Novakiella Court & Forster, 1993, in Platnick (1993)

Framenau, Volker W., Vink, Cor J., Scharff, Nikolaj, Baptista, Renner L. C. & Castanheira, Pedro de S., 2021, Review of the Australian and New Zealand orb-weaving spider genus Novakiella (Araneae, Araneidae), Zoosystematics and Evolution 97 (2), pp. 393-405: 393

publication ID

http://dx.doi.org/10.3897/zse.97.67788

publication LSID

lsid:zoobank.org:pub:A32F2CCD-3CB8-4570-87D1-3B38CA555E3C

persistent identifier

http://treatment.plazi.org/id/A9F43A95-8630-55BA-9986-778DACF539B1

treatment provided by

Zoosystematics and Evolution by Pensoft

scientific name

Novakiella Court & Forster, 1993, in Platnick (1993)
status

 

Genus Novakiella Court & Forster, 1993, in Platnick (1993)  

Novakia   Court & Forster, 1988: junior homonym of Novakia   Strobl, 1893 ( Diptera  ) and Novakia   Tolmachoff, 1926 ( Mollusca  ) is another junior homonym.

Type-species.

Epeira tri-tuberculata   Urquhart, 1887.

Diagnosis.

The informal clade of the backobourkiines is well supported by the molecular phylogeny of Scharff et al. (2020), but the taxonomy and systematics of the species and genera within this clade are poorly resolved. Only three genera within the clade have been revised using modern taxonomic methods: Plebs   , Backobourkia   and Lariniophora   Framenau, 2011. The genera Carepalxis   and Acroaspis   have not been revised and their putative synapomorphies remain unknown. It is therefore difficult to diagnose Novakiella   against these genera. Other Australian backobourkiines included in Scharff et al. (2020) represent species that have clearly been misplaced in genera they do not belong to (i.e., Eriophora   or Araneus   ) and these represent undescribed genera (in that study listed as “NGEN01” for Eriophora transmarina   (Keyserling, 1865), “NGEN02” for Araneus recherchensis   Main, 1954 and “NGEN05” for Araneus senicaudatus   Simon, 1908). Until these species have been revised and placed in new or existing genera, Novakiella   cannot be diagnosed against them.

Novakiella   distinctly differs from the revised backobourkiine genera by overall somatic morphology. The abdomen is subtriangular with strong humeral humps (Figs 1A View Figure 1 , 3A View Figure 3 , 4A View Figure 4 , 6A View Figure 6 ), while it is rounded with small humerals in Backobourkia   (i.e., Framenau et al. 2010, fig. 5), slightly elongated in Plebs   (e.g. Joseph and Framenau 2012, figs 6, 7, 10), and strongly elongated in Lariniophora   ( Framenau 2011, figs 2, 3). Males can be differentiated by the presence of a tibial apico-prolateral spur carrying a thick spine (or macroseta) on leg II (Figs 1E View Figure 1 , 4C View Figure 4 ). Verrucosa   McCook, 1888 and Carepalxis   also have a spur on leg II, but in both genera it carries two spines ( Levi 2002: p. 546; Lise et al. 2015: p. 5; VWF pers. obs.). In addition, Verrucosa   is limited to the Neotropics and not part of the backobourkiines ( Scharff et al. 2020). There are distinct differences in the male pedipalp morphology between Novakiella   and other backobourkiines. Novakiella   males have a stout median apophysis that is drawn out into a basally pointing acute projection (Figs 1C View Figure 1 , 2B View Figure 2 , 4D, E View Figure 4 , 5 View Figure 5 ); in contrast, the median apophysis has a basal flange in Backobourkia   ( Framenau et al. 2010) (absent in Novakiella   ), is elongate transverse with two apical tips in Plebs   (Joseph & Framenau, 2012, e.g. figs 4B, 8A), and has a two-humped lobe in Lariniophora   (Framenau, 2011, fig. 4). All backobourkiines appear to have a basal extension of the conductor (discussed in Framenau et al. 2010 and there termed paramedian apophysis), but in Novakiella   it is very different to all other described backobourkiines and much more conspicuous; we here propose a new term, conductor lobe (CL), which extends apically well past the radix (Figs 1C View Figure 1 , 2A, B View Figure 2 , 4D-F View Figure 4 , 5 View Figure 5 ).

Females of Novakiella   have an elongated triangular scape without terminal pockets, as is typical for all backobourkiines above; however, these genera lack the subtriangular base plate with its transverse and lateral wrinkles (Figs 3C View Figure 3 , 6C View Figure 6 ; Framenau et al. 2010, e.g. figs 6D, F; Framenau 2011, fig. 6; Joseph and Framenau 2012, e.g. figs 4D, 8E).

Description. Medium-sized (TL males ca. 5-9, females 8-12) orb-weaving spiders with males on average slightly smaller than females. Carapace longer than wide, pear-shaped; cephalic area similar in shape in both sexes (Figs 1A View Figure 1 , 3A View Figure 3 , 4A View Figure 4 , 6A View Figure 6 ); fovea longer than wide in males and wider than long in females, and with a dark spot in both sexes (Figs 1A View Figure 1 , 3A View Figure 3 , 4A View Figure 4 , 6A View Figure 6 ); colouration (of ethanol preserved specimens) varying from reddish-brown to yellowish-brown, with black patches along carapace borders (Figs 1A View Figure 1 , 3A View Figure 3 , 4A View Figure 4 , 6A View Figure 6 ). Eyes ringed in black, anterior median eyes largest, posterior eye row slightly recurved, lateral eyes almost touching, posterior lateral eyes separated from posterior median eyes by more than their diameter and located on small tubercles at the clypeus border (Figs 1A View Figure 1 , 3A View Figure 3 , 4A View Figure 4 , 6A View Figure 6 ). Chelicera paturon with dark hue, fangs reddish-brown. Labium wider than long, subtriangular, with front end bulging and beige (Figs 1B View Figure 1 , 3B View Figure 3 , 4B View Figure 4 , 6B View Figure 6 ). Endites rounded, inner portion beige (Figs 1B View Figure 1 , 3B View Figure 3 , 4B View Figure 4 , 6B View Figure 6 ). Sternum almost as long as wide with dark contour (Figs 1B View Figure 1 , 3B View Figure 3 , 4B View Figure 4 , 6B View Figure 6 ). Legs (Figs 1A, B, E View Figure 1 , 3A, B View Figure 3 , 4A-C View Figure 4 , 6A, B View Figure 6 ): Leg formula IV > I > II > III, all longer than body’s length with dark spots on joints; tibia II of males with apico-prolateral spur bearing a thick macroseta or spine (less pronounced in N. boletus   sp. nov.). Abdomen subtriangular, longer than wide, with two distinct humeral humps and posterior tip reaching beyond spinnerets (Figs 1A View Figure 1 , 3A View Figure 3 , 4A View Figure 4 , 6A View Figure 6 ); folium pattern distinct; sides varying in colour from yellowish-brown to black (Figs 1A View Figure 1 , 3A View Figure 3 , 4A View Figure 4 , 6A View Figure 6 ), venter light coloured, generally mottled dark (Figs 1B View Figure 1 , 3B View Figure 3 , 4B View Figure 4 , 6B View Figure 6 ). Male genitalia (Figs 1C, D View Figure 1 , 2A, B View Figure 2 , 4D-F View Figure 4 , 5 View Figure 5 ): male pedipalp patella with a single strong macroseta; paracymbium well-developed and hook-like; cymbium longer than wide; radix thick and elongated, reaching from the base of median apophysis to near the cymbium tip; conductor lobe conspicuous and projected apically, being composed of two distinct lobes ( N. trituberculosa   ) or mushroom-shaped ( N. boletus   sp. nov.); terminal apophysis wider than long, rounded and tapering terminally; conductor well-developed, subquadrate; embolus uncapped, elongated, pointed and almost straight; median apophysis stout, with an acute basally pointing tip. Female genitalia (Figs 3C-E View Figure 3 , 6C View Figure 6 ): epigyne plate wider than long, subtriangular; scape much longer than wide and extending posteriorly beyond plate (but length not known in N. boletus   sp. nov.), generally broken off. Spermathecae spherical and occupying most of genital area.

Composition.

Novakiella trituberculosa   (Roewer, 1942) and N. boletus   sp. nov.

Remarks.

The nomenclatural history of Novakiella   is convoluted. Novakiella trituberculosa   was first described as Epeira tri-tuberculata   by Urquhart (1887), before Roewer (1942) replaced the species-group name as it is a junior primary homonym of Epeira trituberculata   Lucas, 1846, currently listed as a junior synonym of Cyclosa insulana   (Costa, 1834). Court and Forster (1988) described the genus Novakia   to accommodate this species; however, this new genus-group name was also preoccupied, by Novakia   Strobl, 1893 ( Diptera  ) and Novakia   Tolmachoff, 1926 ( Mollusca  ). Court and Forster, in Platnick (1993), proposed Novakiella   Court & Forster, 1993 as a replacement name.

Distribution.

Australia and New Zealand (Figs 7 View Figure 7 , 8 View Figure 8 ).

Kingdom

Animalia

Phylum

Arthropoda

Class

Arachnida

Order

Araneae

Family

Araneidae