Tayshaneta microps - (Gertsch,1974)
Government Canyon Bat Cave Spider
Other English Common Names: Government Canyon Cave Spider
Synonym(s): Leptoneta microps Gertsch, 1974 ;Neoleptoneta microps (Gertsch, 1974)
Taxonomic Status: Accepted
Unique Identifier: ELEMENT_GLOBAL.2.114191
Element Code: ILARA24020
Informal Taxonomy: Animals, Invertebrates - Spiders and Other Chelicerates - Spiders and Other Arachnids
 
Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family Genus
Animalia Chelicerata Arachnida Araneae Leptonetidae Tayshaneta
Genus Size: C - Small genus (6-20 species)
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Concept Reference
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Concept Reference: Gertsch, W. J. 1974. The spider family Leptonetidae in North America. Journal of Arachnology 1:145-203.
Concept Reference Code: A74GER01EHUS
Name Used in Concept Reference: Leptoneta microps
Taxonomic Comments: Described by Gertsch (1974) as Leptoneta microps. The species was reassigned to Neoleptoneta following Brignoli (1977) and Platnick (1986). A review of the taxonomic history of nearctic leptonetids is available in Ubick et al. (2005). This species has been referred to by two common names, the Government Canyon cave spider (USFWS 2000) and the Government Canyon Bat Cave spider (Breene et al. 2003). The latter name has been accepted as the official common name (Breene et al. 2003, USFWS 2003).
Conservation Status
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NatureServe Status

Global Status: G1
Global Status Last Reviewed: 08May2009
Global Status Last Changed: 08May2009
Rounded Global Status: G1 - Critically Imperiled
Reasons: This species is only known from two caves in Bexar County, Texas. The rank of all nine troglobites listed as endangered in Bexar County (USFWS, 2000) is not based primarily on the number of individuals, known locations or decline (all of which are unknown), but rather on the threats these species are facing. Due to the increased urbanization and population growth in Bexar County, these species are undergoing habitat loss and other threats associated with this urbanization. In addition, the status or continued existence of caves in Bexar County is unknown (USFWS, 2008).
Nation: United States
National Status: N1 (08May2009)

U.S. & Canada State/Province Status
Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
United States Texas (S1)

Other Statuses

U.S. Endangered Species Act (USESA): LE: Listed endangered (26Dec2000)
Comments on USESA: There are nine Bexar County, Texas invertebrates that were listed as endangered on December 26, 2000. The recovery priority number for all Bexar County karst invertebrates is 2c, which means that these species face a high degree of threat with a high potential for recovery and there may be conflict between species recovery and economic development. No critical habitat is designated for N. microps because caves in Government Canyon State Natural Area have conservation plans that provide adequate management and protection.

U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service Lead Region: R2 - Southwest

NatureServe Global Conservation Status Factors

Range Extent: <100 square km (less than about 40 square miles)
Range Extent Comments: Known from the following two caves in the Government Canyon State Natural Area, Bexar County, Texas: Government Canyon Bat Cave and Surprise Sink.

Number of Occurrences: 1 - 5
Number of Occurrences Comments: Known from two caves in the Government Canyon State Natural Area, Bexar County, Texas (Government Canyon Bat Cave, Surprise Sink). An unidentified Neoleptoneta collected in Madla's Cave may turn out to be N. microps, which would extend its range into the Helotes karst region (K. White, SWCA Environmental Consultants, pers. comm. 2006 in USFWS, 2008).

Population Size: Unknown
Population Size Comments: Population estimates are unavailable for any of the nine troglobites listed as endangered in Bexar County (USFWS, 2000) due to lack of adequate techniques, their cryptic behavior, and inaccessibility of habitat (USFWS, 2008). Culver et al. (2000) states that while some troglobites are known from a few specimens, detailed studies suggest that "as a rule" most troglobites "are not numerically rare and thus are not susceptible to the problems of small populations." However, considering the lack of population estimates and limited study of these species, data are insufficient to indicate whether Bexar County karst invertebrates are numerous enough to rule out small population concerns (USFWS, 2008).

Overall Threat Impact: Unknown
Overall Threat Impact Comments: The following summary is taken from USFWS (2008). For specific threat information, refer to USFWS (2000, 2008). Also see Elliott (2000) for a thorough review of threats and conservation of North American cave species.

The primary threat to all nine Bexar County troglobites listed as endangered is habitat loss. Caves and karst habitat are lost directly by being completely filled in during development, or by quarrying away the rock that they are comprised of. Filling in cave entrances or severely altering entrances is also destructive and may result in habitat loss. Caves and karst may be lost indirectly by degrading the habitat to the point that the cave and karst can no longer support the species or the long term viability of the population is reduced. Examples of this habitat degradation include: altering drainage patterns, altering native surface plant and animal communities, reducing or increasing nutrient flow, contamination, excessive human visitation, and competition and predation from non-native, invasive species.

Intrinsic Vulnerability: Highly vulnerable

Environmental Specificity: Very narrow. Specialist or community with key requirements scarce.

Other NatureServe Conservation Status Information

Protection Needs: Based on USFWS (2008), reduce threats to the species by securing an adequate quantity and quality of caves, including selecting caves or cave clusters that represent the range of the species and potential genetic diversity, then preserving these caves, including their drainage basins and surface communities upon which they rely. Maintenance of these cave preserves involves keeping them free from contamination, excessive human visitation, and non-native fire ants by regularly tracking progress and implementing adaptive management to control these and any new threats when necessary. Monitoring the population status and threats are also components of recovery. Because many aspects of the population dynamics and habitat requirements of the species are poorly understood, recovery is also dependant on incorporating research findings into adaptive management actions.

Distribution
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Global Range: (<100 square km (less than about 40 square miles)) Known from the following two caves in the Government Canyon State Natural Area, Bexar County, Texas: Government Canyon Bat Cave and Surprise Sink.

U.S. States and Canadian Provinces

Due to latency between updates made in state, provincial or other NatureServe Network databases and when they appear on NatureServe Explorer, for state or provincial information you may wish to contact the data steward in your jurisdiction to obtain the most current data. Please refer to our Distribution Data Sources to find contact information for your jurisdiction.
Color legend for Distribution Map
Endemism: endemic to a single state or province

U.S. & Canada State/Province Distribution
United States TX

Range Map
No map available.


U.S. Distribution by County Help
State County Name (FIPS Code)
TX Bexar (48029)
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
U.S. Distribution by Watershed Help
Watershed Region Help Watershed Name (Watershed Code)
12 Medina (12100302)+
+ Natural heritage record(s) exist for this watershed
* Extirpated/possibly extirpated
Ecology & Life History
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Basic Description: A small, yellowish, short-legged, essentially eyeless cavernicole.
Non-Migrant: N
Locally Migrant: N
Long Distance Migrant: N
Subterranean Habitat(s): Subterrestrial
Special Habitat Factors: Subterranean obligate
Economic Attributes Not yet assessed
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Management Summary Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Delineation Not yet assessed
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Population/Occurrence Viability
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U.S. Invasive Species Impact Rank (I-Rank) Not yet assessed
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Authors/Contributors
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NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Edition Date: 08May2009
NatureServe Conservation Status Factors Author: Capuano, N.

Zoological data developed by NatureServe and its network of natural heritage programs (see Local Programs) and other contributors and cooperators (see Sources).

References
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  • Culver, D.C., L.L. Master, M.C. Christman, and H.H. Hobbs III. 2000. Obligate cave fauna of the 48 contiguous United States. Conservation Biology 14(2):386-401.

  • Elliott, W. R. 2000. Conservation of the North American cave and karst biota. Pages 665-689 in Wilkens, H., D.C. Culver, and W.F. Humphreys (editors). Subterranean Ecosystems. Ecosystems of the World, 30. Elsevier, Amsterdam. xiv + 791 pp. Corrected version online. Available: http://www.utexas.edu/tmm/sponsored_sites/biospeleology/namcons.htm.

  • Gertsch, W. J. 1974. The spider family Leptonetidae in North America. Journal of Arachnology 1:145-203.

  • KINGLSEY, KENNETH J. AND STEVEN W. CAROTHERS. 2000. A REVIEW OF THE STATUS OF SEVEN SPECIES OF INVERTEBRATES (TEXELLA COKENDOLPHERI, BATRISODES VENYIVI, NEOLEPTONETA MICROPS, CICURINA BARONIA, CICURINA MADLA, CICURINA VENII, AND CICURINA VESPERA) PROPOSED FOR LISTING AS ENDANGERED IN BEXAR COUNTY, TEXAS: REVISED SECOND DRAFT. REPORT SUBMITTED TO U.S. FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, ECOLOGICAL FIELD OFFICE, AUSTIN, TEXAS. JANUARY 2000. 24 PP.

  • Ledford, J., P. Paquin, J. Cokendolpher, J. Campbell, and C. Griswold. 2012. Systematics, conservation and morphology of the spider genus Tayshaneta (Araneae, Leptonetidae) in central Texas caves. ZooKeys 167:1-102.

  • Longacre, C. 2000. Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Final Rule to List Nine Bexar County, Texas Invertebrate Species as Endangered. U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). Federal Register 65(248).

  • Platnick, N.I. 1986. On the tibial and patellar glands, relationships, and American genera of the spider family Leptonetidae (Arachnida, Araneae). American Museum Novitates 2855:1-16.

  • Rappaport, C. J. 1998. Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR part 17, RIN 1018-AF33, endangered and threatened wildlife and plants; proposal to list nine Bexar County, Texas invertebrate species as endangered. Federal Register, 63(250):71855-71867.

  • Reddell, J.R. and J.C. Cokendolpher. 2004. The cave spiders of Bexar and Comal counties, Texas. Texas Memorial Museum, Speleological Monographs 6:75-94.

  • Stanford, R., and A. Shull. 1993. Department of Interior Fish and Wildlife Service 50 CFR part 17; 90-day finding on a petition to list nine Bexar County, TX, invertebrates. Federal Register, 58(229):63328-63329.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 1994. Endangered and Threatened Wildlife and Plants; Animal Candidate Review for Listing as Endangered or Threatened Species. Federal Register 59(219):58982-59028.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2003. Endangered and Threatened wildlife and plants; designation of critical habitat for seven Bexar County, Texas, invertebrate species; final rule. Federal Register 68(67): 17156-17231.

  • U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS). 2008. Draft Bexar County Karst Invertebrate Recovery Plan.125 pp.

  • Ubick, D., P. Paquin, P.E. Cushing, and V. Roth editors. 2005. Spiders of North America: an identification manual. American Arachnological Society, New York.

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