Maratus australis , Jürgen C. Otto & David E. Hill, 2016

Jürgen C. Otto & David E. Hill, 2016, Seven new peacock spiders from Western Australia and South Australia (Araneae: Salticidae: Euophryini: Maratus), Peckhamia 141 (1), pp. 1-101: 17-29

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Maratus australis

new species

Maratus australis  , new species

Type specimens. The holotype male (♂ # 9), nine paratype males (♂ # 1 -8, 11), and five paratype females (♀ # 1 -3, 5- 6) were collected at Pine Grove Holiday Park, Esperance, WA (33.83208 °S, 121.8904 °E, 8 OCT 2013, coll. J. Otto, leaf litter behind park cabin). One paratype male was collected later (33.85 °S, 121.77417 °E, 15-17 NOV 2014, coll. M. Doe and A. Fletcher). These will be deposited in the Western

Australian Museum, Perth.

Etymology. The species group name ( australis, Latin  , m., adjective, English translation southern) refers to the distribution of this species at the southern margin of the Australian continent.

Diagnosis. Maratus australis  is a close relative of the eastern M. tasmanicus Otto & Hill 2013  ( Figure 18View Figure 18). We previously identified a peacock spider from Eucla in a photograph of a male posted by Framenau (2009) as M. tasmanicus ( Otto & Hill 2013)  , but now consider this to be a M. australis  . Male M. australis  can be distinguished by the appearance of the pedipalps from the front, each with a dark dorsal stripe

fringed with white setae, black metatarsi III, the presence of a wider median thoracic band behind the eye region, separation of the median stripes of the fan, and separation of the two lateral red-orange stripes at each anterior lateral margin of the fan. The male pedipalps of the two species are similar, with a larger outer apex and a shorter inner apex associated with each embolus. In the M. australis  that we have examined the two apices are separated, whereas these were heavier and contiguous in M. tasmanicus ( Otto & Hill 2013)  . Female M. australis  resemble M. tasmanicus  , but are darker with less orange colour and more distinct separation of a dark brown dorsal opisthosoma from the tan lateral margins by irregular black lateral lines. The epigyna of both species are similar, with darker or sclerotized ducts visible through the posterior half of the fenestrae (fossae).

Description of male ( Figures 19-25View Figure 19View Figure 20View Figure 21View Figure 22View Figure 23View Figure 24View Figure 25). Males (N= 10) ranged from 3.95 to 4.59 mm in length. The chelicerae are black. Long white setae project anteriorly near the median of the clypeus. The pedipalps are distinctive when viewed from the front, marked with a prominent, dark dorsal stripe surrounded by fringes of long white setae. The carapace is dark. The eye region is covered with grey setae, interrupted

by a stripe of red-brown setae behind each anterior eye, and often with a fifth median stripe of red-brown setae. Scattered white to grey setae occur on the sides of the carapace, and there is a distinct marginal band of white setae. Behind the eye region a wide median thoracic band of white setae tapers and ends about halfway to the posterior margin of the carapace.

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The dorsal opisthosoma ( Figure 21View Figure 21) is thinly fringed with long, stout black and white setae extending to the front. The fan is distinctly lobed with a large black spot centered on each lobe, with a cover of iridescent blue to purple scales. At the center lies a complex figure comprised of three irregular bands of light to dark orange scales on either side. A narrow band of bright red-orange scales runs parallel to the

posterior margin of the fan, joining the large black spots of the lateral lobes. When retracted the lobes of the fan overlap slightly below the abdomen. Behind and under the fan to the rear the dorsal opisthosoma is dark, with a median patch of white setae contiguous with a smaller patch of white colular setae to the rear. From below, the opisthosoma is light brown anteriorly, with a large dark brown patch toward the rear, flanked laterally by dark brown stripes ( Figure 30View Figure 30: 4). Viewed from below the coxae, sternum, labium, and endites are mostly glabrous with a few scattered setae, particularly at the rear of the sternum.

Legs I and II are shorter than legs III and IV, and legs III are by far the longest. Legs I, II and IV are ringed with bands of white setae alternating with darker bands. Legs III are dark brown with a light cover of white setae on the femora, a white fringe under each tibia, black metatarsi with a black fringe below, and bright white setae covering the tarsi. The pedipalps ( Figure 23View Figure 23) are typical for Maratus  . Each embolus

has two distal apices that are slightly separated, both sharply pointed. The outer apex is larger and longer.

Description of female ( Figures 26-29View Figure 26View Figure 27View Figure 28View Figure 29). Females (N= 5) ranged from 3.84 to 5.88 mm in length. The chelicerae are brown and glabrous. A fringe of long white setae projects forward from the clypeus. The carapace is dark brown dorsally, lighter at the sides. The eye region is covered with light brown or grey setae, interrupted by an indistinct darker stripe behind each anterior eye. Behind the eye region, a wide

median thoracic band of off-white setae tapers to the rear, centered in a glabrous, dark brown to black area that extends to the rear of the carapace. White to light brown setae cover the otherwise translucent, light to dark, sides of the carapace, but no marginal band is present.


The dark brown dorsum of the opisthosoma is bordered by black lateral bands that separate this from the light-brown setae that cover the lateral margins and underside of the opisthosoma. Paired tracts or spots of lighter setae may also be present on the dorsum. Legs I and II are shorter than legs III and IV. From below the legs, sternum, labium and endites are mostly glabrous and translucent. From above the legs

are indistinctly banded with alternating bands of light brown scales and dark pigment. The epigynum ( Figure 29View Figure 29: 8-11) has sclerotized (dark) ducts that may occupy most of the fenestrae when viewed from below.

Courtship display ( Figures 30-31View Figure 30View Figure 31). The courtship display of male Maratus australis  , with legs III extended and waved, and the fan elevated and expanded, resembles that of M. tasmanicus ( Otto & Hill 2013)  .

Mating. As noted for other Maratus  species, the female M. australis  can rotate her opisthosoma by 180 ° to facilitate mating ( Figure 32View Figure 32). While mating, inflation of the tegulum (bulb) of the male pedipalp is accompanied by an increase in internal fluid pressure in both the legs and pedipalps, something that can be observed directly through the simultaneous extension of leg spines or macrosetae ( Figure 33).

Habitat and distribution. Two views of the leaf litter habitat where Maratus australis  was found at Esperance are shown in Figure 34View Figure 34. Localities where this species has been found are shown in Figure 1View Figure 1.