Maratus vespa , 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: 68-89

publication ID

10.5281/zenodo.270111

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:urn:lsid:zoobank.org:pub:F1BC047C-7963-491E-A55C-3D1313B58510

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/BDD0F5B2-1F60-4A44-B43D-DD0FEF980588

taxon LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:act:BDD0F5B2-1F60-4A44-B43D-DD0FEF980588

treatment provided by

Plazi

scientific name

Maratus vespa
status

new species

Maratus vespa  , new species

Type specimens. The holotype male (♂ # 7), eight paratype males (♂ # 1 -3, 5-6, 8- 10), and seven paratype females (♀ # 1-7) were collected at Lake Jasper, D'Entrecasteaux National Park, WA (34.42018 °S, 115.69467 °E, 17 NOV 2015, coll. J. Otto and D. Knowles, edge of sand track). These will be deposited in the Western Australian Museum, Perth.

Etymology. The species group name ( vespa, Latin  , f., noun, English translation wasp) refers to the presence of an unusual and detailed pattern of scales on the fan of the adult male that resembles the outline of a wasp (genus Vespa  ) as seen from the front.

Diagnosis. Males have a distinctive pattern of scales on the fan, drawn with fine lines, that is unlike that of any other Maratus  . The courtship display most resembles that of M. linnaei Waldock 2008  , with extended legs III held in a vertical position, often touching at the midline as the fan is rotated from side to side and its movement is followed closely by the female ( Otto 2013). But, the two species differ greatly in

appearance, and male M. linnaei  have no flaps or lateral extensions of the fan. Both the male pedipalp and the female epigynum of M. vespa  resemble those of other Maratus  species and are of little use in identification. Females are also very similar to other Maratus  species, but may have three indistinct to well-defined dark lines toward the rear of the eye region, and they also have a characteristic but subtle pattern consisting of a large forward pointing 'V' flanked anteriorly by two lines, all comprised of lighter grey or brown scales that can be distinguished from the dark brown scales that cover the dorsum of the opisthosoma. A series of indistinct dark lines may also radiate across the wide marginal bands of the female opisthosoma, toward the rear.

Description of male ( Figures 78-86View Figure 78View Figure 79). Males (N= 9) ranged from 3.57 to 4.05 mm in length. The entire carapace is black and glabrous, except for setae around the eyes, in the eye region, and the marginal band. Scattered white setae project forward from the clypeus, below the anterior eye row. The chelicerae are black and glabrous. The eye region is covered with grey setae, interrupted by five lines or tracts of dark

red setae. The median line may cross the entire eye region, flanked by a pair of lines that occupy only the rear half of the eye region. Flanking these is a pair of diagonal lines or spots, also dark red. A prominent marginal band of white setae is present. An indistinct median thoracic tract and a lateral tract behind each PLE of scattered off-white setae may be present if not worn. The PME are closer to the PLE than to the AME. The fan of the dorsal opisthosoma is well-developed, with a complex and distinctive pattern of fine lines that resembles a drawing of a wasp as seen from the front, drawn in light brown on a background of light brown or yellow-brown ( Figure 78 View Figure : 6). Six longitudinal tracts of brighter red-orange scales, the medial pair shorter and joining and appearing like a pair of wasp mandibles, are surrounded by iridescent blue-green scales toward the front of the fan. The fan has a pair of posterolateral, lobate flaps that are extended during courtship display. Blue-green iridescent scales are also present at the rear of the fan, where they are interrupted by three orange spots, and on the posterior margin of each flap. White setae are present at the dorsal midline behind the fan, and a patch of white colular setae is present behind these, above the black spinnerets fringed with long grey setae ( Figures 78 View Figure :3, 79: 8). Beneath, the opisthosoma is brown with scattered light setae. From below, coxae III and IV are grey and glabrous, and coxae I and II, the sternum, the labium, and endites are dark and glabrous.

Legs I and II are of similar length, shorter than legs III and IV, and legs III are by far the longest. Legs I, II and IV are dark brown to black, with irregular bands of white scales on each segment. Legs III are dark brown to black with scattered white setae and prominent ventral fringes of long white setae extending from each femur to the metatarsus. The tarsus is covered with white setae. The pedipalps are typical for

Maratus  , with two pointed apices of the embolus, the outer longer and larger ( Figures 85-86).

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Description of female ( Figures 87-92View Figure 87View Figure 88View Figure 89View Figure 90View Figure 91View Figure 92). Females (N= 6) ranged from 4.67 to 5.31 mm in length. The clypeus is brown with long, anteromedially directed, off-white setae. The chelicerae are brown and glabrous. The eye region is covered by four indistinct tracts of mixed off-white to light brown and red-brown scales, one behind each anterior eye. Scales of the medial tracts, behind the AME, are oriented in a posterolateral

direction. The dorsal carapace is black, the sides of the carapace are brown and translucent. The PME are slightly closer to the PLE than to the ALE. Long, off-white to light brown setae form a large, indistinct band extending from below the PLE to the rear, at the top of the carapace. Some of these setae may also comprise a short median thoracic spot or stripe behind the eye region. The lower half of the carapace, on either side, is mostly brown and glabrous with a few scattered scales. A marginal band is not present. The dorsal opisthosoma is dark brown to red-brown, flanked with broad marginal bands of off-white to light brown setae. An indistinct pattern of lighter setae, appearing as a forward-pointing 'V' flanked by two shorter bands at the anterior margin, may be present within the dark dorsal area. A small triangular patch of white colular setae is present. Below, the opisthosoma is brown with a cover of short off-white to light brown setae. From below, the coxae, sternum, labium, and endites are brown, translucent, and mostly glabrous except for scattered setae.

Legs I and II are shorter, legs III and IV longer and of similar length with legs III the longest. All legs are brown and irregularly banded with rings of off-white to light brown setae. The pedipalps are light brown to brown and translucent, covered with off-white setae. The epigynum ( Figure 92 View Figure ) is typical for Maratus  , with sclerotized ducts visible through the posterior half of each fenestra (window). The large posterior

spermathecae vary from about the size of the fenestrae to significantly larger.

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Immatures ( Figure 93 View Figure ). Emergent (second instar) young are light brown and translucent, with dark pigment at the top of the carapace. They have a cover of red-brown scales in the eye region, off-white scales around the eyes, and several transverse bands across the opisthosoma. Penultimate females resemble the adults. In addition to their bulbous pedipalps, penultimate males have an entirely black

carapace and a pattern of light to dark, brown to red-brown setae on the dorsal opisthosoma that suggests the distinctive pattern of coloured scales of the adult male.

Courtship ( Figures 94-100View Figure 94View Figure 95View Figure 96View Figure 97View Figure 98View Figure 99View Figure 100). In their courtship display, male Maratus vespa  hold their extended legs III in position directly above the posterior carapace, in front of their elevated fan, with lateral flaps alternately expanded and retracted. During this display, the male would first rotate the fan to one side, then bring it back to a centered position, then rotate it to the other side, then bring it back to a centered position once

again. In a video recording the duration of each cycle of rotation (center-right-center-left-center) averaged ~ 13.5 s, and regular cycles of display were repeated for more than four minutes ( Figure 97 View Figure ). As the male displayed, a female closely observed the male from the front at a distance of only 4-5 mm, following the movements of the fan as it was rotated from side to side. Bright iridescent scales displayed on the striped anterior part of the fan (ventral part when elevated) when centered, and displayed on the outer part of each flap when turned to the side, may play an important role in eliciting the turning response of the female. A second variant on this display was also observed in which the fan was elevated and expanded but rotated to a lesser degree over a smaller arc, and the elevated legs III were separated and then brought together again in a series of 'pincher' movements ( Figure 100 View Figure ). During each cycle of this movement, legs III were separated in ~ 0.25 s, then brought together more rapidly in ~ 0.08 s.

Habitat and distribution. Maratus vespa  were collected on low plants and debris at the edges of a sand track at Lake Jasper, D'Entrecasteaux National Park, WA ( Figure 101 View Figure , map Figure 1 View Figure ). Figure 102 View Figure includes field photographs of these spiders at that site.

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Arthropoda

Class

Arachnida

Order

Araneae

Family

Salticidae

Genus

Maratus