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Lamb Range Assassin Spider
Holotype male: Mount Williams, [Dinden National Park], 16°55'S, 145°40'E, pyrethrum, trees and logs, 1000 m, 2.XII.1993, G. Monteith, H. Janetzki (QMB S59537).
Other material examined. AUSTRALIA: Queensland: Dinden National Park: same data as holotype, 1 juvenile (QMB S59537).
The specific epithet is a patronym in honour of Paul West, for his friendship to MSH over many years, and for helping fund the Western Australian Museum’s ‘archaeid project’ from 2009–2012.
Austrarchaea westi can be distinguished from all other Archaeidae from north-eastern Queensland by the presence of a unique Type B pedipalp (Fig. 6), with very small bulb (width << 0.30 mm) (Figs 6, 12D), and by the relatively short embolus, which is distally enclosed within the conductor (Figs 6, 12D). This species can be further distinguished by the very short, barely differentiated accessory setae on the male chelicerae (Fig. 12B).
Holotype male: Total length 3.13; leg I femur 3.23; F1/CL ratio 2.65. Cephalothorax reddish-brown; legs beige with darker annulations; abdomen mottled grey-brown and beige, with darker brown dorsal scute and sclerites (Fig. 12A). Carapace tall (CH/CL ratio 2.15); 1.22 long, 2.62 high, 1.13 wide, ‘neck’ 0.65 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’ not strongly elevated dorsally (post-ocular ratio 0.27). Chelicerae with very short, barely differentiated accessory setae on anterior face of paturon (Fig. 12B). Abdomen 1.65 long, 1.10 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 12C-E) of Type B morphology (Fig. 6), very small in size (width of bulb << 0.30), with large, retrolaterally directed, arched conductor; embolus curved, distally enclosed within conductor, without spur; tegular sclerite 3 (TS 3) porrect, spur-like, with pointed, pro-distally directed apex; TS 2-2a looped over retrolateral edge of conductor, TS 2 not strongly developed distally, TS 2a projecting beyond distal rim of conductor; TS 1 very small, obscured by TS 2-3, not visible in ventral view.
Distribution and habitat
Austrarchaea westi is known only from Mount Williams, on the Lamb Range 11 km west of Cairns (Figs 21, 25). The two known specimens were 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