Missulena leniae, Miglio, Laura Tavares, Harms, Danilo, Framenau, Volker Wilhelm & Harvey, Mark Stephen, 2014

Miglio, Laura Tavares, Harms, Danilo, Framenau, Volker Wilhelm & Harvey, Mark Stephen, 2014, Four new Mouse Spider species (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Actinopodidae, Missulena) from Western Australia, ZooKeys 410, pp. 121-148: 130-132

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scientific name

Missulena leniae

sp. n.

Missulena leniae   sp. n. Figs 1C, 7 A–J, 8 A–J

Missulena   sp. 4: Main et al. 2000: 285.

Type material.

AUSTRALIA:Western Australia: holotype male, Nanga Station, site NA3, 26°31'20.9"S, 114°00'08.3"E, 12 May−3 August 1995, pitfall trap, N. Hall (WAM T96784). Paratype: 1 male, Mardathuna Station, site MR2, 24°26'35.7"S, 114°30'41.5"E, 25 May−26 August 1995, pitfall trap, N. Hall (WAM T96785).


The specific epithet is a patronym in honour of the second author’s daughter, Leni Elise Harms.


Males of Missulena leniae   sp. n. differ from other small species (carapace < 4 mm) without red colouration on chelicerae and carapace by the weak rastellum without conical spines (elevated and with conical spines in Missulena faulderi   , Missulena melissae   and Missulena rutraspina   ), the presence of granulations on carapace and chelicerae (except Missulena pinguipes   and Missulena torbayensis   ), the presence of long setae on the chelicerae (absent in Missulena faulderi   , Missulena melissae   and Missulena rutraspina   ), patella III with rasps (all patellae in Missulena torbayensis   ), pars cephalica dark brown (black in Missulena dipsaca   ) and abdomen with metallic blue lines (lacking in Missulena dipsaca   ). Females of Missulena leniae   sp. n. are unknown.


Adult male, based on holotype (WAM T96784). Medium-sized mygalomorph spider (total length 6.81).

Colour: carapace (Figs 1C, 7A, C) dark reddish-brown, margins dark brown; eye region (Fig. 7B) dark reddish-brown, anterior median eyes on black tubercle; chelicerae (Fig. 8I) dark reddish-brown, fangs reddish-brown; abdomen (Fig. 8F) pale grey with few light blue longitudinal streaks; sternum (Fig. 8H) yellowish-brown, margins contoured dark yellowish-brown, sigillae yellowish-brown; labium and maxillae dark red-yellowish-brown (Fig. 8C, G); legs (Fig. 1C) yellowish-brown, tarsi and metatarsi ventrally pale yellowish-brown; spinnerets (Fig. 8J) pale gray, spigots white.

Carapace: 2.63 long, 3.18 wide; clypeus 0.15; fovea 1.06; caput and eye region (Fig. 7B) laterally elevated, strongly arched; fovea (Fig. 7C) very deep and strongly procurved, medially extending as a very deep triangular depression; carapace with numerous large granulations, widespread over carapace and dorsally on chelicerae; weaker on pars thoracica, with bands of fine, random fissures centered around fovea (Fig. 7C).

Eyes: OQ 2.89 times wider than long, occupying 1.34 of cephalic width; OAW 2.4; OAL 1.62; IPF 0.91; width of anterior eye group 1.57, with of posterior group 1.45, OQ length 0.54; PME 0.14; PLE 0.14; ALE 0.20; AME 0.16, AME on tubercle, 0.31 long, 0.59 wide; AME inter-distance 0.11; AME to ALE 0.40; AME to PME 0.14; PLE to ALE 0.20; PLE to PME 0.25; PME inter-distance 0.77; PME to ALE 0.22; eye region (Fig. 7B) with reduced setation although some setae present anterior to AME, anterior ALE and between posterior eyes and fovea.

Chelicerae: 2.04 long, 0.95 wide; distally broad, diagonal, slightly conical; edges smoothly rounded; with transverse ridges which distally extend over entire length and many strong granulations widespread in dorsal view (Fig. 8I), with ca. 22 long setae widespread in inner area of transverse ridges and with more than 70 short setae along inner margin of chelicera; rastellum (Fig. 7D) poorly developed, weakly pronounced, consisting of a sclerotised process with 2 strong conical spines and 9−10 disordered setae, 9 long setae extend forward from anterior margin of each chelicera and cover base of fang, setae largest on latero-ventral side; inner margin of cheliceral furrow with 3 rows of teeth (Fig. 8E); prolateral (inner) row with ca. 9 teeth, all teeth spaced; intermediate row with 4 proximal, spaced teeth; retrolateral (outer) row with 3 proximal, spaced teeth.

Maxillae: 1.25 long; 0.93 wide, longer than wide (Fig. 8C, D), ca. 86 pointed cuspules along entire anterior margin, distally pointed and extended into a prominent heel.

Labium: 0.63 long, 0.61 wide; conical, ca. 12 pointed cuspules anteriorly (Fig. 8G); labiosternal suture developed as a shallow groove; a pair of sigilla near labiosternal suture (Fig. 8H), developed as irregular, very small and poorly-defined patches.

Sternum: 1.95 long, 1.72 wide; oval and rebordered (Fig. 8H), with prominent setae, arranged irregularly but denser lateral to labium; 4 pairs of sigillae, anterior pair very small, irregular and undefined; second pair (anterior-posterior) smallest but well defined; third pair bigger than 2 anterior pairs and well defined; and posterior pair bigger than all others, roughly oval but not well defined; 3 posterior sigillae slightly depressed.

Abdomen: 3.31 long, 3.04 wide; roughly oval (Fig. 8F); 4 spinnerets (Fig. 8J), PLS 1.22 long, 0.40 wide, apical segment domed; PMS 0.29 long, 0.15 wide.

Pedipalp: length of trochanter 0.75, femur 2.54, patella 1.09, tibia 1.90, tarsus 0.81; entire palp is aspinose, femur longer than tibia, tarsus terminally blunt (Fig. 7F); bulb pyriform and rather stout than globular (Fig. 7G, I−J), 2 strongly sclerotised sections connected by a velar median structure ( “haematodocha”); bulb strongly twisted proventrally (Fig. 7G, I); embolus short, strong, tapering and slightly twisted medially (Fig. 7H, J); embolus tip triangular in prolateral/retrolateral views and subquadrate in ventral view, with a small lamella (EL) and without tooth in ventral view, duct straight in proximal embolus (Fig. 7H, I).

Legs: with few brown setae, ventral setae of tibiae and metatarsi generally much longer and thicker than dorsal setae and bent towards the exterior; dorsal, lateral and ventral setae of tibiae and metatarsi longer than the diameter of respective segment; preening comb distal in tarsi, very small and plain; metatarsi I and II ascopulate; metatarsi III and IV with a weak scopula occupying 75% of segment length; tarsi I and II ascopulate, tarsi III and IV with a weak scopula along entire length; metatarsi I and II with ca. 57 and 47 fine ventral setae distally, respectively. Leg measurements: Leg I: femur 3.14, patella 1.33, tibia 1.81, metatarsus 2, tarsus 1.22, total 9.51. Leg II: 2.66, 1.33, 1.77, 1.88, 1.22, 8.88. Leg III: 2.85, 1.40, 1.74, 1.96, 1.29, 9.25. Leg IV: 3.14, 1.33, 2.03, 2.03, 1.37, 9.92. Formula 4123.

Trichobothria: arranged in discontinuous rows; tibiae I–III with 2 rows of 2 in prodorsal position and 3 in retrodorsal position, respectively; tibiae IV with 7 widespread in dorsal position; metatarsi with 3 in proximo-dorsal position; tarsi I-IV with 3, all trichobothria in a row in medio-dorsal position.

Leg spination: pedipalp aspinose; leg I: tibia rv0−0−2, v2−3−3, pv0−0−0, d0−0−0; metatarsus rv0−2−1, v2−2−3, pv0−0−0, d0−0−0; tarsus rv0−1−1, v2−4−3, pv0−0−0, d0−0−0; leg II: tibia rv0−0−2, v2−3−3, pv0−0−0, d0−0−0; metatarsus rv0−1−2, v0−4−3, pv0−0−0, d0−0−0; tarsus rv0−2−0, v3−2−4, pv0−0−0, d0−0−0; leg III: tibia rv0−0−3, v0−2−7, pv0−0−2, d2−0−10; metatarsus rv1−1−2, v0−0−0, pv1−1−1, d1−1−3; tarsus rv1−3−2, v0−1−2, pv0−0−0, d0−1−2; leg IV: tibia rv0−0−0, v3−3−4, pv0−0−1, d1−1−2; metatarsus rv1−1−2, v0−0−0, pv1−2−3, d0−0−0; tarsus rv2−6−6, v1−3−2, pv0−0−0, d0−0−2; patellae I with ca. 7 rasps in 3 proximal oblique rows dorsally, patellae II with 1 rasp (Fig. 8A), patella III with ca. 16 rasps and 4 spines in 8 oblique rows dorsally, median rows shorter than lateral rows and with less rasps/spines, distal rasps/spines forming a interrupted crown of rasps/spines in the border of the article (Fig. 8B); patella IV with 4 rasps retrolaterally and 8 thick and short spines prodorsally.

Tarsal claws: leg I: 6−5/3; leg II: 4−5/3; leg III: 3−2/1; leg IV: 2−2/1; claws slightly shorter than spines of tarsi.

Variation in paratype (N=1): total length 4.90; carapace 2.63 long, 2.54 wide; number of labial cuspules 58−70, maxillary cuspules 14; rastellum with 4−4 thick and conical spines.


This species is currently known from two sites located in the Carnarvon and Yalgoo biogeographic regions of Western Australia (Fig. 4).

Phenology and habitat preferences.

The two specimens were collected in pitfall traps between May and August. They were listed as Missulena   sp. 4 in a survey of mygalomorph spiders of the southern Carnarvon Basin by Main et al. (2000). The two sites are dominated by Banksia   and eucalypt mallee woodland (site NA3), or Acacia aneura   (site MR2) over stable but sandy substrates ( Burbidge et al. 2000, Appendix A; Wyrwoll et al. 2000).