Cyriopagopus represents a genus of tarantulas native to Southeast Asia, spanning from Myanmar to the Philippines. March 2017 marked a taxonomic update, incorporating species previously categorized under Haplopelma. Eugène Louis Simon initially described this genus in 1887.
The spiders formerly classified as Haplopelma exhibit medium to large sizes. For instance, females of Cyriopagopus schmidti boast a total body length, including chelicerae, of up to 85 mm, with the longest leg measuring about 70 mm. Typically, their carapace is dark brown, and they possess eight eyes clustered on a raised section of the cephalothorax, forming a distinctive “tubercle.” Notably, the first leg is usually the longest, and the maxillae’s forward-facing sides feature “thorns” serving as a stridulating organ. Mature females exhibit an M-shaped spermatheca, while mature males have a spur on the tibiae’s forward-facing sides and a pear-shaped palpal bulb with a wide, curved embolus.
The nomenclature of tarantula genera in South and Southeast Asia, including Cyriopagopus, has experienced flux. Presently, Haplopelma is considered a junior synonym of Cyriopagopus, and Melopoeus of Haplopelma. The genus Cyriopagopus was established by Eugène Simon in 1887, with subsequent revisions and consolidations by researchers like Robert Raven and A. M. Smith. As of March 2017, the World Spider Catalog acknowledges the need for a comprehensive revision of ornithoctonine genera.
Distribution and Habitat:
Cyriopagopus is found in Southeast Asia, Borneo, and the Philippines, inhabiting underground silk-lined tubes, often with a surrounding web of radiating signal threads. Colonies may be located at the base of trees or bamboos, with some species favoring steep, south-facing slopes.
Similar to other Old World tarantulas, Cyriopagopus spiders lack urticating hairs and rely on biting for both offense and defense. Some species are known for their potent venom, causing severe pain and various effects, but no fatalities have been reported. Notable species, such as Cyriopagopus lividus, C. hainanus, and C. schmidti, have characterized venom producing hainantoxins and huwentoxins.
As of July 2022, Cyriopagopus comprises nine species, distributed across Asia. Notable species include Cyriopagopus albostriatus, C. doriae, C. hainanus, C. lividus, C. longipes, C. minax, C. paganus, C. schmidti, and C. vonwirthi. Additionally, certain species have been synonymized or transferred to other genera.
Please note that taxonomy and nomenclature may evolve, so it’s advisable to consult the latest sources for the most up-to-date information.