|Notice:||This page is derived from the original publication listed below, whose author(s) should always be credited. Further contributors may edit and improve the content of this page and, consequently, need to be credited as well (see
). Any assessment of factual correctness requires a careful review of the original article as well as of subsequent contributions.
If you are uncertain whether your planned contribution is correct or not, we suggest that you use the associated discussion page instead of editing the page directly.
This page should be cited as follows (rationale):
Citation formats to copy and paste
TY - JOUR
See also the citation download page at the journal.
Mossman Gorge Assassin Spider
Holotype male: Daintree National Park (Mossman Gorge Section), Mossman Gorge, off water access road ~50 m from carpark, Queensland, Australia, 16°28'20"S, 145°19'53"E, sifting elevated leaf litter under lawyer vine palms, tropical rainforest, 78 m, 21.III.2012, M. & A. Rix (QMB S92210).
Other material examined
AUSTRALIA: Queensland: Daintree National Park (Mossman Gorge Section): Mossman Gorge, [16°28'20"S, 145°19'53"E], 23.IV.1967, D. Colless, 1♀ (ANIC); Mossman Gorge, Water Access Track, Site 2, 16°28'28"S, 145°19'41"E, sieved litter from around roots and rocks on shady steep section of bank, tropical rainforest, 1.IV.2009, K. Edward, J. Waldock, 1 juvenile (WAM T97462).
Other material (not examined)
AUSTRALIA: Queensland: Daintree National Park (Mossman Gorge Section): Mossman Gorge, carpark, 16°28'20"S, 145°19'52"E, day collecting, turning over logs, rainforest, 45 m, 17–18.IV.2009, H. Wood, 4♂, 2♀ (CASENT 9028385).
The specific epithet is a patronym in honour of Roy Teale, for his friendship to MSH, for his efforts in facilitating systematic research at the Western Australian Museum, and for his crucial support of the Western Australian Museum’s ‘archaeid project’ since 2007.
Austrarchaea tealei can be distinguished from all other Archaeidae from north-eastern Queensland except Austrarchaea karenae, Austrarchaea thompsoni and Austrarchaea wallacei by the presence of a triangular spur on the embolus (Figs 11E–F); from Austrarchaea thompsoni by the presence of a prominent, triangular tegular sclerite 1 (TS 1), which is visible in ventral view (Fig. 11E); and from Austrarchaea karenae and Austrarchaea wallacei by the shape of tegular sclerite 3 (TS 3), which has a second short, pointed process distally (Fig. 11E).
Holotype male: Total length 2.67; leg I femur 3.09; F1/CL ratio 2.85. Cephalothorax dark reddish-brown; legs tan-brown with darker annulations; abdomen mottled dark grey-brown and beige, with darker brown dorsal scute and sclerites (Fig. 11B). Carapace tall (CH/CL ratio 2.17); 1.08 long, 2.35 high, 1.00 wide, ‘neck’ 0.54 wide; bearing two pairs of rudimentary horns; highest point of pars cephalica (HPC) approaching posterior quarter of ‘head’ (ratio of HPC to post-ocular length 0.71), carapace gently sloping posterior to HPC; ‘head’ moderately elevated dorsally (post-ocular ratio 0.30). Chelicerae with short brush of accessory setae on anterior face of paturon (Fig. 11C). Abdomen 1.44 long, 1.05 wide; with two pairs of dorsal hump-like tubercles (HT 1-4); dorsal scute fused anteriorly to epigastric sclerites, extending posteriorly to first pair of hump-like tubercles; HT 3-4 each covered by separate dorsal sclerites. Unexpanded pedipalp (Figs 11D–F) of Type A morphology (Fig. 6), with large, retrolaterally directed, arched conductor; embolus distally directed, slightly sinuous, with short triangular spur adjacent to distal rim of conductor, embolus projecting beyond distal rim of conductor by ~1/2 length of exposed embolic portion; tegular sclerite 3 (TS 3) short, spur-like, with flattened proximal portion and sharply pointed, claw-like apex bearing second short, pointed process distally; TS 2-2a looped over retrolateral edge of conductor, TS 2 with rounded, subtriangular apex, TS 2a projecting beyond distal rim of conductor but not extending to near tip of embolus; TS 1 triangular, with tapered, slightly curved tooth-like apex.
Female (ANIC): Total length 2.95; leg I femur 2.86; F1/CL ratio 2.37. Cephalothorax reddish-brown; legs pale tan-brown with darker annulations; abdomen mottled grey-brown and beige (Fig. 11A). Carapace tall (CH/CL ratio 2.04); 1.21 long, 2.46 high, 1.13 wide; ‘neck’ 0.69 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 0.65), carapace gently sloping posterior to HPC; ‘head’ not strongly elevated dorsally (post-ocular ratio 0.23). Chelicerae without accessory setae on anterior face of paturon. Abdomen 1.64 long, 1.28 wide; with four pairs of dorsal hump-like tubercles (HT 1-4). Internal genitalia (Fig. 11G) with cluster of 4-6 variably-shaped spermathecae on either side of gonopore, clusters widely separated along midline of genital plate; innermost (anterior) spermathecae longest, sausage-shaped, bent laterally; other spermathecae variably sausage-shaped or pyriform, smallest anteriorly, becoming progressively larger posteriorly.
Distribution and habitat
Austrarchaea tealei is known only from Mossman Gorge, 4.5 km west-south-west of Mossman (Figs 20, 25). Specimens have been collected under logs (as newly-hatched juveniles; H. Wood, pers. comm.), or by beating and sifting elevated leaf litter at the bases of lawyer vine palms (Calamus spp.) in lowland tropical rainforest.
Unknown (data deficient).
The female specimen described above (from the ANIC) is tentatively identified as conspecific with the holotype of Austrarchaea tealei, despite a somewhat different carapace morphology and a fairly imprecise collection locality. Austrarchaea thompsoni does occur on nearby mountains above the Mossman River, and thus it possible (albeit unlikely) that the female specimen from “Mossman Gorge” (collected in 1967) may actually belong to another species. We have described it here in the absence of evidence suggesting any sympatry in the Mossman Gorge region, given the fact that all other recently collected Mossman Gorge material appears to be conspecific with the holotype (including CAS material; H. Wood, pers. comm.), and given the similarly small body size of this female specimen and the holotype male (Fig. 5).
- Rix, M; Harvey, M; 2012: Australian Assassins, Part III: A review of the Assassin Spiders (Araneae, Archaeidae) of tropical north-eastern Queensland ZooKeys, 218: 1-50. doi
- Rix M, Harvey M (2012b) Phylogeny and historical biogeography of ancient assassin spiders (Araneae: Archaeidae) in the Australian mesic zone: evidence for Miocene speciation within Tertiary refugia. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 62: 375-396. doi: 10.1016/j.ympev.2011.10.009
- 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: 10.3897/zookeys.123.1448
- Rix M, Harvey M (2012a) Australian Assassins, Part II: a review of the new assassin spider genus Zephyrarchaea (Araneae, Archaeidae) from southern Australia. ZooKeys 191: 1-62. doi: 10.3897/zookeys.191.3070