Cryptachaea gigantipes, Smith, Helen M., Vink, Cor J., Fitzgerald, Brian M. & Sirvid, Phil J., 2012

Smith, Helen M., Vink, Cor J., Fitzgerald, Brian M. & Sirvid, Phil J., 2012, Redescription and generic placement of the spider Cryptachaea gigantipes (Keyserling, 1890) (Araneae: Theridiidae) and notes on related synanthropic species in Australasia, Zootaxa 3507, pp. 38-56: 44-50

publication ID

zt03507p056

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:8EDE33EB-3C43-4DFA-A1F4-5CC86DED76C8

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/84EE4BD2-93B1-3305-061B-8AF902D72B92

treatment provided by

Jeremy

scientific name

Cryptachaea gigantipes
status

new combination

Cryptachaea gigantipes   (Keyserling, 1890) new combination

(Figs 2-15, 17-20, 21)

Theridion gigantipes   -Keyserling, 1890: 245-246, pl. 22, figs 4, 4a; Hogg 1900: 73; Rainbow 1911: 158.

Type material. [Australia: New South Wales] Head of Middle Harbour, Bradley’s collection. Not examined. We were unable to locate the type specimen of T. gigantipes   ; however, Keyserling’s description and illustrations are adequate to identify the species. Most of Bradley’s collection as referred to by Keyserling and Koch is presumed lost (Framenau 2005) and this species is not listed among the Keyserling types held by the Zoologisches Museum Hamburg (Rack 1961), nor is it recorded in the Natural History Museum London (J. Beccaloni pers. comm.). These are the main collections holding Keyserling’s Australian specimens.

Selected other material examined. AUSTRALIA: Norfolk Island: Kingston [29°03'S 167°57'E], 15 Mar 1995, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.55576) GoogleMaps   . Norfolk Island [29°05'S 168°00'E], 27 Apr 1993, H. Sampson, 1 pen. ♂, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.43950) GoogleMaps   . New South Wales: (no locality), Apr 1952, N.L. Roberts, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.31206)   . Bantry Bay, near Seaforth [33°47'S 151°14'E], 20 Dec 1981, M. Guider, 1 ♂ ( AM KS.8521) GoogleMaps   . Beecroft [33°45'S 151°04'E], 24 Jan 1993, J. Noble, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.51950) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 1 Nov 2000, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.70923) GoogleMaps   ; same data, with egg sac, 85 eggs, 15 Jan 2002, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.76852) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 2 Oct 2002, 1 ♂ ( AM KS.84275) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 5 Feb 2003, 1 ♂ ( AM KS.86822) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 10 Jan 2003, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.86825) GoogleMaps   ; same data, with egg sac, 149 eggs, 20 Nov 2003, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.88860) GoogleMaps   ; same data, with egg sac, 246 eggs, 20 Nov 2003, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.88861) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 22 Dec 2003, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.88869) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 22 Mar 2004, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.88876) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 1 Mar 2004, 1 ♂ ( AM KS.88880) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 3 Aug 1992, 1 ♂ ( AM KS.88903) GoogleMaps   . Beecroft, Observatory Park [33°45'S 151°04'E], 12 Apr 2001, J. Noble, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.72885) GoogleMaps   . Bellevue Hill, Sydney [33°53' S 151°17'E], 2 Dec 1955, D. Austin, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.68760) GoogleMaps   . Blackbutt Reserve, Newcastle [32°56 ’07” S 151°41 ’26” E], 7 Aug 2011, G. Anderson, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.116466; GenBank JN859091) GoogleMaps   . Caringbah [34°02'S 151°08'E], 20 May 1979, G. Smith, 1 ♂, 1 ♀, 1 pen. ♂. ( AM KS.4645) GoogleMaps   . Cooleman Plains, Zed Cave CP30 [35°37 ’34” S 148°40 ’42” E], web in entrance, 29 Jan 1993, S. Eberhard, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.34997) GoogleMaps   . Crommelin Research Station, Pearl Beach [33°33'S 151°18'E], inside building, 3 Mar 1984, R.A. Bradley, 1 ♂, 2 ♀, 1 juv. ( AM KS.50331) GoogleMaps   . Deua Nat Pk, Deua Cave DE1 [35°49 ’48” S 149°40 ’12” E], bat guano in dark zone, 25 Feb 1993, S. Eberhard, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.34957) GoogleMaps   . Deua Nat Pk, Deua Cave [35°49 ’48” S 149°40 ’12” E], 5 Apr 1986, A.P. Spate, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.16890) GoogleMaps   . Epping Strip [33°46'S 151°05'E], 23 Dec 1997, J. Noble, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.51934) GoogleMaps   . Georgica Creek [28°39 ’23” S 153°09 ’23” E], 18 May 2010, S. Jacobs, 1 ♂ ( AM KS.116245) GoogleMaps   . Gerringong [34°44'S 150°50'E], with egg sac 73 eggs, 30 Jan 1989, G. Wishart, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.21518) GoogleMaps   . Gosford [33°26'S 151°21'E], 1975, K. Bridger, 1 ♂ ( AM KS.35078) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.35079) GoogleMaps   . Goulburn [34°44'S 149°44'E], Feb 2005, S. Lamont, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.90917) GoogleMaps   . Jamberoo [34°39'S 150°46'E], 28 Dec 1999, J. Noble, 1 ♂ ( AM KS.66252) GoogleMaps   . Jamberoo Mountain [34°40'S 150°43'E], 2 May 1997, J. Noble, 1 ♂ ( AM KS.51938) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 2 Jan 2000, 1 ♂ ( AM KS.65676) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 10 Jan 2001, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.70894) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 20 Apr 2002, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.79773) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 20 Apr 2002, 1 ♂ ( AM KS.79774) GoogleMaps   . Jenolan Caves [33°49 ’18” S 150°01 ’20” E], 5 ♂, 11 ♀, 20+ juv. ( AM KS.83751) GoogleMaps   . Jenolan Caves, Devils Coach House [33°49'S 150°02'E], in thick litter in flood bypass on west side, 13 Dec 1987, G. Smith & L. Wheeler, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.19038) GoogleMaps   . Kemps Creek [33°53'S 150°47'E], Jul 1977, D. Hart, 1 ♂ ( AM KS.791) GoogleMaps   . Macquarie University, North Ryde [33°46'S 151°07'E], 8 Oct 2009, A. Wignall, 1 ♂ ( AM KS.109778) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.109779) GoogleMaps   . Minnamurra Falls Reserve [34°38'S 150°44'E], under rock ledge, 20 Apr 1982, C. Horseman, 4 ♀ ( AM KS.9018) GoogleMaps   . Mt Colah [33°40'S 151°07'E], 10 Mar 1971, M.R. Gray, 1 ♂, 1 ♀ ( AM KS. 112621) GoogleMaps   . Mount Colah, Heaney Close [33°39 ’45” S 151°07 ’11” E], 15 Jan 2010, G.A. Milledge, H.M. Smith, 1 ♂, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.113937) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 6 Jan 2011, G.A. Milledge, 1 ♂ ( AM KS.114249) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 30 Apr 2011, H.M. Smith, 1 ♀ ( MONZ AS.002645; GenBank JN859092) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 11 Apr 2011, H.M. Smith, 1 ♂ ( MONZ AS.002646; GenBank JN859093) GoogleMaps   . Narraweena [33°45'S 151°16'E], 30 Jan 2000, G. Smith, 2 ♀ ( AM KS.65022) GoogleMaps   . Newnes State Forest, Birds Rock Flora Reserve, 0.6km from Sunnyside Ridge Rd [33°19 ’43” S 150°11 ’33” E], 23 Feb 2006, G.A. Milledge, J. Tarnawski, M. Beatson, 1 ♂, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.94509) GoogleMaps   . Near Crommelin Research Stn, Pearl Beach [33°33'S 151°18'E], 31 Mar 1984, R.A. Bradley, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.50329) GoogleMaps   . Orange [33°17'S 149°06'E], 20 Apr 2002, J. Noble, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.79780) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.79781) GoogleMaps   . Pebbly Beach Campsite [35°37'S 150°19'E], 26 Jan 1997, H. Smith, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.97231) GoogleMaps   . Rydalmere [33°48 ’54” S 151°02 ’06” E], 7 Mar 1966, R.E. Mascord, 1 ♂ ( AM KS.115200) GoogleMaps   . Ryde [33°49'S 151°06'E], 17 Mar 1993, E. Pearce, 2 ♂ ( AM KS.34923) GoogleMaps   . ' Scalloway' , Gerringong [34°44'S 150°47'E], 27 Dec 1986, G. Wishart, ♂ ( AM KS.17425) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 2 Nov 1986, 1 ♂ ( AM KS.17426) GoogleMaps   . St Georges Basin [35°05'S 150°35'E], Jan 1984, I. Buddle, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.22666) GoogleMaps   . Sydney [33°52'S 151°13'E], plus young, 27 Oct 1981, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.16730) GoogleMaps   . Terrey Hills [33°41'S 151°14'E], 1971, M. Gray, 1 ♂, 1 ♀ ( AM KS. 112620) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 3 Sep 1971, 1 ♀ ( AM KS. 112622) GoogleMaps   ; same data, eating female Badumna   , 2 Jun 1971, 1 ♀ ( AM KS. 112616) GoogleMaps   . Thornleigh [33°44'S 151°04'E], 2 Feb 2000, G Smith, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.65015) GoogleMaps   . Willoughby [33°48'S 151°12'E], Apr 1994, W. Cashman, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.40614) GoogleMaps   . Wombeyan Caves, Grant's Cave [34°18 ’41” S 149°57 ’55” E], on wall, 15 Sep 1979, G. Smith, 1 ♀, 3 juv. ( AM KS.19058) GoogleMaps   ; same data, W137, entrance zone, 12 Mar 1993, S. Eberhard, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.35016) GoogleMaps   . Yarrangobilly, Jillaberan Cave [35°43 ’30” S 148°29 ’09” E], 2 Oct 1986, A.P. Spate, 1 ♂ ( AM KS.16891) GoogleMaps   . Yarrangobilly, North Glory Cave Y25-3 [35°43 ’30” S 148°29 ’09” E], space web, entrance zone, 16 Jun 1993, S. Eberhard, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.37472) GoogleMaps   . Yarrangobilly Caves, Glory Cave Y24 [35°43 ’30” S 148°29 ’09” E], near twilight zone, 18 Jan 1989, A. Clarke, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.31795) GoogleMaps   . Yesabah Bat Cave, YBC1, nr Kempsey [31°05'S 152°43'E], 18 Jul 1971, M. Gray, 1 ♂, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.115201) GoogleMaps   . Queensland: Elanora [27°08'S 153°27'E], Isbister bite study specimen, 11 Jan 2001, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.116847) GoogleMaps   . Tambourine Mountain [27°56 ’19” S 153°10 ’47” E], 23 Oct 2010, G Anderson, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.116467; GenBank JN859090) GoogleMaps   . Tasmania: Prospect [41°28'S 147°08'E], 8 Sep 2010, J. Douglas, 4 ♀, 2 jj ( AM KS.113968) GoogleMaps   ; same data 1 ♀ ( MONZ AS.002648; GenBank JN859096) GoogleMaps   . Victoria: Gardiners Creek Reserve, Box Hill Sth [37°50 ’34” S 145°07 ’12” E], 26 Dec 2010, G.A. Milledge, H.M. Smith, 1 ♀ ( AM KS. 114272) GoogleMaps   ; same data 1 ♀ ( MONZ AS.002647; GenBank JN859095) GoogleMaps   . Ruffey Lake Park, Doncaster [37°46 ’30” S 145°08 ’21” E], 17 May 2011, G Anderson, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.116465) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.116468) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 1 ♀ ( AM KS.116469; GenBank JN859094) GoogleMaps   . NEW ZEALAND: Auckland: Auckland [36°51 ’21” S 174°45 ’42” E], ex lift well, 11 Apr 2011, 1 ♀ ( NZAC) GoogleMaps   . Avondale [36°53.4'S 174°41.0'E], on building, Feb 2009, G. Hall, 1 ♀ ( LUNZ 00012664; GenBank JN859099) GoogleMaps   . Henderson [36°51.1'S 174°37.7'E], outside wall of house, 27 Feb 2000, B.M. Fitzgerald, 1 ♂, 1 ♀ ( MONZ AS.002389) GoogleMaps   . New Zealand Arthropod Collection, Saint Johns [36°53.0'S 174°50.9'E], on building, Feb 2009, G. Hall, 1 subadult   ♀ ( LUNZ 00012663; GenBank JN859098) GoogleMaps   . Taupaki [36°49.2'S 174°34.1'E], in front porch, 13 Jul 2003, O.R. Green, 2 penultimate ♂ ( MONZ AS.002393) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 1 immature ( MONZ AS.002394) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 4 ♀ ( MONZ AS.002395) GoogleMaps   ; same data, 1 ♀ + spiderlings, 2 ♀ ( MONZ AS.002396) GoogleMaps   . Bay of Plenty: near Whakatane [37°59'S 176°54'E], 30 Jul 2011, L.H. Ranson, 1 ♀ ( LUNZ 00012666) GoogleMaps   . Tauranga [37°41.2'S 176°07.8'E], in house, 21 May 2002, S. Pearson, 1 ♂ ( MPI 03/2003/1576) GoogleMaps   . Coromandel: Cooks Beach [36°50.3'S 175°44.5'E], under verandah, 18 Nov 2003, B.M. Fitzgerald, 2 ♀ ( MONZ AS.002390) GoogleMaps   . Tairua [37°00.5'S 175°50.9'E], outside wall of house, 24 Feb 2002, B.M. Fitzgerald, 1 ♂, 1 ♀ ( MONZ AS.002391) GoogleMaps   . Hawkes Bay: Napier [39°28.5'S 176°52.8'E], on door, 20 Mar 2007, J. Graham, 1 ♀ ( MPI 03/2007/757) GoogleMaps   . Northland: Whangarei [35°45.71'S 174°21.51'E], 1 Aug 2008, O.J.-P. Ball, 1 ♀ ( MONZ AS.002649; GenBank JN859097) GoogleMaps   . Waikato: Hamilton [37°45.4'S 175°16.7'E], in house, 7 Feb 2006, A. Cressy, 2 ♀ ( MPI 03/2006/391) GoogleMaps   . Near Eureka [37°43.3'S 175°26.2'E], Nov 2005, 1 ♀ ( MPI 3/05/2871) GoogleMaps   . Norrie Ave, Raglan [37°48.3'S 174°52.1'E], outside wall of house, plus egg sac, Aug 2003, L.H. Ranson, 3 ♀ ( MONZ AS.002392) GoogleMaps   . Raglan [37°48.1'S 174°53.41'E], 14 Jun 2011, L.H. Ranson, 1 ♀ ( LUNZ 00012665) GoogleMaps   . Wanganui: Feilding [40°13'S 175°35'E], in bathroom, 13 Nov 2005, L. Fuller, 1 ♀ ( MPI 3/05/2905) GoogleMaps   . Wellington: Raukawa St, Stokes Valley [41°11.2'S, 174°58.77'E], in car, 4 Feb 2012, B.M. Fitzgerald, 1 ♀ ( MONZ AS.002480) GoogleMaps   .

Diagnosis. The legs of C. gigantipes   are far longer than those of related species currently known from Australia or New Zealand: the femur and tibia of leg I are each longer than (male) or subequal to (female) the total body length (Figs 2, 5). Male, pedipalp tibia elongate and subequal to cymbium length (Fig. 11; half or a third as long in C. veruculata   (Fig. 16) and C. blattea   , respectively). Epigynum with a pair of heavily sclerotised, peg-like protrusions that form a deep U-shape in posterior view (Fig. 19); the shape of these protrusions distinguishes the species from C. veruculata   in which the protrusions are smaller and more horn-shaped. For comparison with C. veruculata   and C. blattea   refer to Merrett & Rowe (1961: figs. 1-7); Dondale (1966: figs 1B-E); Vink et al. (2009: figs 1-6); Paquin et al. (2010: figs 34.7-8, 34.13-14).

Redescription from recent material:

Colour. Generally stronger in male than female; prosoma variable but base colour amber (male) to cream or white (female), often with darker markings (e.g. female KS 65015, Fig. 10); chelicerae and mouthparts amber (male) or cream (female) (Figs 6, 8); legs cream with brown or grey bands; abdomen with white ground colour variably marked dorsally and laterally with small spots of black or grey and sometimes reddish or yellow (Figs 2-4); ventrally often with black or grey median longitudinal stripe.

Male. Cephalic region slightly raised, all eyes subequal, clypeus high (Fig. 6); stridulatory ridges sclerotised, in separate patches either side of pedicel; chelicerae with strong anteriorly projecting shelf (Fig. 6); two promarginal cheliceral teeth, distal one finely pointed, more basal one spread into a transverse flange with two or more low points; retromarginal teeth absent; sternum scutiform, about as long as wide and widest between coxae I and II (Fig. 9). Male pedipalp (Figs 7, 11-14) with elongate tibia, tibia with 2+2 trichobothria on retrolateral and retroventral sides (Tb in Figs 12-13); cymbium deeply incised dorsally and with prominent apical tarsal organ ( TO), cymbial hood broad (Hd in Fig. 7); median apophysis   ( MA) strap-like but with prominent sclerotised process ( MS), cradling embolus; embolus ( E) sclerotised exteriorly with enlarged base and bird-like ‘neck’, ‘head’ and ‘beak’, through which sperm duct exits; membranous hidden part of embolus fused with membranous basal parts of MA forming a lobe ( L) (Fig. 15) that fits into pouch (Po) in base of conductor ( C) (Figs 12-13); conductor large, retrobasal surface visibly ridged; tegulum ovate, subtegulum barely visible in unexpanded pedipalp. Legs 1-4-2-3, femur and tibia I each distinctly longer than entire body length. Abdomen without tubercle, distinctly longer than wide; sclerotised from genital groove to pedicel with narrow strip surrounding pedicel insertion; two patches of stridulatory pegs on anterior surface aligned with stridulatory ridges of carapace.

Female. Similar to male except as follows: cephalic area flatter, AME smaller (Fig. 8), posterior carapace smooth and without extra sclerotisation, without stridulatory ridges, chelicerae without shelves; basal cheliceral tooth normal but robust; sternum longer than wide, more elongate than male (Fig. 10). Female pedipalp with semipalmate claw. Legs shorter than male. Abdomen, more rounded than male but still longer than wide, without sclerotisation or stridulatory pegs. Epigynum (Figs 17-19) a slightly sclerotised plate with slightly raised anterior rim and bearing two heavily sclerotised projecting knobs (U-shaped in posterior view); copulatory ducts open at apex. Internal genitalia (Fig. 20) with uncoiled copulatory ducts leading to a pair of simple bean-shaped spermathecae, usually visible through cuticle.

Measurements, in mm. Male and female AM KS113937 from Mount Colah, New South Wales; ranges from Australian and New Zealand specimens. Male. Total length, 6.10; carapace length, 2.50; width, 1.95; Limbs (femur + patella-tibia + metatarsus + tarsus = total): pedipalp, 1.36 + 0.94 + / + 0.58 = 2.88; leg I, 8.60 + 8.80 + 8.90 + 2.20 = 28.50; leg II, 4.90 + 4.70 + 4.80 + 1.50 = 15.90; leg III, 3.50 + 2.70 + 3.10 + 1.10 = 10.40; leg IV, 5.30 + 4.40 + 5.00 + 1.60 = 16.30. Size range: body length 4.7-7.0 (mean 5.27, n=17), carapace length 2.09-3.2 (mean 2.43, n=17). Female. Total length, 6.10; carapace length, 2.25; width, 1.75; Limbs (femur + patella-tibia + metatarsus + tarsus = total): pedipalp, 0.84 + 0.58 + / + 0.76 = 2.18; leg I, 6.80 + 6.60 + 6.80 + 1.90 = 22.10; leg II, 3.80 + 3.80 + 3.70 + 1.30 = 12.60; leg III, 3.00 + 2.10 + 2.40 + 1.00 = 8.50; leg IV, 5.00 + 4.20 + 4.50 + 1.50 = 15.20. Size range: body length 4.5-7.9 (mean 6.0, n=37), carapace length 1.9-3.3 (mean 2.3, n=37).

Biology. The typical natural habitats for C. gigantipes   in Australia are rocky overhangs and caves. These spiders readily move into areas of human habitation, preferring house eaves, porches and other shelters, sometimes entering buildings. All New Zealand records are synanthropic, leading to this species being dubbed the 'white porch spider’ (O. Green pers. comm.). Adult females and juveniles make typical theridiid ‘cobwebs’ in spaces beneath surfaces and usually rest near the top in a slightly denser area of web. Adult males are free-ranging but are often found in female webs. Egg sacs are brownish and are made within the female’s web, near her usual resting place (Figs 4, 5). Egg sacs and emerging spiderlings may be actively protected by the female, e.g. against disturbance by insects attracted by a lit window (Fig. 3). Early spring egg sacs take four or five weeks to emerge; later ones rather less time. The spiderlings remain in the maternal web for some time before dispersing (Fig. 5) (two weeks to about a month noted). They move to the edges of the web and disperse more rapidly when subsequent egg sacs are about to emerge. Females were seen to make two or three egg sacs in quick succession. (Egg sac and spiderling information from W. Moore, pers. comm.). Egg clutch size ranges from 50 to 246 (n=6, from preserved material). One other egg sac (AS.002396) contained 17 eggs, 25 first instar and one second instar spiderling. Various insect taxa have been noted as prey in Australia (including Coleoptera  , Diptera, Hemiptera  , Lepidoptera  (larval and adult), Neuroptera-W. Moore pers. comm.) but several records are for other spider taxa, including several black house spiders ( Badumna insignis   (L. Koch, 1872), Desidae   ), a male net-casting spider ( Deinopis   sp., Deinopidae   ), a white-tail spider ( Lampona   sp., Lamponidae   ) and a male Cambridgea   sp. ( Stiphidiidae   ) (latter two records from O. Green, pers. comm.). A sequence of photographs of a female C. gigantipes   (as Theridion   sp.) killing and eating a black house spider featured recently in a magazine article (Merrick 2012). An adult female was also observed with the dead body of a conspecific female in the web ( HMS pers. obs). Female C. gigantipes   fall prey to pirate spiders ( Mimetidae   ) ( HMS pers. obs.), white tail spiders ( Lampona spp   .) and probably to wasps, including the introduced European wasp ( Vespula germanica   (Fabricius, 1793)), one of which was seen searching near a recently deserted C. gigantipes   web (W. Moore, pers. comm.).

Despite their common occurrence in human environments, we have only two records of C. gigantipes envenoming   humans (both recorded as Achaearanea veruculata   ): AM KS.34923 (male) and AM KS.116847 (female) ( AM database and G. Isbister spider bites study, see Isbister & Gray 2003). The bites produced symptoms including pain, redness, a swollen area and muscle ache, with duration reported as 24 hours in one case. The only other ‘Achaearanea’ species ( sensu Levi & Levi   1962) named by Isbister and Gray was P. tepidariorum   , which has previously been reported to bite (see Isbister & Gray 2003 for details). In Isbister and Gray’s study these two species and two unidentified ‘Achaearanea’’ juveniles were responsible for five bites (compared to 23 for Steatoda   species and 68 for the redback spider, Latrodectus hasseltii Thorell   , 1870). Isbister and Gray note that despite differences in colour and shape, the spiders responsible for four of these five bites had been misidentified as L. hasseltii   . They conclude that " Achaearanea spp   . caused similar but less severe pain compared with [Australian] Latrodectus spp   ." (p. 817).

Distribution. Temperate south eastern Australia from southern Queensland to Tasmania, Norfolk Island, and from several areas (Northland, Auckland, Waikato, Coromandel, Bay of Plenty, Hawkes Bay, Wanganui) of the North Island of New Zealand (Fig. 21). A single recent record from a car in Wellington ( MONZ AS.002480) may be an example of anthropogenic dispersal and is the southernmost New Zealand record.

MONZ

New Zealand, Wellington, Museum of New Zealand

NZAC

New Zealand, Auckland, Landcare Research, New Zealand Arthropod Collection

LUNZ

New Zealand, Lincoln, Lincoln University

MPI

MPI

AME

USA, Florida, Gainesville, University of Florida, Florida Museum of Natural History, Allyn Museum