Austrarchaea platnickorum New England Assassin Spider Rix & Harvey

Rix, Michael G. & Harvey, Mark S., 2011, Australian Assassins, Part I: A review of the Assassin Spiders (Araneae, Archaeidae) of mid-eastern Australia, ZooKeys 123, pp. 1-100 : 28

publication ID

https://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.123.1448

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:A9E0AB39-5F41-4992-9DD4-796D7B090E0B

persistent identifier

https://treatment.plazi.org/id/95A5C68E-D47C-44B0-BE6A-26559C286359

taxon LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:act:95A5C68E-D47C-44B0-BE6A-26559C286359

treatment provided by

ZooKeys by Pensoft

scientific name

Austrarchaea platnickorum New England Assassin Spider Rix & Harvey
status

sp. n.

Austrarchaea platnickorum New England Assassin Spider Rix & Harvey   ZBK sp. n. Figs 7J9C2139

Type material.

Holotype male: New England National Park, Banksia Point, Beech Forest and start of Lyrebird Track, New South Wales, Australia, 30°29'29"S, 152°24'22"E, sifting elevated leaf litter under tussocky snow grass, Nothofagus rainforest and adjacent snow gum woodland, 1491 m, 18.IV.2010, M. Rix, D. Harms (AMS KS114971).

Paratypes: Allotype female, same data as holotype (AMS KS114970); 3 males, 2 females and 5 juveniles, same data as holotype (WAM T112558DNA: Ar51-101-M/Ar51-102-F/Ar51-103-J).

Other material examined.

AUSTRALIA: New South Wales: New England National Park: Banksia Point, ex pan traps, 2-15.X.1984, I. Naumann, J. Cardale, 1 juvenile (ANIC); Point Lookout, 22.III.1980 - 16.III.1981, G. Monteith, 1 juvenile (QMB S30819).

Etymology.

The specific epithet is a patronym in honour of Dr Norman Platnick and his wife Nancy. Dr Platnick’s pioneering research into many different spider lineages - including Archaeidae - has inspired a generation of arachnologists.

Diagnosis.

Austrarchaea platnickorum can be distinguished from all other Archaeidae from mid-eastern Australia by the very long, spiniform tegular sclerite 1 (TS 1) (Fig. 21F) combined with the unique shape of the conductor (Figs 21D-E), which is thin and ‘arrow-shaped’, with a long triangular apex.

This species can also be distinguished from other genotyped taxa from mid-eastern Australia (see Fig. 3B) by the following eight unique nucleotide substitutions for COI and COII (n = 3): A(354), A(573), A(624), T(986), G(1061), G(1077), C(1110), T(1533).

Description.

Holotype male: Total length 3.28; leg I femur 2.67; F1/CL ratio 2.31. Cephalothorax dark reddish-brown; legs tan-brown with darker annulations; abdomen mottled grey-brown and beige, with darker reddish-brown dorsal scute and sclerites (Fig. 21B). Carapace tall (CH/CL ratio 2.07); 1.15 long, 2.38 high, 1.08 wide; ‘neck’ 0.59 wide; bearing two pairs of rudimentary horns; highest point of pars cephalica (HPC) near middle of ‘head’ (ratio of HPC to post-ocular length 0.59), carapace gently sloping posterior to HPC; ‘head’ not strongly elevated dorsally (post-ocular ratio 0.26) (Fig. 9C). Chelicerae with brush of accessory setae on anterior face of paturon (Fig. 21C). Abdomen 1.85 long, 1.41 wide; with three pairs of dorsal hump-like tubercles (HT 1-6); dorsal scute fused anteriorly to epigastric sclerites, extending posteriorly to first pair of hump-like tubercles; HT 3-6 each covered by separate dorsal sclerites. Unexpanded pedipalp (Figs 21D-F) with thin, triangular ‘arrow-shaped’ conductor; tegular sclerite 1 (TS 1) very long, spiniform, visible in retrolateral view (TS 1 broken, rod-like on left pedipalp; Fig. 21F); TS 2 spur-like, poorly-sclerotised, longer than TS 1; TS 2a sinuous, largely obscured by TS 2; TS 3 indistinct, embedded within distal haematodocha, barely visible beyond retro-distal rim of tegulum.

Allotype female: Total length 4.31; leg I femur 2.79; F1/CL ratio 2.14. Cephalothorax dark reddish-brown; legs tan-brown with darker annulations; abdomen mottled grey-brown and beige (Fig. 21A). Carapace tall (CH/CL ratio 2.04); 1.31 long, 2.67 high, 1.21 wide; ‘neck’ 0.69 wide; bearing two pairs of rudimentary horns; highest point of pars cephalica (HPC) near middle of ‘head’ (ratio of HPC to post-ocular length 0.60), carapace gently sloping posterior to HPC; ‘head’ not strongly elevated dorsally (post-ocular ratio 0.27) (Fig. 7J). Chelicerae without accessory setae on anterior face of paturon. Abdomen 2.72 long, 1.95 wide; with three pairs of dorsal hump-like tubercles (HT 1-6). Internal genitalia with dense cluster of ≤ 20 variably shaped spermathecae on either side of gonopore, clusters meeting near midline of genital plate (Fig. 21G); innermost (anterior) spermathecae longest, sausage-shaped, curved antero-laterally; other spermathecae variably aciniform, mostly straight, directed antero-laterally.

Variation: Males (n=4): total length 2.97-3.28; carapace length 1.10-1.15; carapace height 2.21-2.38; CH/CL ratio 2.00-2.07. Females (n=3): total length 3.79-4.62; carapace length 1.26-1.31; carapace height 2.54-2.67; CH/CL ratio 2.02-2.12. The holotype male and an additional paratype male (WAM T112558) of this species have a shorter, partially broken tegular sclerite 1 (TS 1) on each left pedipalp (Fig. 21F).

Distribution and habitat.

Austrarchaea platnickorum is known only from rainforest and mesic closed forest habitats in the New England National Park of north-eastern New South Wales (Fig. 39).

Conservation status.

This species has an imperfectly known distribution, and although potentially restricted, appears to be abundant within the World Heritage-listed New England National Park near Point Lookout (M. Rix, pers. obs.). It is not considered to be of conservation concern.

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Arthropoda

Class

Arachnida

Order

Araneae

Family

Archaeidae

Genus

Austrarchaea