Arachnura melanura Simon, 1867

Castanheira, Pedro De S., Didham, Raphael K., Vink, Cor J. & Framenau, Volker W., 2019, The scorpion-tailed orb-weaving spiders (Araneae, Araneidae, Arachnura) in Australia and New Zealand, Zootaxa 4706 (1), pp. 147-170: 164-165

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Arachnura melanura Simon, 1867


Arachnura melanura Simon, 1867  

(Figs. 9; 13)

Arachnura melanura Simon, 1867: 17–19   .

Arachnura digitata Thorell, 1877: 410–413   (synonymised in Simon, 1895: 777).

Arachnura melanura Simon.   - Simon, 1895: 776–777, fig. 847; Chrysanthus, 1961: 203–205, figs. 39–41, 68; Tanikawa, 1991: 12–14, figs. 1–6; Yin et al., 1997: 122–123, figs. 46a–d.

Type material. Female holotype of Arachnura melanura Simon, 1867   , locality unknown (not given in Simon, 1967; likely MALAYSIA based on Simon (1895). Possibly at MNHN (not examined). Female holotype of Arachnura digitata Thorell, 1877   : Kendari (ca. 4°00’S, 122°31’E, Sulawesi, INDONESIA). Depository unknown (not examined).

Other material examined. AUSTRALIA, Queensland: Bulburin State Forest , 24°30’S, 151°35’E 19.iii.1975 (1 ♀, QM S87809 View Materials ) GoogleMaps   . PAPUA NEW GUINEA: Chimbu Province: near Haia Village , 6°42’S, 145°4’E, G. Dodson, 28.viii.1995 (2 ♀, QM S29614 View Materials ) GoogleMaps   . SINGAPORE: Singapore , 1°17’N, 103°51’E, H. N. Ridley (1 ♀, BMNH 1889.6.20) GoogleMaps   .

Remarks. A female from Bulburin State Forest, Queensland (Figs. 9A–E) is here tentatively identified as A. melanura   pending a comprehensive revision of this apparent widespread species that has been reported from India throughout China to Japan and into Indonesia ( World Spider Catalog 2019). It is clearly not an A. higginsii   specimen based on somatic characters, i.e. shape of the abdominal tail, and genital morphology (Figs. 9A–E). The epigynum (Fig. 9E) matches well the illustration by Chrysanthus (1961) who firstly reviewed this species; however, the tailend of the Australian specimens is more swollen and the protuberance less conspicuous than depicted by Chrysanthus (1961).

Descriptions and illustrations of A. melanura   in the scientific literature vary and it is possible that this taxon as currently understood represents a cluster of species. Apparently, no author redescribing this species after Simon’s (1867) original description studied the type material. All relied solely on the original verbal description of the species or subsequent taxonomic studies. It is clear that A. melanura   requires thorough revision which is beyond the scope of this study for a species with a single, likely incidental record in Australia.


Queensland Museum














Arachnura melanura Simon, 1867

Castanheira, Pedro De S., Didham, Raphael K., Vink, Cor J. & Framenau, Volker W. 2019

Arachnura digitata

Simon, E. 1895: 777