Tasmanicosa ramosa ( L. Koch, 1877 )

Framenau, Volker W. & Baehr, Barbara C., 2016, Revision of the Australian Union-Jack wolf spiders, genus Tasmanicosa (Araneae, Lycosidae, Lycosinae), Zootaxa 4213 (1), pp. 1-82: 39-41

publication ID


publication LSID




persistent identifier


treatment provided by


scientific name

Tasmanicosa ramosa ( L. Koch, 1877 )

comb. nov.

Tasmanicosa ramosa ( L. Koch, 1877)   comb. nov.

Banded Union-Jack wolf spider

( Figs 3T View FIGURE 3 , 4J View FIGURE 4 , 6H View FIGURE 6 , 7A View FIGURE 7 , 21A–K View FIGURE 21 , 22 View FIGURE 22 )

Lycosa ramosa L. Koch 1877: 910   –912, pl. 78, figs 6, 6A; Hogg 1900: 77; Rainbow 1911: 272; McKay 1985: 82. Cynosa ramosa (L. Koch)   .— Roewer 1955: 239; McKay 1973: 380.

Type data. Syntypes. 4 immature spiders (possibly females), ‘ New Holland’ [= Australia], no exact locality ( SMNS) (presumably destroyed in WWII; Renner (1988)) (not examined).  

Other material examined. 52 males, 62 females (1 with eggsac and two with spiderlings), and ten juveniles in 83 records (Appendix B).

Diagnosis. Tasmanicosa ramosa   is very distinctive within the genus due to its opisthosoma pattern, dorsally with light transverse, wavy lines ( Fig. 21B View FIGURE 21 ) and ventrally with a triangular black patch narrowing towards the spinnerets ( Fig. 21D View FIGURE 21 ). Genital morphology of males and females resemble that of T. semicincta   ( Figs 21J View FIGURE 21 , 24J View FIGURE 24 ) in having a very long ventral process of the tegular apophysis corresponding to a very long epigyne ( Figs 24G, 24G View FIGURE 24 ); however, the T. semicincta   ventral pattern is different consisting of a very restricted dark transverse band behind the epigastric furrow. In addition, the anterior half of the median septum in T. ramosa   has a very irregular outline unlike that of T. semicincta   .

Description. Male (based on QM S71125 View Materials ).

Total length 16.7.

Prosoma. Length 8.2, width 5.9; carapace reddish-brown with genus-specific Union-Jack pattern and distinct median and marginal light bands ( Fig 21A View FIGURE 21 ); sternum black with grey setae ( Fig. 21C View FIGURE 21 ).

Eyes. Diameter of AME 0.38, ALE 0.23, PME 0.68, PLE 0.64.

Chelicerae. Dark brown with an elongated patch of white setae frontally.

Labium. Black, slightly lighter anteriorly ( Fig. 21C View FIGURE 21 ).

Endites. Black ( Fig. 21C View FIGURE 21 ).

Legs. Reddish-brown, covered with silvery setae, venter of coxae black ( Fig. 21C View FIGURE 21 ).

Opisthosoma. Length 7.1, width 4.6; dorsally with dark triangle in anterior half and transverse white, wavy lines in posterior half ( Fig. 21A View FIGURE 21 ); venter with triangular black patch narrowing posteriorly ( Fig. 21C View FIGURE 21 ).

Pedipalps. Cymbium dorsally with dense layer of silvery setae; tip with about five macrosetae ( Figs 21E–F View FIGURE 21 ); ridge of tegular apophysis exceeding width of tegular apophysis with long ventral spur ( Figs 6H View FIGURE 6 , 21J–K View FIGURE 21 ); embolus sickle-shaped with apically bent tip; terminal apophysis straight, broad and flat ( Fig. 21I View FIGURE 21 ).

Female (based on QM S71125).

Total length 15.6.

Prosoma. Length 10.4, width 7.3; carapace and sternum colouration as male ( Figs 21B, D View FIGURE 21 ).

Eyes. Diameter of AME 0.40, ALE 0.28, PME 0.86, PLE 0.88.

Chelicerae, labium, endites, legs and opisthosoma. Opisthosoma length 8.4, width 5.9; otherwise as male, but triangle on dorsum of opisthosoma less distinct ( Figs 21B, D View FIGURE 21 ).

Epigyne. Approximately 2.5 times as long as wide; median septum inverted T-shaped with short posterior transverse part and irregular borders anteriorly ( Fig. 21G View FIGURE 21 ); spermathecal head small situated approximately at one third of epigyne length, spermathecal stalks S-shaped ( Fig. 21H View FIGURE 21 ).

Remarks. Koch (1877: 912) listed as syntypes of Lycosa ramosa   (translated from German) ‘four specimens of these beautiful species in the Kgl. Naturalien Sammlung zu Stuttgart [today State Museum of Natural History , Stuttgart ] from New Holland without exact locality.’ This collection was destroyed during the night of 12th/ 13th September 1944 during WWII, but a catalogue of its types is available ( Renner 1988). This catalogue does not list the Lycosa ramosa   types, as it apparently only includes L. Koch types of species described earlier ( L. Koch, 1867; 1871, 1872, 1875) (as listed in Renner 1988). Notwithstanding, we consider the type material of Lycosa ramosa   destroyed during WWII. Due to Koch’s (1877) accurate original description and illustrations and the unique opisthosoma colouration of this species within the genus Tasmanicosa   , it is possible to associate current material with this species and it is not necessary to designate a neotype   .

Examination of reference material of spiders ( SAM NN14962–3, NN14965–73) of a study on the occupancy of spider burrows by the Adelaide Pygmy Blue-tongued Lizard, Tiliqua adelaidensis (Peters, 1863) ( McCullough 2000)   , revealed that the species he referred to Lycosa stirlingae   was actually T. ramosa   .

Life history and habitat references. Habitat descriptions with records of T. ramosa   include chenopod scrubland, semi-arid grassland, Stipa   grassland and paddock, suggesting a preference for open areas. Most males of T. ramosa   were collected between October and December, with some records from September and January. Females can be found throughout the year, with a peak in December and January. The single female with eggsac was found in April, the two females with spiderlings on their back in November and February.

Distribution. Tasmanicosa ramosa   has been found in a belt from south-eastern Western Australia to central New South Wales ( Fig. 22 View FIGURE 22 ). Two areas outside this clearly defined range are southern central Northern Territory and costal Victoria south of Melbourne and it is possible that these records are based on human mediated dispersal (i.e. transport/hitch-king on caravans).


Staatliches Museum fuer Naturkund Stuttgart


South African Museum














Tasmanicosa ramosa ( L. Koch, 1877 )

Framenau, Volker W. & Baehr, Barbara C. 2016

Lycosa ramosa

McKay 1985: 82
McKay 1973: 380
Roewer 1955: 239
Rainbow 1911: 272
Hogg 1900: 77
Koch 1877: 910