American Atlantic Forest classifies as one of the hottest
hotspots on earth, by some account even as “the most devastated and
most highly threatened ecosystem on the planet”. The level of threat in
the Atlantic Forest is high due to massive historical habitat loss,
fragmentation, and ongoing deforestation and degradation.
This was the background for a megatransect study (2003–2015) focusing on pholcid spiders and covering 48 localities across a large part of the Brazilian Atlantic Forest from Rio Grando do Sul to Rio Grande do Norte. During this campaign, about 4500 adult specimens were collected representing 132 morphospecies, with about 107 species (81%) new to science. The present paper focuses on Carapoia, a genus that is widespead in South America but that has its highest diversity in the Atlantic Forest. The map below highlights the tremendous diversity of these mostly very cryptic spiders along the Brazilian coast, especially in the Bahia center of endemism.