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Holotype male: Mount Nebo, D'Aguilar Range, Queensland, Australia, 15.VIII.1990, [inside hollow log], M. Harvey, T. Churchill (QMB S90193).
Paratype: Allotype female, D'Aguilar National Park, Mount Glorious, Maiala section, track to Greene's Falls, Queensland, Australia, 27°19'57"S, 152°45'47"E, sifting elevated leaf litter, subtropical rainforest, 633 m, 4.V.2010, M. Rix, D. Harms (QMB S90192DNA: Ar73-83-F).
Other material examined
AUSTRALIA: Queensland: D'Aguilar National Park: Mount Glorious, Maiala section, track to Greene's Falls, 27°19'30"S, 152°45'45"E, hand collected at night from maternal web at base of fallen log, 3.III.2001, M. & A. Rix, 1♀, 1 juvenile (WAM T94092); Mount Glorious, Maiala section, track to Greene's Falls, 27°19'57"S, 152°45'47"E, sifting elevated leaf litter, subtropical rainforest, 633 m, 4.V.2010, M. Rix, D. Harms, 6 juveniles (WAM T112574DNA: Ar73-84-J/Ar73-85-J); Mount Glorious, Maiala section, ANIC Berlesate, ~635 m, 13.III.1973, R. Taylor, 1 juvenile (ANIC). Mount Glorious: “Mount Glorious", spraying logs with Mortein, 26.IV.1988, P. Blus, V. Davies, 1 juvenile (QMB S30810); Hiller Family's Property, 20.I.– 26.VI.1978, G. Monteith, 1 juvenile (QMB S30807). Mount Mee Forest Reserve: The Mill Rainforest Walk, 27°04'57"S, 152°42'39"E, sifting elevated leaf litter, subtropical rainforest, 271 m, 1.V.2010, M. Rix, D. Harms, 1♂, 3 juveniles (WAM T112575DNA: Ar69-86-M/Ar69-87-J/Ar69-88-J).
Additional material (not examined)
AUSTRALIA: Queensland: Brisbane Forest Park: Mount Glorious, Lawton Road section of Westside Track, NW. of Maiala, 27°19'07"S, 152°44'50"E, beating ferns ~20 cm from ground, rainforest, 1.I.2010, G. Anderson, 1 juvenile (QMB).
The specific epithet is a patronym in honour of Dr Robert Raven, for his extraordinary contributions to arachnology, and for his ongoing efforts documenting the diverse spider fauna of south-eastern Queensland.
Austrarchaea raveni can be distinguished from all other Archaeidae from mid-eastern Australia by the very short, barely differentiated comb of accessory setae on the male chelicerae (Fig. 14C) combined with the unique shape of the conductor (Figs 14D-E), which is ‘ear-shaped’ with a large proximal lobe.
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 and COII (n = 6): G(9), G(843), T(1408).
Holotype male: Total length 2.90; leg I femur 3.10; F1/CL ratio 2.88. 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. 14B). Carapace very tall (CH/CL ratio 2.41); 1.08 long, 2.59 high, 0.98 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 0.90), carapace slightly concave anterior to HPC; ‘head’ moderately elevated postero-dorsally (post-ocular ratio 0.35) (Fig. 8D). Chelicerae with short, barely differentiated comb of accessory setae on anterior face of paturon (Fig. 14C). Abdomen 1.59 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. Partially expanded pedipalp (Figs 14D-F) with lobed, ‘ear-shaped’ conductor; tegular sclerite 1 (TS 1) spiniform, obscured by conductor in retrolateral view; TS 2 spiniform, longer than TS 1, directed across proximal lobe of conductor; TS 2a sinuous, largely obscured by TS 2; TS 3 embedded proximally within distal haematodocha, with sharply-pointed, broadly triangular apex directed retro-ventrally across conductor.
Allotype female: Total length 3.05; leg I femur 3.14; F1/CL ratio 2.58. Cephalothorax brown; legs pale tan-brown with darker annulations; abdomen mottled grey-brown and beige, palest posteriorly (Fig. 14A). Carapace very tall (CH/CL ratio 2.34); 1.22 long, 2.85 high, 1.10 wide; ‘neck’ 0.60 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 0.83), carapace gently sloping anterior to HPC; ‘head’ moderately elevated postero-dorsally (post-ocular ratio 0.33) (Fig. 7D). Chelicerae without accessory setae on anterior face of paturon. Abdomen 1.59 long, 1.03 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. 14G); innermost (anterior) spermathecae sausage-shaped, curved antero-laterally; other spermathecae variably aciniform, straight, directed antero-laterally.
Variation: Males (n=2): total length 2.64–2.90; carapace length 1.06–1.08; carapace height 2.46–2.59; CH/CL ratio 2.31–2.41. Females (n=2): total length 3.05–3.46; carapace length 1.22–1.30; carapace height 2.85–3.10; CH/CL ratio 2.34–2.38.
Distribution and habitat
Austrarchaea raveni is known only from rainforest habitats at Mount Glorious, Mount Nebo and Mount Mee, on the D’Aguilar Range north-west of Brisbane, south-eastern Queensland (Fig. 32).
This species is a short-range endemic taxon (Harvey 2002b), which although restricted in distribution, is relatively abundant within several National Parks and Forest Reserves (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