Habronattus of Chamela

In the end, we found six species of Habronattus on the Chamela reserve: Habronattus “ROBRT”, H. “CHMLA”, H. cambridgei, H. mexicanus, H. zapotecanus, and H. huastecanus. I’ve shown photos of the first three of these;  here are photos of the last three.

Habronattus mexicanus is common through much of Mexico on lawns and other grassy areas. Here is the male, which like many of its close relatives, has a fringed first leg and a strangely modified and coloured third leg.  The last photo shows a close-up of the third leg.

zapotecanusMaleIMGP0293Habronattus zapotecanus is a modest striped species that lives in disturbed areas with tall dry grasses, much like the familiar prairies species H. altanus. I was surprised to notice how red the third femur is in the male.

Habronattus huastecanus was the last for us to find. It usually lives on shaded leaf litter. We had seen babies, but not any adults, until Heather found a female walking on a cement wall. I was surprised to see this female had yellow palps, which I’ve never seen in another Habronattus. I wonder if they are fluorescent…

A few days later, I found a male Habronattus huastecanus hopping by as we were rooting around looking for opilioacarids.

Six is a respectable number of Habronattus for one small area.  I expect that there may be other species in microhabitats we didn’t search; those will remain for other trips or other biologists to find.


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