Anatea monteithi Smith

Smith, Helen M., Harvey, Mark S., Agnarsson, Ingi & Anderson, Gregory J., 2017, Notes on the Ant-mimic Genus Anatea Berland (Araneae: Theridiidae) and Two New Species from Tropical Australia, Records of the Australian Museum (Rec. Aust. Mus.) 69 (1), pp. 1-13: 6

publication ID 10.3853/j.2201-4349.69.2017.1672

persistent identifier

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scientific name

Anatea monteithi Smith

sp. nov.

Anatea monteithi Smith   sp. nov.

Figures 13–24 View Figures 13–19 View Figures 20–24 , 31 View Figure 31 , 35–37 View Figures 32–37

Holotype ♀ QM S25842 View Materials , Mt Formartine South , 10 km N Kuranda, [16°43'S 145°37'E, Queensland, Australia] 700 m, 23.xi.1990, G. Monteith, G. Thompson, pyrethrum trees & logs GoogleMaps   . Paratypes. 1♂, WAM T99420 View Materials , Daintree NP, Alexandra Range lookout point, 16°14'15"S 145°26'10"E, 6.iv.2009, K. Edward, J. Waldock, sieved litter (WT 11) GoogleMaps   ; 1♂, AM KS.126452, Black Mountain Rd , start of track to Mt Formartine, 16°45'04"S 145°36'21"E, 425 m, 6.xii.2008, G. Milledge, H. Smith, beat, sweep; [right palp on SEM stub s/1049; right leg I on s/1050]; both Queensland, Australia GoogleMaps   .

Other material examined (Queensland, Australia): 1♀ AM KS.116502, Lake Barrine, E of Yungaburra, 17°15'S 145°38'E, 31.viii.2011, M. Zabka, B. Patoleta; [abdomen on SEM stub s/1048, legs I, IV on s/1047; epi cleared]. 1 juv. AM KS.7647, Thornton Peak , N of Daintree, 16°10'S 145°22'E, Nov. 1975, M. Gray, leaf litter sample ( RF survey site 40). QM GoogleMaps   1 juv. (unregistered), Bellenden Ker Ra , 0.5 km S Cable Tower 7, 17°16'S 145°51'E, 500 m, 25–31.x.1981, Earthwatch / Qld Museum, rainforest, pyrethrum logs, stones, tree trunks GoogleMaps   .

Etymology. The species is named for Geoff Monteith, in recognition of his enormous contributions to the study of Australian invertebrates through his collecting activities for the Queensland Museum.

Diagnosis. From New Caledonian species by leg III longer than legs I and II; pedicel without “node”; male without extended tip to cymbium; from A. elongata   sp. nov. by pedicel shorter than carapace; female insemination ducts with short conjoined section, entering spermathecae posteriorly ( Fig. 22 View Figures 20–24 ).


Colour (in alcohol) ( Figs 13–19 View Figures 13–19 ). Cephalothorax, mouthparts, sternum, pedicel and male scutum dark chestnut brown, glossy, except pedicel rugose, female abdomen and parts of male abdomen not covered by scutum dark charcoal grey, slightly paler ventrally, cuticle glossy between sparse but prominent setal bases; dorsal and ventral abdominal apodemes dark brown, obvious. Legs: (female) coxae and trochanters white on legs III, IV, suffused with brownish black on legs I, II; femora pale brown laterally, dark dorsally and ventrally (legs I, II) or vis. v. (legs III, IV), femora legs III, IV with distal white band extending onto proximal patella, traces of same legs I, II; tibiae-tarsi mid-brown proximally to amber brown distally, darkest coloration ventral on anterior legs to retrolateral on leg IV; male legs similar but darker, stronger coloration.

Carapace ( Figs 13–15, 18 View Figures 13–19 ) longer than wide, widest at coxae II, smooth transition to caput; fovea absent; in profile gently domed, highest at coxae I (male WAM T99420 View Materials rather flatter than female holotYpe, other male similar to female); eye group 3/5 carapace width; AME largest ( Figs 14, 15 View Figures 13–19 ) and prominent above slightly concave clypeus, clypeus> 2 × AME diameter in male, slightly lower in female. Labium bluntly triangular ( Fig. 16 View Figures 13–19 ), cheliceral bases shorter than maxillae, flexible with slender, curved fangs. Female palpal claw weakly palmate with three or four large teeth. Legs: 4312 (holotype female missing both fourth legs but confirmed in female from other material). Legs with sparse dorsal macrosetae on patellae and tibiae (a few visible in Figs 13, 14 View Figures 13–19 ), hadrotarsine flat-topped setae (see Agnarsson, 2004) present on distal tarsus I, few on II. Pedicel sclerotized, open “S” in lateral view, slightly expanded anterior to apex and constriction at abdominal articulation ( Fig. 18 View Figures 13–19 ). Abdomen egg-shaped, widest anterior to mid-point ( Figs 17, 19 View Figures 13–19 ), constricted by sclerotized band around spinnerets; male with dorsal scutum covering central abdomen but leaving bare small surround of cuticle in dorsal view ( Fig. 13 View Figures 13–19 ), sclerotized around pedicel and genital plate ( Fig. 17 View Figures 13–19 ); female without scutum ( Fig. 18 View Figures 13–19 ) and only small sclerotized band around pedicel insertion ( Fig. 19 View Figures 13–19 ). One pair of dorsal apodemes, prominent in female, embedded in scutum of male; three circular ventral plates/apodemes in both sexes ( Figs 17, 19 View Figures 13–19 ). Genitalia. Male: Cy blunt with two short, broad based tooth-like modified spines ( Fig. 21 View Figures 20–24 ). Palp with Co, TTA, MA ( Fig. 35 View Figures 32–37 ); TR extends ventrally to wrap over the ES, Co arises from apicodorsal T and apicolateral tegular rim ( Figs 35, 37 View Figures 32–37 ). TTA large, arising basally, extending beyond tip of Cy. ES tip resting between TTA and Co. MA base and basal E conjoined proventrally ( Figs 35, 36 View Figures 32–37 ). Female: externallY with ridges and grooves in lateral profile ( Fig. 23 View Figures 20–24 ), projecting lip on posterior margin of ovoid fossa. Internally ( Fig. 22 View Figures 20–24 ), ID exit fossa posteriorly and almost immediately turn anterolaterally, entering spermathecae Sp at posterior end. Fertilisation ducts FD exit adjacent to ID, with terminal nodule (possibly degenerate second pair of Sp) before terminal part of FD.

Measurements. Male. Carapace range, 0.81 to 0.88 (n = 2). WAM T99420 View Materials . Total length, 2.35; carapace length, 0.88; width, 0.62; height, 0.37; abdomen length, 1.25; width, 0.91; pedicel length, 0.50; clypeus height, 0.22. Eyes: AME, 0.10; PME, 0.05; ALE   , 0.06; PLE, 0.06; Limbs (femur + (patellatibia) + metatarsus + tarsus = total): leg I, 0.49 + 0.51 + 0.28 + 0.24 = 1.51; leg II, 0.44 + 0.54 + 0.25 + 0.29 = 1.51; leg III, 0.50 + 0.56 + 0.24 + 0.33 = 1.63; leg IV, 0.55 + 0.84 + 0.33 + 0.36 = 2.08.

Female. Carapace range, 0.86 (n = 2). Holotype QM S25842 View Materials . Total length, 2.88; carapace length, 0.86; width, 0.69; height, 0.33; abdomen length, 1.68; width, 1.32; pedicel length, 0.56; clypeus height, 0.16. Eyes: AME, 0.10; PME, 0.06; ALE   , 0.07; PLE, 0.06; Limbs (femur + (patella-tibia) + metatarsus + tarsus = total): leg I, 0.49 + 0.60 + 0.31 + 0.26 = 1.66; leg II, 0.48 + 0.58 + 0.26 + 0.30 = 1.61; leg III, 0.50 + 0.61 + 0.26 + 0.34 = 1.71; leg IV, missing (but longest in female AM KS.116502).

Distribution. Northeast Queensland. Recorded from rainforests, mainly at higher altitudes, between Thornton Peak and Bellenden Ker, and on the Atherton Tableland at Yungaburra ( Fig. 31 View Figure 31 ).

Notes. Without observations of behaviour, it is unclear exactly if, or how, ant mimicry is achieved in the Australian species, but as in New Caledonian species, the long pedicel and overall appearance are ant-like. Relative leg length, with both III and IV longer than I or II is unusual and may indicate behavioural modifications.

The tropical rainforests of northeastern Queensland occupied by A. monteithi   hold an extremely high diversity of ants, with over 66 genera recorded in these areas ( Antwiki, 2017). If A. monteithi   is indeed an ant mimic, candidate models are found in several myrmecine genera. Examples of genera with species in an appropriate size range for adult spiders include Monomorium   , Orectognathus   , Pheidole, Pristomyrmex   and Vombisidris   .


Queensland Museum


Western Australian Museum


Australian Museum