Maratus sarahae Waldock 2013

Jürgen C. Otto & David E. Hill, 2014, Spiders of the mungaich group from Western Australia (Araneae: Salticidae: Euophryinae: Maratus), with one new species from Cape Arid, Peckhamia 112 (1), pp. 1-35: 18-28

publication ID

10.5281/zenodo.1292576

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persistent identifier

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scientific name

Maratus sarahae Waldock 2013
status

 

Maratus sarahae Waldock 2013 

Maratus sarahae  was first collected by David Knowles at Bluff Knoll in the Stirling Range National Park in 1988 ( Waldock 2013). The M. sarahae  figured in this paper were found more recently by Jürgen Otto at Bluff Knoll (SEP-OCT 2011, S 34° 22' 35.5'', E 118° 15' 14.8'', elevation ~1036 m; Figures 12 View Figure :2, 15: locality 4). Preserved specimens drawn from this group are presently in the collection of Jürgen Otto.

Male features ( Figures 24-30View Figure 24View Figure 25View Figure 26View Figure 27View Figure 28View Figure 29View Figure 30, Table 2). See Waldock (2013) for a description of the holotype male (WAM T125614). Here we illustrate characters of a male Maratus sarahae  (♂#5) from Bluff Knoll, and compare these to corresponding characters of a male M. mungaich  ( Table 2). The eye region of M. sarahae  is dark, with three indistinct longitudinal tracts of dark red-brown scales. Except for scattered white scales, particularly around the front eyes, the carapace is dark, but like M. mungaich  has a bright white marginal band. The fan ( Figure 25 View Figure , Table 2) has a similar pattern with respect to the presence of a dark central figure and a dark spot on each flap, but differs significantly with respect to details of its pattern of scales. The femur III of M. sarahae  bears dorsal and ventral fringes of long white setae, much more pronounced than that seen in M. mungaich  . The tibia III has both white and black setae, with a fringe of long setae beneath. The metatarsus and proximal tarsus III of M. sarahae  is covered with many white scales, including a prominent fringe of white setae beneath. The distal tarsus III also bears a prominent cover of long black setae, not seen in M. mungaich  . As in M. mungaich  , tenent setae of the foot pads are grey.

As shown in Figure 30 View Figure , the male pedipalp resembles that of other Maratus  , and is considered to be of limited use for identification. The appearance of the terminal portion of the coiled embolus in published drawings of Maratus  and related euophryines varies greatly depending on the style of the artist, and the exact angle of the view that is drawn. The terminal part of this coil in M. sarahae  has a longer, outer projection, and a shorter, inner projection. This is similar to that described for the related M. mungaich  ( Figure 4 View Figure in Waldock 1995), but it is also very similar to the embolus of the more distantly related M. anomalus ( Karsch 1878)  from eastern Australia ( Prószyński 1984, Żabka 1987, Otto & Hill 2012c, 2012e).

Female features ( Figures 31-33View Figure 31View Figure 32View Figure 33). The females of M. sarahae  , like those of other Maratu s, are relatively nondescript with cryptic colouration and subtle features.

Relative to the spermatheca, the windows (or fossae) of M. sarahae  are relatively smaller than are those of M. mungaich  . This is expressed in the ratio [b/c] ( Figure 33 View Figure :1) which is about 0.5 in M. sarahae  , and 0.8- 0.9 in M. mungaich  . The width of both windows relative to the epigynum [d/e] is about 0.6-0.7 in M. sarahae  , and 0.8-0.9 in M. mungaich  . The relative width of the septum [a/b] varies greatly, from about 0.4-0.7 in our examples of M. sarahae  , to about 0.3-0.4 in M. mungaich  . These differences in proportion may relate to differences in overall body size of the two species, or of the respective specimens.

5

mm

4

3

2

1

0

Male courtship display ( Figures 34-35View Figure 34View Figure 35). In general, Maratus sarahae  appeared to move its legs III, and flex these legs at the tibio-metatarsal joint, frequently during display, whereas M. mungaich  appeared to rely more on side-stepping with legs III extended and held in a relatively static position. Male M. sarahae  may also side-step in front of a female, but appeared to do this much less than did male M. mungaich  . Videos depicting the display of M. sarahae ( Otto 2012)  and M. mungaich ( Otto 2013)  have been posted recently and provide a good introduction to the temporal sequence of these movements. Only the 'fan dance' of the male is depicted here. Like M. mungaich  , males have many other signals in their courtship repertoire, including single leg waving at a distance, and semaphore movements of legs III with the fan lowered as the female is approached.

Habitat. Maratus sarahae  has only been found on or near the ground in the eastern part of Stirling Range National Park in southwestern Western Australia ( Figures 12 View Figure :2, 15, 36).

Size of Maratus sarahae  . Relative size is only useful within limits. In addition to intraspecific genetic variation, this may vary from year to year, or from place to place, solely as the result of environmental conditions including relative abundance of prey. Overall measurements of body length may not be reliable, due to changes in the relative position of prosoma and opisthosoma, as well as shrinkage, of preserved specimens. For spiders like Maratus  , with a large and flexible pedicel related to the great extent to which these spiders can rotate the opisthosoma, 'body length' is thus an even less precise measurement. Nonetheless, the Maratus sarahae  adults that have been measured are among the largest known Maratus  ( Otto & Hill 2011b, Waldock 2013), considerably larger than the related M. mungaich  ( Table 3, Figure 37 View Figure ). Waldock's M. sarahae  types were much larger than any that we have observed (male length of 7.4 mm compared with our average of only 5.6 mm), but her drawing of the male ( Waldock 2013, Fig. 3 View Figure ) depicts a length of only ~4.5mm.

Table 2. Comparison of the dorsal opisthosoma of male Maratus sarahae with that of male M. mungaich, based on features identified and enumerated in Figures 17 and 25.

feature description M. sarahae  M. mungaich 
1 anterior marginal band lateral orange to red tracts separated medially by white or black scales
2 transverse band two broad orange to red tracts extending more than narrower orange to red tracts extending about 1/2 of
  3/4 of distance from median to lateral margin on distance from median to lateral margin on each side,
  each side, separated medially by a large chevron- either joined or separated at median by the background
  shaped black area pointed forward field of iridescent scales
3 transverse band orange to red tracts extending laterally on each side shorter diagonal orange to red tracts each attached to
  from anterior part of central dark figure (9), broken ipsilateral tract of transverse band 2 antero-medially,
  up into smaller patches laterally and separated from the central dark figure (9) by
  iridescent background scales
4 transverse band orange to red tracts extending laterally on each side orange to red tracts extending laterally on each side
  from posterior part of central dark figure (9), more from central part of central dark figure (9) toward the
  solid than band (3), may be interrupted lateral dark spot, may be interrupted
5 transverse band uniform narrow band with red to orange scales broken into variable series of small tracts curving to the
  laterally, joined across median by tract of black rear on either side, or indistinct
  scales with width equal to that of the central dark
  figure (9)
6 transverse band uniform narrow band (wider than 5) with red to absent or indistinct, may be represented by a line of
  orange scales laterally, joined across the median by a small red to orange spots
  wider group of black scales
7 lateral red tract with (8) in a posterior position, comprise a larger, with (8) in a posterior position, comprise a smaller band
  oval patch or red to orange scales on each side, or red to orange scales on either side, appearing as an
  appearing as an extension of both bands (3) and (4) extension of band (4) only
8 lateral dark spot relatively large, bounded by tract (7) anteriorly for a relatively small, bounded by only a narrow span of tract
  distance equal to its diameter (7) scales anteriorly
9 cental dark figure wide field of dark scales separated into anterior and much narrower, shield-shaped area of black scales with
  posterior areas by a thin medial, transverse tract of one or two small, ovoid blue spots aligned on the
  blue scales, the anterior area joining the lateral midline, joining the lateral tracts of band (4) only, at the
  tracts of band (3), and the posterior area joining the center
  lateral tracts of band (4)
10 antero-lateral iridescent tract behind anterior margin (1), anterior band of distinctive wide area (patch) of background iridescent
  (10) iridescent (background) scales fairly uniform with scales at antero-lateral margin of fan, usually appears
  no wide antero-lateral area green to drab or olive-green from the front, extending
  from anterior margin (1) to the curved anterior limit of
  tract (7), approaching close to the lateral dark spot (8)
11 setation of spinnerets grey to black setae
12 setation of anal tubercle group or patch of uniform bright white setae, converging distally

Table 2. Comparison of the dorsal opisthosoma of male Maratus sarahae with that of male M. mungaich, based on features identified and enumerated in Figures 17 and 25.

feature description M. sarahae  M. mungaich 
1 anterior marginal band lateral orange to red tracts separated medially by white or black scales
2 transverse band two broad orange to red tracts extending more than narrower orange to red tracts extending about 1/2 of
  3/4 of distance from median to lateral margin on distance from median to lateral margin on each side,
  each side, separated medially by a large chevron- either joined or separated at median by the background
  shaped black area pointed forward field of iridescent scales
3 transverse band orange to red tracts extending laterally on each side shorter diagonal orange to red tracts each attached to
  from anterior part of central dark figure (9), broken ipsilateral tract of transverse band 2 antero-medially,
  up into smaller patches laterally and separated from the central dark figure (9) by
  iridescent background scales
4 transverse band orange to red tracts extending laterally on each side orange to red tracts extending laterally on each side
  from posterior part of central dark figure (9), more from central part of central dark figure (9) toward the
  solid than band (3), may be interrupted lateral dark spot, may be interrupted
5 transverse band uniform narrow band with red to orange scales broken into variable series of small tracts curving to the
  laterally, joined across median by tract of black rear on either side, or indistinct
  scales with width equal to that of the central dark
  figure (9)
6 transverse band uniform narrow band (wider than 5) with red to absent or indistinct, may be represented by a line of
  orange scales laterally, joined across the median by a small red to orange spots
  wider group of black scales
7 lateral red tract with (8) in a posterior position, comprise a larger, with (8) in a posterior position, comprise a smaller band
  oval patch or red to orange scales on each side, or red to orange scales on either side, appearing as an
  appearing as an extension of both bands (3) and (4) extension of band (4) only
8 lateral dark spot relatively large, bounded by tract (7) anteriorly for a relatively small, bounded by only a narrow span of tract
  distance equal to its diameter (7) scales anteriorly
9 cental dark figure wide field of dark scales separated into anterior and much narrower, shield-shaped area of black scales with
  posterior areas by a thin medial, transverse tract of one or two small, ovoid blue spots aligned on the
  blue scales, the anterior area joining the lateral midline, joining the lateral tracts of band (4) only, at the
  tracts of band (3), and the posterior area joining the center
  lateral tracts of band (4)
10 antero-lateral iridescent tract behind anterior margin (1), anterior band of distinctive wide area (patch) of background iridescent
  (10) iridescent (background) scales fairly uniform with scales at antero-lateral margin of fan, usually appears
  no wide antero-lateral area green to drab or olive-green from the front, extending
  from anterior margin (1) to the curved anterior limit of
  tract (7), approaching close to the lateral dark spot (8)
11 setation of spinnerets grey to black setae
12 setation of anal tubercle group or patch of uniform bright white setae, converging distally

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Arthropoda

Class

Arachnida

Order

Araneae

Family

Salticidae

Genus

Maratus