Maratus bubo , Jürgen C. Otto & David E. Hill, 2016
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Maratus bubo , new species
Type specimens. The holotype male (♂ # 1), one paratype male (♂ # 2), and three paratype females (♀ # 1- 3) were collected 14.5 km NNW of Walpole, WA (34.86057 °S, 116.66612 °E, 16 NOV 2015, coll. J. Otto and D. Knowles, edge of sandy track bordering a swamp). These will be deposited in the Western Australian Museum, Perth.
Etymology. The species group name ( bubo, Latin , m., noun, based on the name for the genus of horned owls) refers to the vivid and abstract image that is suggestive of a horned owl on the dorsal opisthosomal plate or fan of the adult male.
Diagnosis. The male Maratus bubo shares many characters with other members of the (Maratus) mungaich group, particularly with the three species within that group ( M. avibus , M. caeruleus , and M. madelineae ) that also bracket their elevated and expanded fan with legs I during courtship display ( Figure 35 View Figure ). The bold, 'owl like' figure of bright red scales, bracketed by lateral bands of bright orange scales on
the fan of M. bubo , readily distinguishes this species from other members of the group. Females within the mungaich group are not well known, but when compared to published photographs of female M. mungaich and M. sarahae ( Otto & Hill 2014) , female M. bubo have better defined bands of light coloured setae on the lateral margins of the opisthosoma, strongly contrasting with the dark dorsum. In addition female M. bubo have three posterior extensions of the dark area of the dorsal opisthosoma that resemble the three posterior projections of the 'owl like' figure on the fan of the male.
Description of male ( Figures 36 View Figure -37).
Males (N= 2) ranged from 4.02 to 4.10 mm in length.
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The clypeus is black, with a few white setae projecting forward. The chelicerae are black and glabrous. The entire carapace is black and glabrous except for the uniform field of dark red setae that cover the eye region and the white setae of the well-defined marginal bands. A few dark red setae may be present in the median thoracic region, and directly behind each PLE. The PME are slightly closer to the PLE than to
the ALE. The dorsal opisthosomal plate (fan) is densely covered with a background of iridescent blue to purple scales. On this background is a distinctive 'stick drawing' that resembles an owl, comprised of bright red pigmented scales ( Figure 36 View Figure : 4-8). When the semi-circular lateral flaps of the fan are expanded, they reveal a bright orange, strongly fringed margin on either side. A small triangular patch of bright white colular setae is present, behind the fan and above the black spinnerets. Below, the opisthosoma is covered with shorter, light coloured setae, with a prominent antero-median black spot. The coxae, sternum, labium, and endites are mostly glabrous and translucent.
All of the legs have a generally black or dark brown appearance. Legs I and II are alomost the same length, much shorter than legs III and IV. Legs III are by far the longest. Legs I, II and IV are ringed with bands of white setae, alternating with black or dark brown bands where these setae are absent. Each leg III is black, with a covering of white setae on the dorsal femora, prominent fringes of longer white setae
below the tibia and metatarsus, and long white setae covering the tarsus. The pedipalp, covered dorsally with long white to off-white setae, is similar to that of other Maratus , and closely resembles the pedipalp of other members of the mungaich group with two distinct, pointed apices of the embolus (Figure 37: 8- 10).
Description of female ( Figures 38-40View Figure 38View Figure 40). Females (N= 3) ranged from 4.69 to 5.11 mm in length. The chelicerae are light brown, glabrous, and translucent. Long white setae project forward toward the midline from the clypeus. The top of the carapace is mostly dark with few setae, except for light to dark brown setae around the eyes. An indistinct line of lighter scales may be present along the midline behind
the eye region. Scattered off-white setae are present on the sides of the carapace, which is otherwise brown and translucent. There is no marginal band. The dorsal opisthosoma is mostly dark brown, bordered by broad marginal bands of light brown setae on the sides. The dark brown area of the dorsal opisthosoma extends to the rear as three to five more-or-less distinct but short stripes, reminiscent of the posterior part of the bright red figure on the fan of the male. Below the opisthosoma is light-coloured with a cover of shorter off-white setae and indistinct, small brown spots. The coxae, sternum, labium, and endites are brown, translucent, and mostly glabrous except for a cluster of off-white setae emerging from the posterior sternum.
Legs I and II are of similar length, shorter than legs III and IV. Legs III are the longest with femora that are longer than those of legs IV. All legs are dark brown, with segmental bands of off-white setae. The epigynum ( Figure 40 View Figure ) is similar to that of other Maratus , particularly members of the mungaich group, with dark or heavily sclerotized ducts visible beneath the posterior half of each fenestra.
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1 mm 1 mm 1 mm Figure 39. Female Maratus bubo . 1 -3, 5-7, 9-11, 13- 15, In alcohol. 4, 8, 12. Ventral views of living individuals.
Immatures. Emergent (or second instar) juveniles that were reared are shown in Figure 41 View Figure . These are mostly translucent, light brown, with a fair number of off-white to red-brown scales on the dorsal carapace and opisthosoma. Penultimate females ( Figure 42 View Figure : 1-6) are close to adults in appearance, also with three posterior projections of the dark dorsal region of the opisthosoma. Penultimate males ( Figure View Figure
42: 7-12) are similar to the females except for their bulbous, light-coloured pedipalps, often with better definition of the dorsal opisthosomal pattern that will appear as a pattern of bright red scales in the adult.
Courtship ( Figures 43 -44View Figure 43View Figure 44, 45 View Figure : 1). Courtship display by the male Maratus bubo is similar to that previously described for M. avibus ( Figure 9 View Figure in Otto & Hill 2014). In M. avibus , legs III were held upright in a similar position, bracketing the elevated and extended fan, as the centered fan was first rotated to one side, then returned to the center, then rotated to the other side, then returned to the center in a cycle of about 1.7 s.
During this display the pedipalps were held in front of the chelicerae. In M. bubo we observed faster cycles for rotation of the fan (~ 6 /s) with periodic side-stepping at a lower rate (~ 1.5 /s).
Habitat and distribution. Maratus bubo has been found only on low plants at the edge of a sandy track bordering a swamp at the type locality near Walpole in Western Australia ( Figure 46 View Figure , map Figure 1 View Figure ).
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