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Holotype male: Mount Clunie National Park, Mount Clunie, via Woodenbong, Queensland, Australia, 1975–1976, G. & S. Monteith (QMB S20425).
Other material examined
AUSTRALIA: New South Wales: Mount Clunie National Park: Mount Clunie, via Woodenbong, pitfall trap, 670 m, 8.V.–15.VIII.1976, G. & S. Monteith, 2 juveniles (QMB S69811).
Additional material examined (of tentative identification)
AUSTRALIA: New South Wales: Tooloom National Park: “Beaury State Forest", north along Wallaby Creek, 28°26'S, 152°27'E, 830 m, 9.IV.1993, M. Gray, G. Cassis, 1 juvenile (AMS KS37854).
The specific epithet is a patronym in honour of Australian naturalist, zoologist, conservationist, author, wildlife photographer and documentary film-maker Densey Clyne, for her landmark contributions to Australian natural history, and for having such a profound impact on the senior author during his formative childhood years.
Austrarchaea clyneae can be distinguished from all other Archaeidae from mid-eastern Australia by the very long, spiniform tegular sclerite 1 (TS 1) (Fig. 13E) combined with the unique shape of the conductor (Figs 13C-D), which is thin, gently-curved laterally and pointed distally.
Holotype male: Total length 2.87; leg I femur 2.72; F1/CL ratio 2.62. Cephalothorax reddish-brown; legs tan-brown with darker annulations; abdomen mottled grey-brown and dark beige, with darker reddish-brown dorsal scute and sclerites (Fig. 13A). Carapace very tall (CH/CL ratio 2.22); 1.04 long, 2.31 high, 0.99 wide; ‘neck’ 0.51 wide; bearing two pairs of rudimentary horns; highest point of pars cephalica (HPC) near posterior third of ‘head’ (ratio of HPC to post-ocular length 0.63), carapace with concave depression posterior to HPC; ‘head’ not strongly elevated dorsally (post-ocular ratio 0.23) (Fig. 8F). Chelicerae with short brush of accessory setae on anterior face of paturon (Fig. 13B). Abdomen 1.54 long, 1.18 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 13C-E) with thin, gently-curved, pointed conductor; tegular sclerite 1 (TS 1) very long, spiniform, reaching to near distal tip of conductor, visible in retrolateral view; TS 2 spur-like, shorter 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.
Distribution and habitat
Austrarchaea clyneae is known only from rainforest habitats in the Mount Clunie National Park of extreme north-eastern New South Wales (Fig. 31). A juvenile specimen from Tooloom National Park (near Urbenville) may also belong to this species based on proximity.
This species appears to be a short-range endemic taxon (Harvey 2002b), which although potentially restricted in distribution, seems well-protected in at least one World Heritage-listed National Park. It is not considered to be of conservation concern.
- Rix, M; Harvey, M; 2011: Australian Assassins, Part I: A review of the Assassin Spiders (Araneae, Archaeidae) of mid-eastern Australia ZooKeys, 123: 1-100. doi
- Harvey M (2002b) Short-range endemism among the Australian fauna: some examples from non-marine environments. Invertebrate Systematics 16: 555-570. doi:10.1071/IS02009