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Holotype male, Bunya Mountains National Park, Dandabah, Scenic Circuit track, ~400 m from entrance, Queensland, Australia, 26°52'43"S, 151°35'53"E, sifting elevated leaf litter, subtropical araucarian rainforest, 959 m, 2.V.2010, M. Rix, D. Harms (QMB S90189).
Paratypes: Allotype female, Bunya Mountains National Park, Dandabah, off Bunya Mountains Road, Queensland, Australia, 26°53'07"S, 151°35'38"E, sifting elevated leaf litter, subtropical araucarian rainforest, 1030 m, 2.V.2010, M. Rix, D. Harms (QMB S90187); 1 male, same data as holotype (QMB S90188); 2 males and 3 juveniles, same data as holotype (WAM T112559DNA: Ar70-73-M/Ar70-74-J/Ar70-75-J).
Other material examined
AUSTRALIA: Queensland: Bunya Mountains National Park: Dandabah, on tree trunk at night, 3.III.1976, 1♂ (QMB S1095); off Bunya Mountains Road, 26°53'00"S, 151°35'20"E, sifting elevated leaf litter, subtropical araucarian rainforest, 917 m, 2.V.2010, M. Rix, D. Harms, 3 juveniles (WAM T112560DNA: Ar71-71-J/Ar71-72-J); adjacent to Stirling Family's Property, ~1.5 km SE. of Dandabah, beating low-hanging Bunya Pine branch in rainforest, 7-10.XI.2005, M. Rix, 1 juvenile (WAM T94093); Marlaybrook, 1.III.1976, V. Davies, R. Raven, 1 juvenile (QMB S30826).
Additional material (not examined)
AUSTRALIA: Queensland: Bunya Mountains National Park: track starting from Paradise carpark going towards Westcliff lookout, 26°52'33"S, 151°34'24"E, shaking dense mats of grass, transition zone between araucarian rainforest and grasslands, 1040 m, 3.V.2009, H. Wood, 1♂ (CASENT 9028427); same data, 1♂ (CASENT 9034524); same data, 2♀ (CASENT 9028386).
The specific epithet is a patronym in honour of Danilo Harms, for his contributions to arachnology, and his invaluable assistance to the senior author during field work in south-eastern Australia.
Austrarchaea harmsi can be distinguished from all other Archaeidae from mid-eastern Australia by the dense, pick-like tuft of accessory setae on the male chelicerae (Fig. 16C) and by the unique shape of the conductor (Figs 16D-E), which is ‘shield-shaped’ and twisted proximally.
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 = 5): C(57), A(756), A(798), C(1061), C(1191), A(1294), T(1465), A(1467).
Holotype male: Total length 2.67; leg I femur 2.67; F1/CL ratio 2.57. Cephalothorax dark reddish-brown; legs tan-brown with darker annulations; abdomen mottled grey-brown brown and beige, with darker reddish-brown dorsal scute and sclerites (Fig. 16B). Carapace tall (CH/CL ratio 2.12); 1.04 long, 2.21 high, 0.97 wide; ‘neck’ 0.46 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 0.88), carapace slightly concave anterior to HPC; ‘head’ strongly elevated postero-dorsally (post-ocular ratio 0.40) (Fig. 8E). Chelicerae with dense, pick-like tuft of accessory setae on anterior face of paturon (Fig. 16C). Abdomen 1.44 long, 1.05 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 16D-F) with twisted, ‘shield-shaped’ conductor; tegular sclerite 1 (TS 1) relatively short, spiniform, obscured by conductor in retrolateral view; TS 2 spur-like, sinuous, longer than TS 1; TS 2a sinuous, largely obscured by TS 2; TS 3 porrect, spur-like, with sharply-pointed apex mostly obscured in retrolateral view by haematodochal membranes and retro-distal rim of tegulum.
Allotype female: Total length 3.28; leg I femur 2.72; F1/CL ratio 2.28. Cephalothorax dark reddish-brown; legs tan-brown with darker annulations; abdomen mottled grey-brown and beige (Fig. 16A). Carapace tall (CH/CL ratio 2.09); 1.19 long, 2.49 high, 1.08 wide; ‘neck’ 0.56 wide; bearing two pairs of rudimentary horns (lateral pair asymmetrically reduced); 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’ moderately elevated postero-dorsally (post-ocular ratio 0.36) (Fig. 7E). Chelicerae without accessory setae on anterior face of paturon. Abdomen 1.90 long, 1.44 wide; with three pairs of dorsal hump-like tubercles (HT 1–6). Internal genitalia with dense cluster of ≤ 15 variably shaped spermathecae on either side of gonopore, clusters meeting near midline of genital plate (Fig. 16G); innermost (anterior) spermathecae longest, sausage-shaped, curved antero-laterally; other spermathecae variably pyriform, straight, directed antero-laterally.
Variation: Males (n=5): total length 2.64–3.05; carapace length 1.04–1.08; carapace height 2.15–2.24; CH/CL ratio 2.08–2.14.
Distribution and habitat
Austrarchaea harmsi is known only from araucarian rainforest habitats in the Bunya Mountains National Park of south-eastern Queensland (Fig. 34).
This species is a short-range endemic taxon (Harvey 2002b), which although restricted in distribution, is abundant within the Bunya Mountains National Park (M. Rix, pers. obs.). 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