furrows, and its species have the anterior lateral border of the carapace with an attenuated groove. The closest relatives of Predatoroonops are in the genera Orchestina and Cavisternum.
|P. anna:37||Brescovit, Rheims & Bonaldo||Bahia||Anna Gonsalves, a guerrilla played by Elpidia Carrillo|
|P. billy:26-9||Brescovit, Rheims & Ott||Rio de Janeiro||Sgt. Billy Sole, played by Sonny Landham|
|P. blain:31-2||Brescovit, Rheims & Ott||Bahia||Sgt. Blain Cooper, played by Jesse Ventura|
|P. dillon:45-8||Brescovit, Rheims & Bonaldo||Alagoas||Capt. George Dillon, played by Carl Weathers|
|P. dutch:39–45||Brescovit, Rheims & Bonaldo||Bahia||Major 'Dutch' Schaeffer, the film's protagonist, played by Arnold Schwarzenegger|
|P. maceliot:32-7||Brescovit, Rheims & Ott||São Paulo||Sgt. 'Mac' Elliot, played by Bill Duke|
|P. poncho:24-6||Brescovit, Rheims & Ott||Rio de Janeiro||Lt. 'Poncho' Ramirez, played by Richard Chaves|
|P. rickhawkins:37-9||Brescovit, Rheims & Bonaldo||Espírito Santo||Sgt. Richard Hawkins, played by Shane Black|
|P. schwarzeneggeri :20-1||Brescovit, Rheims & Ott||Rio de Janeiro||Arnold Schwarzenegger, the lead actor from Predator|
|P. vallarta:48–50||Brescovit, Rheims & Bonaldo, 2012||Rio de Janeiro||Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, one of the filming locations for Predator|
|P. valverde:29–31||Brescovit, Rheims & Ott, 2012||Rio de Janeiro||Val Verde, the fictional country where Predator takes place|
|P. chicano:61-7||Brescovit, Rheims & Santos||Espírito Santo||An alternate nickname for Poncho given his Mexican-American origin|
|P. mctiernani:61-2||Brescovit, Rheims & Santos||São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Santa Catarina||John McTiernan, director of Predator|
|P. olddemon:67-9||Brescovit, Rheims & Santos||Rio de Janeiro||Anna says the Predator was referred in her village as a "demon who makes trophies of men"|
|P. peterhalli:60-1||Brescovit, Rheims & Santos||São Paulo||Kevin Peter Hall (1955–1991), the actor who played the Predator|
|P. phillips:51-7||Brescovit, Rheims & Santos||Bahia||General Homer Phillips, played by R.G. Armstrong|
|P. yautja:57–60||Brescovit, Rheims & Santos||Minas Gerais||The name used for the Predator species in the expanded universe|
- Brescovit, Bonaldo, Santos, Ott & Rheims, 2012 : The Brazilian goblin spiders of the new genus Predatoroonops (Araneae, Oonopidae). Bulletin of the American Museum of Natural History, n. 370, pp. 1–68 (whole text). doi:10.1206/766.1 Page accessed on 12 January 2013
- Dieiro, Bruno (2012-08-07). "Instituto Butantan identifica 17 novas espécies de aranha". O Estado de S. Paulo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2013-01-12.
- "Planetary Biodiversity Inventory: The Spider Family Oonopidae". American Museum of Natural History. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
- Varella, Marco (2012-08-10). "Filme 'O Predador' inspira batismo de 17 espécies de aranhas no país". Folha de S. Paulo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2013-01-12.
- Sampaio, Rafael (2012-08-08). "Butantan batiza 17 novas aranhas em homenagem ao filme 'Predador'" (in Portuguese). G1. Retrieved 2013-01-12.
- Sil, Felipe (2012-08-09). "Butantan descobre 17 novas espécies de aranhas". O Globo (in Portuguese). Retrieved 2013-01-12.
- Predatoroonops photographs and species descriptions at Goblin Spider Planetary Biodiversity Initiative
- Data related to Predatoroonops at Wikispecies