Myrmarachne gurgulla, Ceccarelli, F. Sara, 2010

Ceccarelli, F. Sara, 2010, New species of ant-mimicking jumping spiders of the genus Myrmarachne MacLeay, 1839 (Araneae: Salticidae) from north Queensland, Australia, Australian Journal of Entomology 49, pp. 245-255 : 250

publication ID 10.1111/j.1440-6055.2010.00756.x


persistent identifier

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scientific name

Myrmarachne gurgulla

sp. nov.

Myrmarachne gurgulla View in CoL sp. nov. Figures 19–27

Etymology. This name comes from the adjective ‘gurgul’ meaning black in Wulguru (indigenous language of the Townsville area), chosen because of the black colouration of the spider’s cuticle.

Material examined. Holotype: QM S66650 (male collected by FS Ceccarelli in Townsville , 19°19′34″S, 146°45′31″E 29 April 2003). GoogleMaps Unregistered male (collected by FS Ceccarelli in Townsville , 7 October 2003) ; unregistered male (collected by FS Ceccarelli in Townsville , 7 July 2005) ; unregistered female (collected by FS Ceccarelli in Townsville , 5 June 2003) .

Diagnosis. Male chelicerae protrude, but are only about half the length of the carapace, containing one retromarginal tooth at the proximal end, and three at the distal end. The tibial segment of the palp is shorter than the width at its proximal end; the flange is well-developed and the tibial apophysis is black, sinuous and relatively large. The diameter of the tegulum is approximately four-fifths the length of the cymbium. The female epigyne has oval-shaped spermathecae and a continuous median pouch. M. gurgulla can be distinguished from M. erythrocephala and M. striatipes by the spination of the tibiae of the first pair of legs, where M. gurgulla has one spine (and the females have an additional pair), whereas M. erythrocephala has none, and M. striatipes has three pairs of spines on their tibiae.

Description. Male: Carapace: all black, wedge-shaped depression in centre fringed with white hairs. Eyes: anterior medians procurved. Clypeus: fringed with white hairs. Chelicerae: all black and protruding, but when seen from the side at a slight downward angle, retromarginal dentition: one tooth at proximal end and two large and one small tooth on distal end; no fang apophysis. Maxillae and labium: black, maxillae with dark red margins. Sternum: black. Opisthosoma: black, sparsely covered with white hairs, central depression fringed with dense white hairs. Legs: slender. Legs I: tarsus black; metatarsus black; tibia red-brown and dark brown; patella yellow and red-brown; femur yellow and black; trochanter yellow and black; coxa white/cream. Legs II: tarsus dark yellow; metatarsus dark yellow; tibia dark yellow; patella dark yellow; femur dark yellow with black marks; trochanter yellow with black marks; coxa white/cream. Legs III: tarsus yellow; metatarsus yellow; tibia yellow and red-brown; patella dark brown; femur red-brown and black; trochanter red-brown and black; coxa black. Legs IV: tarsus yellow; metatarsus yellow; tibia red-brown and black; patella dark brown; femur brown and black; trochanter white; coxa white and black. Legs I spination: metatarsus 2-2, tibia 1, patella 0. Palp: tibial apophysis with a sinuous black hook, flange well-developed, embolus coiled once around bulbous tegulum, about 170 μm in diameter (making up four-fifths of the length of the cymbium), seminal reservoir marginate, cymbium and proximal depression fringed with setae. Dimensions: total length: 4.0– 4.8 mm; carapace length: 1.7–2.1 mm; ratio of carapaceto-chelicera length: 1.48–2.11; Ratios AME: ALE: P- ME: PLE: 4:1.8:1:2.5. Female: Carapace: same as ♂. Eyes: same as ♂. Clypeus: same as ♂. Chelicerae: not protruding, black. Maxillae and labium: same as ♂. Sternum: same as ♂. Opisthosoma: same as ♂. Legs: slender. Legs I: tarsus white with black markings; metatarsus white with black markings; tibia red-brown; patella white with black markings; femur brown with black markings; trochanter white with black markings; coxa white with black markings. Legs II: tarsus cream; metatarsus cream, tibia cream with brown markings; patella cream with brown markings; femur cream with brown markings; trochanter cream; coax cream. Legs III: tarsus white; metatarsus white; tibia red-brown and white; patella redbrown and white; femur red-brown and black; trochanter black and red-brown; coxa black. Legs IV: tarsus white; metatarsus white; tibia red-brown; patella white with brown markings; femur brown and black; trochanter light brown; coxa white. Legs I spination: metatarsus 2-2, tibia 1-2, patella 0. Epigyne: white, surrounded by red-brown pigmentation; continuous median pouches, spermathecae simple and oval-shaped, ducts relatively wide, not touching along the whole length. Dimensions: total length: 4.5–5.0 mm; carapace length: 2.0– 2.3 mm; ratios AME: ALE: PME: PLE: 3.5:1.8:1:2.2.

Distribution. Specimens recorded from north Queensland, Australia: Townsville (19°13′S, 146°48′E); other areas unknown.

Remarks. Myrmarachne gurgulla belongs to the volatilis group, and is the mimic of the ant Tetraponera punctulata Smith 1877 ( Formicidae : Pseudomyrmecinae ), positively associated with its ant model. This species is the least abundant in Townsville of the four species described here, and can easily be mistaken for M. rubra . The spiders can be found walking on trees (mainly eucalyptus trees of the species E. platyphylla ), or inside retreats they build under pieces of bark, or in small indentations of the tree trunk. Males build sheet-like retreats, whereas the female retreats are more wool-like in appearance. Females lay between 10 and 15 eggs. The spiderlings are black during every stage of their life cycle.


Australia, Queensland, South Brisbane, Queensland Museum













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