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Mount Bartle Frere Assassin Spider
Holotype male: Mount Bartle Frere, [Wooroonooran National Park], Boulder Caves, Queensland, Australia, [17°23'S, 145°47'E], 1050 m, 8.XII.1990, G. Monteith, G. Thompson, D. Cook, R. Sheridan (QMB S72988).
The specific epithet is a patronym in honour of Dr Hannah Wood, for her pioneering research into the systematics, biology and biogeography of assassin spiders and other Palpimanoidea, and for her collaborative support of MGR and MSH during assassin spider research conducted at the Western Australian Museum.
Austrarchaea woodae can be distinguished from all other Archaeidae from north-eastern Queensland by the presence of a unique Type C pedipalp (Fig. 6), with a proximally constricted conductor (Figs 6, 13D), large, flattened, distally folded tegular sclerite 3 (TS 3) (Figs 6, 13D–E), and apple-shaped bulb profile in ventral view (Figs 6, 13C–D). This species can be further distinguished by the dense, pick-like tuft of accessory setae on the male chelicerae (Fig. 13B; similar only to Austrarchaea harmsi among Australian Archaeidae), and by the almost spherical abdomen with recumbent hump-like tubercles (Fig. 13A; similar only to species of Zephyrarchaea among Australian Archaeidae).
Holotype male: Total length 3.54; leg I femur 3.74; F1/CL ratio 2.95. Cephalothorax dark reddish-brown; legs tan-brown with darker annulations; abdomen mottled grey-brown and beige, with darker brown dorsal scute and sclerites (Fig. 13A). Carapace very tall (CH/CL ratio 2.22); 1.27 long, 2.82 high, 1.18 wide, ‘neck’ 0.56 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 0.67), carapace steeply sloping and convex posterior to HPC; ‘head’ moderately elevated dorsally (post-ocular ratio 0.31). Chelicerae with dense, pick-like tuft of accessory setae on anterior face of paturon (Fig. 13B). Abdomen 1.69 long, 1.44 wide; almost spherical, with largely recumbent hump-like tubercles; dorsal scute fused anteriorly to epigastric sclerites. Unexpanded pedipalp (Figs 13C–E) of Type C morphology (Fig. 6), with retrolaterally directed, proximally constricted conductor and apple-shaped bulb profile in ventral view; embolus distally directed, slightly sinuous, without spur; tegular sclerite 3 (TS 3) large, flattened, with prominent, distally folded apex; TS 2-2a looped over retrolateral edge of conductor, TS 2 with strongly developed, spur-like apex extending to near distal rim of conductor, TS 2a looping around TS 3 proximally and projecting beyond distal rim of conductor to near tip of embolus; TS 1 indistinct, obscured by TS 2-3.
Distribution and habitat
Austrarchaea woodae is known only from near the summit of Mount Bartle Frere, 12 km south-west of Babinda (Figs 22, 25). The only known specimen was collected in high altitude tropical rainforest.
Unknown (data deficient).
See Remarks for Austrarchaea daviesae (above).
- 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