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Holotype male: Tamborine National Park, Joalah section, track to Curtis Falls, Queensland, Australia, 27°55'33"S, 153°11'35"E, sifting elevated leaf litter and hand collecting at night, subtropical rainforest, 313 m, 26.IV.2010, M. Rix, D. Harms (QMB S90185).
Paratypes: Allotype female, same data as holotype (QMB S90186); 2 males and 7 juveniles, same data as holotype (WAM T112557DNA: Ar59-60-M/Ar59-61-J/Ar59-62-J).
Other material examined
AUSTRALIA: Queensland: Lamington National Park: Binna Burra, Ships Stern Circuit track, 28°11'51"S, 153°11'28"E, sifting elevated leaf litter, subtropical rainforest, 764 m, 25.IV.2010, M. & A. Rix, D. & S. Harms, J. Wojcieszek, 2♂, 4 juveniles (WAM T112556DNA: Ar56-54-M/Ar56-55-J/ Ar56-56-J); Wojigumal Creek, 28°12'29"S, 153°11'56"E, pyrethrum, 570 m, 19.III.2008, A. Nakamura, 1♀ (QMB S87980).
Additional material examined (of tentative identification)
AUSTRALIA: Queensland: Lamington National Park: IBISCA Plot IQ-300-C, 28°09'04"S, 153°08'17"E, pitfall trap, 260 m, 23.I.2007, K. Staunton, 1 juvenile (QMB S90181).
The specific epithet is a patronym in honour of the late Dianne Wojcieszek (1962–2003), for her love of the Mount Tamborine Hinterland.
Austrarchaea dianneae can be distinguished from all other Archaeidae from mid-eastern Australia except Austrarchaea cunninghami sp. n. by the shape of the conductor (Figs 11D-E), which is broad, foliate and curved laterally, with a triangular apex; and from Austrarchaea cunninghami sp. n. by the longer, spiniform tegular sclerite 1 (TS 1) (Fig. 11F) and by the more conical, posteriorly elevated shape of the male ‘head’ (Fig. 8H).
This species can also be distinguished from other genotyped taxa from mid-eastern Australia (see Fig. 3B) by the following three unique nucleotide substitutions for COI (n = 6): T(303), G(798), A(1065).
Holotype male: Total length 3.03; leg I femur 3.12; F1/CL ratio 2.83. 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. 11B). Carapace very tall (CH/CL ratio 2.37); 1.10 long, 2.62 high, 1.02 wide; ‘neck’ 0.51 wide; bearing two pairs of rudimentary horns; highest point of pars cephalica (HPC) near posterior margin of ‘head’ (ratio of HPC to post-ocular length 0.87), carapace gently sloping and almost horizontal anterior to HPC; ‘head’ not strongly elevated dorsally (post-ocular ratio 0.29) (Fig. 8H). Chelicerae with brush of accessory setae on anterior face of paturon (Fig. 11C). Abdomen 1.69 long, 1.33 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 11D-F) with broad, foliate conductor, curved laterally with triangular apex; tegular sclerite 1 (TS 1) spiniform, obscured by conductor in retrolateral view; TS 2 spur-like, longer than TS 1; TS 2a sinuous, largely obscured by TS 2; TS 3 embedded proximally within distal haematodocha, with sharply-pointed, triangular apex projecting beyond retro-distal rim of tegulum.
Allotype female: Total length 3.74; leg I femur 3.18; F1/CL ratio 2.43. Cephalothorax dark reddish-brown; legs tan-brown with darker annulations; abdomen mottled grey-brown and beige, palest posteriorly (Fig. 11A). Carapace very tall (CH/CL ratio 2.28); 1.31 long, 2.97 high, 1.21 wide; ‘neck’ 0.65 wide; bearing two pairs of rudimentary horns; highest point of pars cephalica (HPC) near middle of ‘head’ (ratio of HPC to post-ocular length 0.55), carapace gently sloping posterior to HPC; ‘head’ not strongly elevated dorsally (post-ocular ratio 0.25) (Fig. 7H). Chelicerae without accessory setae on anterior face of paturon. Abdomen 2.15 long, 1.64 wide; with three pairs of dorsal hump-like tubercles (HT 1–6). Internal genitalia with cluster of ≤ 12 variably shaped spermathecae on either side of gonopore, clusters meeting near midline of genital plate (Fig. 11G); innermost (anterior) spermathecae longest, sausage-shaped, curved antero-laterally; other spermathecae variably pyriform, curved, directed laterally.
Variation: Males (n=5): total length 2.73–3.21; carapace length 1.09–1.13; carapace height 2.53–2.62; CH/CL ratio 2.24–2.39. Females (n=2): total length 3.64–3.74; carapace length 1.31 (invariable); carapace height 2.87–2.97; CH/CL ratio 2.20–2.28.
Distribution and habitat
Austrarchaea dianneae is known only from subtropical rainforest habitats in the Tamborine and Lamington National Parks south of Brisbane, south-eastern Queensland (Fig. 29). At Binna Burra (Lamington National Park) it has been found in sympatry with Austrarchaea nodosa, in the only known example of two-species sympatry among Australian archaeids (see Nomenclatural Remarks for Austrarchaea nodosa, above).
This species is a short-range endemic taxon (Harvey 2002b), which although restricted in distribution, is abundant within the Tamborine National Park (M. Rix, pers. obs.) and is further protected within the World Heritage-listed Lamington 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