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Simaethula sp Elegant White-moustached Simaethula

Simaethula is a genus of small jumping spiders very closely related to Simaetha. They are smaller than Simaetha and do not have the banded rear of the abdomen. Females are generally 2-4mm and males 1-3mm. The upper surfaces of the cephalothorax and abdomen are covered with scales, usually golden, though they can appear differently coloured in differently coloured lights. The posterior lateral eyes are well back on the carapace and the posterior median eyes relatively closer to the face than in Simaetha, though this is subtle when comparing species from the two genera. The pattern made by the pits in the uppers surface of the abdomen may differ in different species.

In Queensland there are a number of described species, although some of the descriptions are incomplete, the author only having either a male, or only a female. The note *mf means the person who described and named it had both male and female specimens. It may be that some of these species are synonyms of one another, and some stray males may be the male of a stray female and vice-versa. The Queensland species in 2010 were: Simaethula aurata (L. Koch, 1879) - gilded, adorned, embroidered with gold *mf. Simaethula auronitens (L. Koch, 1879) - shiny gold *mf. Simaethula janthina Simon, 1902 - violet coloured *f. Simaethula mutica Szombathy, 1915 - probably means "variable" *f. Simaethula opulenta (L. Koch, 1879 - Opulent, wealthy, could also mean silvery, gilded, bejewelled etc *m. Simaethula violacea (L. Koch, 1879) - violet coloured *f.

Male adult facing


This specimen (next 8 photos) has genitalia that closely resembles that of Simaetha deelemanae Zhang J., Song D., Li D., 2003, a spider from Singapore. (Jerzy Prˇszyński, personal comm.) The embolus is similarly shaped, but much longer in this spider and its palpal tibia is only half the length of that of Simaetha deelemanae. There are strong similarities to the drawings of Simaethula spp. in Davies and Zabka 1989, the page of drawings being of specimens from Cape Tribulation, and from Brisbane. This suggests that there may be a chain of undescribed species between Simaetha and Simaethula, morphologically intermediate between the most Simaetha-like Simaethula and the Simaethula most unlike Simaetha.

Simaethula sp.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male adult, from behind, side view


Simaethula sp.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male adult from above, facing


Simaethula sp.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male adult facing


Simaethula sp.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male adult front (outside) of palp


Simaethula sp.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male adult palp side view from top


Simaethula sp.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male adult palps underneath (ventral)


Simaethula sp.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male adult palp side view (outside)


Simaethula sp.
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male adult freshly moulted facing


This male was definitely more silvery, indicating the scales may become more golden coloured as the spider ages. Body length about 2.2mm.

Simaethula sp. Adult male freshly moulted
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male adult freshly moulted from above


Simaethula sp. Adult male freshly moulted
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male adult freshly moulted, fronts of palps


Simaethula sp. Adult male freshly moulted
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male adult freshly moulted, right palp, bulb detached


Simaethula sp. Adult male freshly moulted
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male adult freshly moulted, left palp


Simaethula sp. Adult male freshly moulted
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male subadult body length about 2.3mm from above facing

Simaethula sp. subadult male
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male subadult facing


Simaethula sp. subadult male
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male subadult from side


Simaethula sp. subadult male
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male subadult


Simaethula sp. subadult male
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male subadult from above showing abdominal pits


Simaethula sp. subadult male
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male subadult from side, oblique view


Simaethula sp. subadult male
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male subadult fangs, chelicerae, teeth


Simaethula sp. subadult male
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male subadult fangs, chelicerae, teeth, undeveloped palp


Simaethula sp. subadult male
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male adult Facing

Observed on a field trip this small Salticid with exceptionally chubby arms and a rather cheery moustache, body length 2mm, looks like some Simaethula spp. we have seen. Location: Glass House Mountains Visitor Information Centre, Location: -26░ 53' 54.38" S +152░ 57' 29.50" E.

Simaethula sp
Photo: Robert Whyte

Male adult From above


Simaethula sp
Photo: Robert Whyte

Female adult Silvery specimen, oblique


This specimen is affected by the ambient light of the photograph surrounds. The assumption this one is female is due to the relative hairiness of the palps. However it could also be a different species.

Simaethula sp
Photo: Robert Whyte

Female adult Silvery specimen, oblique


Simaethula sp
Photo: Robert Whyte

Female adult Silvery specimen, oblique


Simaethula sp
Photo: Robert Whyte

Female adult Silvery specimen, side view, wiping eye


Simaethula sp
Photo: Robert Whyte

Adult pinky gold specimen, obvious abdomen pits


Simaethula sp.
Photo: Dr Greg Anderson

Female adult from above


A small adult in alcohol

Simaethula sp
Photo: Robert Whyte

Female adult epigynum


Epigynum of the female immediately above.

Simaethula sp
Photo: Robert Whyte

 

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