Brazil 2014

After collecting five times in the central Serra do Mar area of the Atlantic Forest (2003-2011), this expedition was the first to cover the southern part, in the states of Parana, Santa Catarina, and Rio Grande do Sul. Together with Leonardo Souza Carvalho, we covered some 3000 km, and it was fascinating to see the variety of landscapes and forests in this part of Brazil.

As expected, pholcid spider diversity and levels of endemism decrease towards the southern limits of the Atlantic Forest, but we still found high numbers of species in some localities, especially in Saint-Hilaire/Lange National Park, Itajaí National Park, and Serra Geral National Park. In Araucaria forests, diversity decreased drastically, but even there, most of the species we found were new. In total, we collected some 33 species, and about 21 of them seem to be new to science. Most of the diversity is in just two genera, Mesabolivar and Tupigea. Here is a selection: each image represents
a new species.

In case this was too many spider photos, here some others to keep the balance.

This expedition was funded by the Brazilian Government (CAPES/CNPq) through a project submitted by Adalberto José dos Santos. I am most grateful to Adalberto for inviting me to participate in this expedition, and to Leonardo for his preparations of the trip and for being a great companion in the field.