doc. RNDr. Jiří Král, Dr.
RNDr. Milan Řezáč, Ph.D.
prof. Mgr. Stanislav Pekár, Ph.D.
prof. Mgr. Stano Pekár, Ph.D.
Atypus affinis Eichwald, 1830 LC
Atypus muralis Bertkau, 1890 EN
Atypus piceus (Sulzer, 1776) VU

Compared with araneomorph spiders, karyotypes of the spider infraorder Mygalomorphae are nearly unknown. In this study we investigated karyotypes of European species of the genus Atypus (Atypidae). The male karyotype of Atypus muralis and Atypus piceus comprises 41 chromosomes, whereas female complements contain 42 chromosomes. On the other hand, both sexes of Atypus affinis possess 14 chromosomes only. It is the lowest diploid number found in mygalomorph spiders so far. Furthermore, obtained data suggest X0 sex chromosome system in Atypus piceus, Atypus muralis and neo-XY system in Atypus affinis. Karyotypes of all three Atypus species are composed of biarmed chromosomes only. Thus they differ significantly from the karyotype of A. karschi , the only other species of this genus studied so far. Its karyotype was reported to be composed of acrocentric chromosomes and possesses X1X20 sex chromosome system. All this shows that unlike in most genera of araneomorph spiders, mygalomorphs of the genus Atypus exhibit unusual diversity in the number, morphology of chromosomes, and the sex chromosome system. Considering high number of chromosomes being plesiomorphic character in spiders, then karyotypes of Atypus muralis and Atypus piceus represent ancestral situation and that of Atypus affinis being derived by multiple fusions. Karyotype differences in Atypus correspond with morphological differences, namely the number of segments of the posterior lateral spinnerets. Thus in contrast to published hypothesis, the 3-segmented posterior lateral spinnerets of Atypus affinis should present a derived state.

Řezáč M., Král J., Musilová J. & Pekár S. (2006): Unusual karyotype diversity in the European spiders of the genus Atypus (Araneae: Atypidae). Hereditas 143: 123–129.