Diaea pulleinei Rainbow, 1915

Szymkowiak, Pawel, 2007, Redescription of Australian crab spider Diaea pulleinei Rainbow, 1915 (Araneae: Thomisidae), Zootaxa 1425, pp. 11-20 : 12-18

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https://doi.org/ 10.5281/zenodo.175705



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Diaea pulleinei Rainbow, 1915


Diaea pulleinei Rainbow, 1915 View in CoL

Figs 1 View FIGURES 1 – 5 –13

Diaea pulleinei Rainbow, 1915 View in CoL : Rainbow, W. J. Arachnida collected in north-western South Australia. Trans. Proc. Roy. Soc. S. Austral. 39, 785, pl. 68, f. 14–15 (male).

Type material. Holotype: male, 26°52'S, 133°01'E, Moorilyanna Native Well, South Australia, Australia, ( SAM NN 317). Holotype male of D. pulleinei remains in good state, many setae are torn off the legs. The following sections are missing: right leg III; Pt, Ti, Mt, Ta right leg I; Mt right leg II; Mt left leg IV.

Other material examined. AUSTRALIA: South Australia: 2 ɗ, Balcanoona Homestead, 1.5 km N, 30°30’S 139°18’E, 24 September 1993, leg. N.C.S. Survey ( SAM NN 22029–30); 1 ɗ, Cooper Creek Ferry Crossing, 28°37’S 138°43’E, sweeping Calocephalus sp., 30 November 1974, leg. J.A. Herridge ( SAM NN 22034); 2 ɗ, immature 1 Ψ, Mt Remarkable, Finders Ranges, 32°48’S 138°09’E, 7 May 1968, leg. H.M. Cooper ( SAM NN 22058–60); 1 Ψ, Roopena Station, Gawler Ranges, 32°43’S 137°24’E, 18 February 1982, leg. P.L.M. Greenslade ( SAM NN 22031); 1 ɗ, Mitcham, Adelaide, 34°58’S 138°37’E, January 1985, leg. R.V. Southcott ( SAM NN 22047); 1 juv., 1 Ψ, Mimili, 26 km ENE, 26°54’50’’S 132°56’54’’E, pitfall ANM camp, 19–31 October 1998 Pitjantjatjara Lands Survey ( SAM NN 10870); 2 Ψ, Emu, 7 km S, Great Victoria Desert, 28°40’S 132°12’E, swept off flowering yellow herbs ( Craspedia sp.), 7 October 1976, leg. J.A. Herridge ( SAM NN 22037–8); 1 ɗ, 2 Ψ, Vokes Hill Corner, 175 km W, Great Victoria Desert, 28°30’S 129°01’E, 26 August 1980, leg. G.J. Baker 276 ( SAM NN 22040–2); 1 ɗ, Blinman, 3.5 km, Flinders Ranges, 31°05’S 138°42’E, 7 February 1980, leg. R.V. Southcott ( SAM NN 22061); 1 ɗ, Wynbring Rocks, 30°33’S 133°32’E, 1 October 1988, leg. D. Hirst ( SAM NN 22066); 1 ɗ, 2 Ψ, Nuriootpa, 34°28’S 138°59’E, no date ( SAM NN 22043–5); 3 ɗ, 1 Ψ, Mt Remarkable, Finders Ranges, 32°48’S 138°09’E, beating small shrubs at 1,250 ft, April 1967, leg. H.M. Cooper ( SAM NN 22021–4); 4 Ψ, 1 juv., Mt. Farview, Paney Station, Gawler Ranges, 32°34’S 135°35’E, on low vegetation in rocky gully, 7–8 December 1989, leg. D. Hirst ( SAM NN 22052–5); 1 Ψ, Kirrakirrinna Waterhole, Cooper Creek, 28°31’S 138°51’E, 4 April 1997, Waterhouse Club Expedition ( SAM NN 22035).

Etymology. The name “ pulleinei ” was given in honour of Dr Robert Henry Pulleine, a physician and naturalist from Adelaide.

Diagnosis. Opisthosoma oval, widest in the middle with distinct black spots, or/and dark dorsal pattern, converging distally. AME with light tapetum, subequal to ALE; x/y ratio high (0.84 female, 0.86 male). Male palpi pale with VTA and RTA, tip of RTA acute, distal part of embolus broad, bulb not complicated. Female epigynal plate weakly sclerotized, bright and thus poorly visible, with large central hood and outlines of dark, transparent insemination ducts and less transparent peanut shaped spermathecae.

Description. Male:

Measurements. Holotype. Body (length) 2.42, prosoma (length/width) 1.02/1.13, opisthosoma (length/ width) 1.48/1.19, sternum (length/width), 0.56/0.58, chelicerae (length/width) 0.41/0.57, clypeus ratio 0.17/ 0.17 = 1, labium (length/width) 0.2/0.2, maxillae (length/width of two maxillae) 0.32/0.54. Legs:

Measurements of non type specimens min-max (mean, ±SD), n=14:

body (length) 2.05–2.50 (2.34, ±0.14), prosoma (length/width) 0.97–1.38 (1.13, ±0.10)/1.01–1.42 (1.16, ±0.10), opisthosoma (length/width) 1.22–1.63 (1.45, ±0.12)/0.86–1.23 (1.10, ±0.11).

Prosoma ( Fig. 1 View FIGURES 1 – 5 ). Prosoma oval, slightly convex with flat dorsal surface. Integument without granulations, slightly punctate. Lateral margin with dark-brown stripe. Dorsal surface covered with app. 0.25 mm long setae set on small tubercles.

Clypeus. Clypeus high, ratio of clypeus height/AME–AME 0.17/0.17 = 1; makes an almost 90° angle with dorsal surface of prosoma. Margin of clypeus not straight, a triangular wedge penetrates between chelicerae.

Eyes. Lateral eyes on small tubercles. Tubercles of ALE and PLE not fused, separated by a bright band. PME smallest, ALE largest (ALE>AME=PLE>PME). Eye tubercles dimensions: ALE>PLE>AME=PME. ALE protrudes beyond lateral margin of prosoma. Tapetum of AME brightest; of secondary eyes grey. AME– AME 0.17, ALE–ALE 0.48, AME–ALE 0.11, ALE–PLE 0.17, PME–PME 0.22, PME–PLE 0.19, MOA length 0.26, MOA width anterior 0.23, MOA width posterior 0.31, MOA wider than long, ratio MOA length/ MOA width posterior 0.84, x/y (PLE–PLE/distance L–R) 0.71/0.82 = 0.86.

Chelicerae. Chelicerae toothless, armed with scopula near fangs. Inner and lateral margins straight. Inner margins run almost parallel to each other. Lateral margins sharp and slightly narrowing towards the fangs. Fine parallel folds run across chelicerae. A few long setae (approx. 0.29) on small protuberance of chelicerae, close to clypeus. A few delicate and shorter setae in the central part closer to internal margin and near the fangs. Chelicerae wider than long (length 0.41, width 0.57).

Labium and maxillae. Labium spatulate, slightly longer than wider (length 0.21, width 0.20), narrowing anteriorly. Maxillae with promarginal scopula and serrula, upper margins not rounded - straight, skew to each other, length 0.32, total width 0.54.

Sternum. Sternum shield shaped, convex, broadest near coxae II, a little wider than long (length 0.56, width 0.59); fine setae over surface.

Legs ( Fig. 3 View FIGURES 1 – 5 ). Leg formula: I–II–III=IV. Length of leg III and IV equal. Each leg with a pair of curved pectinate tarsal claws with approximately 7 teeth. Scopula not evident (lacking on tarsus I and II). Patellae with distinct slit on integument retroventrally.

Leg spination (on the basis of non type male SAM NN22029–30):

I: Fe d 2–2, pl 0–1–1–0, rl, v–0; Pt d–1–1(ap), pr, rl, v–0; Ti d–1–1, pr, rl–0 (1)–1–1, v –2–2 –2(ap); Mt d– 0, pl, rl–0–1–1(ap), v–2–2; Ta d, pl, rl, v–0.

II: Fe d–1–1 (1–1–1), pl, rl, v–0; Pt d–1–1(ap), pl, rl, v–0; Ti d–1–1, pl, rl–0 (1)–1–1, v–2–2 –2(ap); Mt d– 0, pl, rl–0–1–1(ap), v–2–2; Ta d, pl, rl, v–0.

III: Fe d–1–1, pl, rl, v–0; Pa d–1–1(ap), pl–0, rl–1, v–0; Ti d–1–1–2(ap)?, pl, rl–0–1, v–1; Mt d–0, pl, rl– 1, v–0; Ta d, pl, rl, v–0.

IV: the same as on leg III.

Opisthosoma ( Figs 1–2 View FIGURES 1 – 5 ). Opisthosoma oval (in holotype slightly deformed), narrowing towards posterior ending with a blunt anal tubercle with about a dozen fine setae. Longer than wide (length 1.48, width 1.2). Laterally with shallow parallel folds. Venter with sparse long setae (approx. 0.25). Dorsal apodeme’s formula: 1–2–2. Spinnerets of typical structure. ASP contiguous, MSP shielded by ASP and PSP, PSP separate and curved towards each other.

Male genitalia ( Figs 4–5 View FIGURES 1 – 5 ). Male palpi pale. Margins of tibial VTA and RTA apophyses, outline of seminal reservoir and outer margin of embolus distinguishably black. VTA transparent with vaguely discernible furrow in the central part; tip curved towards tegulum with one spine apically. RTA with sharp tip. Between VTA and RTA a cavity with two spines. Outline of copulatory duct follows a spiral course (approx. 360°) through the tegulum, then transforms into embolus with a dark truncus. Tip of embolus slightly flattened, bent to dorsal. In distal part of copulatory duct a clear furrow on the surface of tegulum. Tegulum surface in major part tubercular. Setae on cymbium thick and tapered to a point only at tip.

Female: Description of female in most part from SAM NN22052–5, South Australia: Mt. Farview, Paney Station, Gawler Ranges, 32°34’S 135°35’E, on low vegetation in rocky gully, 7–8 December 1989, leg. D. Hirst.

Measurements. Body (length) 3.75, prosoma (length/width/height) 1.35/1.35/0.71, opisthosoma (length/ width/height) 2.59/2.31/1.75, sternum (length/width) 0.71/0.63, chelicerae (length/width) 0.53/0.76, clypeus ratio 0.19/0.21 = 0.9, labium (length/width) 0.29/0.24, maxillae (length/width of two maxillae) 0.41/0.59. Legs:

Measurements of additional examined specimens min-max (mean, ±SD), n = 11:

body (length) 2.81–3.89 (3.36 ±0.40), prosoma (length/width) 1.22–1.45 (1.34, ±0.09)/1.24–1.55 (1.36, ±0.09), opisthosoma (length/width) 1.77–2.64 (2.23, ±0.24)/1.42–2.43 (1.77, ±0.65)

Prosoma ( Figs 6–7 View FIGURES 6 – 12 ). Prosoma oval, equally long as wide, slightly convex (highest in posterior part of thoracic region), sloping gently towards ocular area, then sloping abruptly to chelicerae from between PME and AME (clypeus makes an angle of 90º with the body axis); large in size relative to opisthosoma (length ratio 0.46, width ratio 0.73), smooth with delicate punctations and individual long setae (max. length 0.33), distributed mainly along posterior declivity line, metadiscus/allatum line contiguous of ocular area and on clypeus.

Clypeus ( Fig. 6 View FIGURES 6 – 12 ). Clypeus slightly rounded, almost as high as AME–AME distance (clypeus ratio 0.90) with seven long (approx. 0.30) setae, central seta (C5) pointing upward over the remaining setae; single, triangular chilum under clypeus.

Eyes ( Fig. 6 View FIGURES 6 – 12 ). Eyes small, lateral eyes on broad contiguous tubercles, median eyes on tiny ones, tubercles of lateral eyes and area encircling median eyes distinctly white, MOA of the same light color as the rest of prosoma; AME with light tapetum, sub-equal in diameter to ALE (ALE=AME>PLE>PME), greatest distance between PME (PME–PME), smallest between AME–ALE, PLE widely spaced. Eye chambers: ALE>PLE>AME=PME. AME–AME 0.21, ALE–ALE, AME–ALE 0.15, AME–PME 0.22, ALE–PLE 0.20, PME–PME 0.28, PME–PLE 0.25; MOA wider than long, length 0.30, width anterior 0.30, width posterior 0.36; ratio MOA length/MOA width posterior 0.83, x/y (PLE–PLE/distance L–R) 0.84/1 = 0.84.

Chelicerae. Chelicerae oval (most convex at ¼ length from base), toothless, with comb of setae near fangs and four long setae on protuberance (three close to inner margin with the remaining seta well separated), inner margins of chelicerae straight running parallel to each other, lateral margins with upper condyles converging towards fangs, delicately punctate with transverse fine furrows.

Labium and maxillae ( Fig. 8 View FIGURES 6 – 12 ). Labium spatulate with small lateral indentation below the middle line; tip anteriorly truncate, straight, length 0.29, width 0.25. Maxillae with promarginal scopula and serrula, length 0.59, total width 0.41.

Sternum ( Fig. 8 View FIGURES 6 – 12 ). Sternum convex, shield shaped, narrowing and sloping down between coxae IV, surface covered by sparse evenly distributed long setae, sternum slightly longer than wide, length 0.71, width 0.63.

Legs. Leg formula: I=II–IV–III. Each leg with pair of serrated claws with 6–10 teeth, scopula not evident; retrolateral/ventral side of patella with distinct cut of integuments leading to slit sensillum.

Leg spination:

I: Fe d–1, pl–2–1–1, rl–0, v–0; Pt d–1–1(ap), pr, rl, v–0; Ti d–1–1–1–1(2), pr, rl–0, v–2 –0–2–2(ap); Mt d– 0, pl–1–1(ap), rl–1(ap), v–2–2; Ta d, pl, rl, v–0.

II: Fe d–1, pl, rl, v–0; Pt d–1–1(ap), pl, rl, v–0; Ti d–1–1–1(2)–1(2), pr, rl–0, v–2 –0–2–2(ap); Mt d–0, pl– 1–1(ap), rl–1(ap), v–2–2; Ta d, pl, rl, v–0.

III: Fe d–1 (weak), pl, rl, v–0; Pt d–1–1(ap), pl, rl, v–0; Ti d–1–1–2, pl–1 (weak), rl–0, v–0–2–0–2(ap) (all weak); Mt d–0, pl–1, rl, v–0; Ta d, pl, rl, v–0.

IV Fe d–1 (weak), pl, rl, v–0; Pt d–1–1(ap), pl, rl, v–0; Ti d–1–1–2, pl–0–1–1 (weak), rl–0, v–0–2–0– 2(ap) (all weak); Mt d–0, pl–1(2), rl, v–0; Ta d, pl, rl, v–0.

Opisthosoma ( Figs 11–12 View FIGURES 6 – 12 ). Opisthosoma oval, high with strongly rounded margins, longer than wide, length 2.59, width 2.31, height 1.75. widest at half length, narrowing towards posterior, ending with blunt anal tubercle partly covering spinnerets. Dorsally with sparse longitudinal setae (length max. 0.29) and several evenly placed black/dark spots on folium pattern, dorsal apodemes pattern 1+2+2, venter with six pairs of apodemes in two parallel rows. Laterals and venter hairy. Anal tubercle long, covered with long spines, of the same length as MSP (length 0.17), ASP and PSP longer than MSP.

Female genitalia ( Figs 9–10 View FIGURES 6 – 12 ). Epigyne pale with large central hood, broader than long, central division concave and broad with outline of underlying transparent insemination ducts, copulatory ducts openings in upper part of epigyne lateral to central hood. Epigyne surrounded by straight and long setae, inclined towards the centre of reproductive fossa; coil of transparent insemination ducts well visible near edge of central hood and clearly distanced from epigastric furrow. Insemination ducts long, with four coils, spermathecae oblong, peanut-shaped, curved towards each other and divided into chambers, ending with visible spermathecal cocks. Dark colour of these transparent copulatory ducts is the first eye catching element of epigyne.

Colorations and markings. Coloration given on the basis of preserved specimens. Male. Male holotype. Prosoma and legs light brown, cephalic region of prosoma and ocular area darker than thoracic region. Anterior median eyes (AME) bright, the others dark grey. Eye tubercles black, therefore distinct from the colouration of the cephalic region of prosoma. Chelicerae of the same colour as prosoma. Uniform coloration of holotype legs, which may be misleading because of maceration and a long time of storage in a preserving fluid. Opisthosoma lighter than prosoma with a clear pattern of dark spots with smaller darker points converging towards the rear part of opisthosoma ( Fig. 1 View FIGURES 1 – 5 ). Laterally on opisthosoma dark-brown bands running from the ventral side to, and encircling, spinnerets. In the middle of ventral side of opisthosoma a broad brown line. A dark-brown spot between tracheae.

Male non type specimens. Some specimens have light-reflecting tapetum of secondary eyes. The colouring of the eye tubercles can be white. There is a dark ring on the sternum margin (e.g. SAM NN22029–30). The specimens from the non-type material have different coloration of opisthosoma ( Fig. 2 View FIGURES 1 – 5 ) and legs I–IV (example, left leg I, Fig. 3 View FIGURES 1 – 5 ). Some specimens do not have dark rings on legs, while others have additional ones at the prolateral side of tibia III and IV, immediately below patella.

Female. Prosoma straw-brown. Ocular area brighter than the rest of the prosoma. Below AME brighter area of integument broadening towards the clypeus margin. Eye tubercles and adjacent area joined into a white band connecting all eyes. Laterally on the prosoma margin a thin black line beginning at lateral edge of clypeus and ending at level of leg II. Chelicerae, sternum, maxillae, labium and legs of the same uniform colour as prosoma. Opisthosoma with a folium pattern, very bright with slightly transparent chalk-white spots ( Fig. 11 View FIGURES 6 – 12 ), lacking distinct black dots as occurring in the male. Only 6 pairs of very small, symmetrically distributed dots marking the setae attachment sites. This pattern may differ sometimes ( Fig. 12 View FIGURES 6 – 12 ). On legs no annulations, only irregularly distributed fine black dots, mainly on femora of legs I and II, marking the setae attachment sites.

Distribution. Diaea pulleinei is known only from South Australia (Fig. 13).

Remarks. Rainbow’s description of Diaea pulleinei was careless and incomplete. The dubious status of some crab spiders genera has been recently questioned by Lehtinen (1993, 2004). Above author states that such genera as Misumena , Misumenops , Synaema and Diaea have not been clearly defined and often species that are not closely related with the type species are mistakenly classified as belonging to the same genus. Australian Diaea s. lato should be reclassified into other already defined genera or to newly established ones. This idea has been supported by the recent results of Shield & Strudwick (2000). These authors presented a line of arguments indicating the need of defining a new genus Diasterea for one of the species classified to the widespread genus Diaea . However, Lehtinen (2004) synonymised the Diasterea with the earlier known Zygometis Simon, 1901 .

D. pulleinei seems to show a close relationship to Diaea rosea L. Koch 1875 . The epigyne and vulval structures are almost equal in those species but there are some other tiny distinctive features making synonymy impossible. This relationship needs to be confirmed by more detailed studies in the future. Some characters of D. pulleinei (shape and construction of epigyne and palpal tibial apophyses, mainly RTA) are similar to other related species occurring in New Zealand. Follow the suggestion of Lehtinen (personal communication), I treat Diaea pulleinei , together with Diaea albolimbata L. Koch, 1875 , Diaea ambara (Urquhart, 1885) and Diaea sphareoides (Urquhart, 1885) as a species group probably belonging to a new undescribed genus. Most species of this group are middle size crab spiders with prosoma slightly convex, lustre, smooth with few erect spines on the surface. The prosoma is large in size compared to the opisthosoma. The clypeus is vertical, almost as high as the AME–AME distance. Chelicerae are toothless. Eyes are large and distinctive. Median ocular area (MOA) is wider than long. Lateral eyes are close to each other, contiguous but not joined. Lenses of ALE protrude over lateral margin of prosoma. X/y ratio is high (approx. 0.85).


South African Museum














Diaea pulleinei Rainbow, 1915

Szymkowiak, Pawel 2007

Diaea pulleinei

Rainbow 1915
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