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Carbine Tableland Assassin Spider
Holotype male: Devils Thumb area, [Daintree National Park (Mossman Gorge Section)], 10 km NW. of Mossman, Queensland, Australia, [16°27'S, 145°17'E], pyrethrum knockdown, tropical rainforest, 1000–1180 m, 10.X.1982, G. Monteith, D. Yeates, G. Thompson (QMB S30840).
. The specific epithet is a patronym in honour of Geoff Thompson, for his ongoing efforts in collecting and documenting the invertebrate rainforest fauna of the Wet Tropics, and for collecting the only known specimen of this species.
Austrarchaea thompsoni can be distinguished from all other Archaeidae from north-eastern Queensland except Austrarchaea karenae, Austrarchaea tealei sp. n. and Austrarchaea wallacei by the presence of a triangular spur on the embolus (Fig. 10D); and from Austrarchaea karenae, Austrarchaea tealei sp. n. and Austrarchaea wallacei by the very small tegular sclerite 1 (TS 1), which is not visible in ventral view (Fig. 10D), and by the more proximally positioned embolic spur, which is situated near the base of the exposed embolic portion (Fig. 10D).
Holotype male: Total length 2.97; leg I femur 3.23; F1/CL ratio 2.74. Cephalothorax dark reddish-brown; legs tan-brown with darker annulations; abdomen mottled grey-brown and beige, with darker brown dorsal scute and sclerites (Fig. 10A). Carapace tall (CH/CL ratio 2.13); 1.18 long, 2.51 high, 1.13 wide, ‘neck’ 0.63 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 0.69), carapace gently sloping posterior to HPC; ‘head’ not strongly elevated dorsally (post-ocular ratio 0.25). Chelicerae with short brush of accessory setae on anterior face of paturon (Fig. 10B). Abdomen 1.64 long, 1.23 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 10C–E) of Type A morphology (Fig. 6), with large, retrolaterally directed, arched conductor; embolus distally directed, slightly sinuous, with short triangular spur situated near base of exposed embolic portion, embolus projecting beyond distal rim of conductor by slightly less than 1/2 length of exposed embolic portion; tegular sclerite 3 (TS 3) short, spur-like, with constricted tegular base and sharply pointed, claw-like apex; TS 2-2a looped beneath overhanging retrolateral edge of conductor, TS 2 with rounded, subtriangular apex, TS 2a projecting beyond distal rim of conductor to near tip of embolus; TS 1 very small, obscured by TS 2-3, not visible in ventral view.
Distribution and habitat
Austrarchaea thompsoni is known only from Devils Thumb, on the Carbine Tableland 10 km west-north-west of Mossman (Figs 19, 25). The single known specimen was collected in high altitude tropical rainforest.
Unknown (data deficient).
- 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