Poltys milledgei, Smith, 2006

Smith, H. M., 2006, A Revision of the Genus Poltys in Australasia (Araneae: Araneidae), Records of the Australian Museum 58, pp. 43-96 : 64-69

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Poltys milledgei

sp. nov.

Poltys milledgei View in CoL n.sp.

Figs 14, 19–21, 27–28, 80–83, 89–94, 100–103, 110–115, 116, 119–120.

Etymology. This species is named in honour of Graham Milledge who has assisted me on many collecting trips.

Type material. AUSTRALIA: NORTHERN TERRITORY: HOLOTYPE ♀ KS84110 , Humpty Doo, Solar Village , 12°35'S 131°05'E, 20 May 1999 GoogleMaps , G,M&S & J. Webber, night collecting. PARATYPES Ƌ KS55728 , Litchfield NP, Florence Falls , 13°09'S 130°46'E, 19 May 1999 GoogleMaps , G,M&S; Ƌ WAM T62875 (ex KS55740 ) 23 May 1999 , on silk line between dead twigs at night; Ƌ NTM A952 View Materials , as KS55740 , 19 May 1999 , G,M&S, hanging in dead tree near subadult ♀ at night; KS55738 , Litchfield NP, Wangi Falls , 13°09'S 130°40'E, 22 May 1999 GoogleMaps , G,M&S; ♀ NTM A953 View Materials , Duncans Douglas, nr Daly River Research Station , 13°50'S 131°11'E, 18 May 1991 GoogleMaps , J. Webber; ♀ WA98/1981, Cahills Crossing , 12°25'S 132°58'E, 29 May 1992 GoogleMaps , M.S. Harvey, J.M. Waldock.

Other material examined. AUSTRALIA: NORTHERN TERRITORY: Ƌ KS55735 , Darwin, East Point , 12°25'S 130°49'E, 21 May 1999 GoogleMaps ; ♀♀ KS55726 (3), Humpty Doo, Solar Village , 12°35'S 131°05'E, 20 May 1999 GoogleMaps ; Ƌ KS53838 , KS53839 , Ƌ KS53840 , KS53841 , Litchfield NP, Florence Falls , 13°09'S 130°46'E, 5–6 Aug. 1998 GoogleMaps ; ♀♀ KS55730–31 , ♀♀ KS55739 (3), Ƌ KS55740 , Ƌ KS55741 , Ƌ KS55743 , Litchfield NP as previous record, May 1999 ; Ƌ KS59254 ex eggsac laid by one of KS55739 , matured 14 Sep.1999 ; ♀♀ (3) KS55736 , Litchfield NP, Wangi Falls , 13°09'S 130°40'E, 22 May 1999 GoogleMaps ; ♀ ( NTM), Melville Island , 11°33'S 130°56'E, 3 Aug. 1975 GoogleMaps ; ♀ ( NTM), Wangi Station , 13°09'S 130°38'E, 22 Aug. 1975 GoogleMaps ; Ƌ S42555 View Materials , South Alligator Inn , 12°40'S 132°30'E, Nov. 1979 GoogleMaps ; Ƌ S42556 View Materials , West Alligator River mouth, 12°15'S 132°16'E, 12 Nov. 1979 GoogleMaps ; ♀♀ S42581 View Materials , West Alligator mouth, 12°11'S 132°16'E, 22 July 1979 GoogleMaps ; ♀♀ WA98/1982– 3, Cahills Crossing, 12°25'S 132°58'E, 29 May 1992. QUEENSLAND: subadult S42587 View Materials , Rokeby Station , 13°40'S 142°40'E, 30 May 1973 (eye tubercle proportions appear to match this species) GoogleMaps . WESTERN AUSTRALIA: ♀ KS55747 , Lake Argyle Rd , 9 km N of campsite, 16°02'S 128°46'E, 9 June 1999 GoogleMaps ; ♀ WA98/1972, Walcott Inlet (South), 18°27'S 124°45'E, May 1996 GoogleMaps . INDONESIA: BALI: ♀ & juveniles ( RMNH ex coll. CLD), Ambengan, N. Bali, 21 Jan. 1990 . SUMBAWA: ♀♀ & juveniles ( RMNH ex coll. CLD), Samokat, 20 hrs from Besar, 3 Jan. 1990 .

Diagnosis. As P. jujorum but with a more delicate and less elongate eye tubercle ( Figs 90, 100). Females. Epigynal copulatory ducts are relatively long so the spermathecae are separate from the foveae in posterior view ( Fig. 111). Males. The flattened macrosetae of patellae I and II are usually elongate (ovate in males of P. jujorum ) ( Fig. 103); the free part of the membranous palpal conductor is visible separate from the embolus in lateral view, partially filling the space between the MA and the other sclerites (compare Figs 113 and 107, 120 and 118).

Description. Female. Carapace length range 2.69–3.80. Drawn specimens Figures: 28, S42581 View Materials ; 80–81, KS55736; 82–83, KS53841; 89–90, 94, KS55747; 91–92, 110–111, KS84110 (holotype); 93, WAM 98/1982; 112, KS55726. General features as P. jujorum , except for eye tubercle.

Holotype. Prosoma. Carapace: length 3.22, width 2.29, height 0.97; long and narrow; eye tubercle well developed, distinctly elevated ( Figs 89–90); produced into a rounded protuberance between the PME; eye tubercle sagittate in dorsal view due to tufts of flattened setae that arise on the tip of the eye tubercle and laterally posterior to the PME (as in P. jujorum , Figs 121–122). Chelicerae: fang medium length; paturon with 4 promarginal teeth. Labium: length 0.37, width 0.57. Sternum: length 1.37, width 1.31; sternal extensions at bases of legs III–IV. Eyes. ( Fig. 90) AME>PME>PLE> ALE ; ALE c. 1× its own diameter from AME; height of ventral margin of ALE is level with ventral margin of AME. Legs. P+TL I: 4.37, II: 4.08, III: 2.65, IV: 3.31; front femora distinctly broadened with greatest diameter c. 3 ⁄ 5 way to apex; some patellar and tibial macrosetae on all legs flattened distally ( Fig. 93), macrosetae on distal patellae usually short. (In P. jujorum these are usually long in females, although often broken. This is the opposite to the relative states in males.) Abdomen. ( Fig. 91–92). Length 10.01, width 3.28; broadest just anterior to main apodemes; on dorsal surface just anterior to spinnerets there are two rows of 6 shiny, black maculae on posterior pointing folds, plus a partial row of two posterior to these and two additional lateral pairs anteriorly. (Not well preserved on holotype, typical arrangement better illustrated by Fig. 94). Epigyne. Much broader than long, most of the anterior surface is covered by a broad “lip” ( Fig. 110); posterior plates short but usually longer than in P. jujorum ; median posterior plate not reduced, appears almost fused to lateral plates over much of their lengths, then narrows to a bridge between pocketlike distal foveae ( Figs 111–112); copulatory ducts and spermathecae often visible through cuticle, former can be seen to be longer than in P. jujorum ; spermathecae separated by about a spermatheca width. Colour in alcohol. Carapace yellow, caput and eye tubercle orange-brown, with yet darker patches anterior to PLE and on posterior caput; black around secondary eyes, dark brown ventral to main eyes. Chelicerae brown, yellow V distally. Labium, maxillae and sternum mid brown.Pedipalps creamy-yellow, sparsely mottled with brown. Femora I to III with a small amount of black basally, then all yellow except for a broad black terminal band; femur IV mostly dark brown; distal legs mottled with yellow and brown. Abdomen ventrally dark grey around pedicel and posteriorly to spinnerets except paler book lung covers; laterally and anteriorly then to dorsal colour pattern of black and brown over fawn and white; darkest at anterior.

Male. Carapace length range 0.78–0.96. Drawn specimens Figures: 27, KS55740; 100–102, 113–115, KS55741; 103, KS59254.

Male KS55728. Prosoma. Carapace: length 0.86, width 0.55, height 0.31; lightbulb-shape in dorsal view ( Fig. 102); highest at eye tubercle; eye tubercle elongate with distinct “v” between caput and posterior eye tubercle in lateral view ( Fig. 100); eye tubercle anteriorly a broadly rounded point; eye tubercle sagittate in dorsal view as in female. Labium: length 0.08, width 0.15. Sternum: length 0.35, width 0.34. Eyes. ( Fig. 100). PME=AME>PLE≥ ALE ; ALE c. 1 ⁄ 8 × its own diameter from AME; ventral margin of ALE is just dorsal to that of AME. Legs. ( Fig. 100). P+TL I: 0.84, II: 0.76, III: 0.47, IV: 0.61; distal patellar setae of legs I and II flattened and elongate ( Fig. 103), distal patellar setae legs III and IV and some dorsal tibial macrosetae on all legs flattened to an elongate leaf-shape. Abdomen. ( Figs 100– 101). Length 1.24, width 0.73; a tall, rather lumpy, ellipsoid, with slightly extended rounded apex, widest at mid-height; tufts of setae arise from bumps. Palpal organ. ( Figs 113– 115, 119–120). Tegulum rather angular ( Fig. 114); conductor a small membranous crescent, basal part difficult to discern clearly under a light microscope ( Figs 114, 119); MA longer and more slender than in other species ( Figs 113, 120); PM hidden (if present, see Fig. 27); radix–stipes joint dorsal, totally hidden by cymbium ( Fig. 115); TA a broad membranous flap ( Figs 114, 119–120); embolus short and stout ( Fig. 120). Colour in alcohol. Lateral carapace light yellowish-olive, caput darkens slightly to eye tubercle, latter orange over the PME, carapace with black median markings; dark brown round AME, extends round ALE and under PLE. Labium and maxillae fuscous. Chelicerae yellow with fuscous centre. Sternum yellow-brown with black edges. Femora pale creamy-olive with fuscous markings; distal legs I and II with brown rings and marks to mid metatarsus, then white with black marks; legs III and IV olive-white dorsally and almost solid black maculation proventrally. Palpal cymbium dark brown, contrasting with white tibia, patella and femur; tibia and patella with black tips. Abdominal book lung covers pale, white towards spinnerets; surrounding ventral areas grey; dorsum mostly grey–white with black speckling, black on the bumps and black “cello” marks.

Variation.As in P. jujorum , the female abdominal “eye spots” are rather variable in size and number. Female abdominal shapes and epigynes also feature a similar range of variation. One male from Darwin (KS55735) has all the flattened macrosetae short and rounded (like P. jujorum males).

Biology. The spiders make a typical fine web made at night on dead twigs and vines; only recorded from monsoon rainforest and woodland. The egg sac is like that of P. jujorum , a small white “sac” with overlay of cream, and sometimes grey or brown silk ( Fig. 14), laid on the underside of a dead twig.

Distribution. The far north of Western Australia, the Northern Territory, southern Indonesia and possibly Queensland ( Fig. 116).


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National Museum of Natural History, Naturalis













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