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Cosmophasis micarioides (L. Koch, 1880) Grainy Cosmophasis

A common, abundant and extremely variable species across northern Australia in well-vegetated areas, whose range seems to be extending southward. The name refers to the sparkling, "micaceus" scales on the surface of the body, reflecting different colours when viewed from different angles. The female can feature combinations orange, black, red or blue-green, usually with metallic bands across the cephalothorax. The males look like females until they become sub adult, when they look like a cross between the female and the adult male. The adult male has often been misidentified as Cosmophasis micans which does not occur in Australia, and C. thalassina which is very similar. You can recognise C. micarioides males by their black face lines extending vertically a little below the eyes and above the eyes, when viewed face on. C. micarioides also has thin "rivers" of black in the white cheek hairs, and very strong dark bands across the top of the head, which extend all the way down to the rim of the caput (upper part of the cephalothorax). Patterns on the abdomen of white lines and notches are variable and not diagnostic. To make certain of your identification you need to look at the male palp which is very different from the other possible species. Recent reports (see the photos by Andreas Lambrianides below) indicate a significant range extension into South East Queensland. ♀ 6mm ♂ 5mm

Adult male, facing, AUS-1983 Mackay


Cosmophasis micarioides
Photo: Iain R. Macaulay

Adult male, from side, AUS-2250 Mackay


Cosmophasis micarioides
Photo: Iain R. Macaulay

Adult male with images of jaws, teeth and palp


Cosmophasis micarioides
Photo from life: Iain R. Macaulay, Photos of jaws, teeth and palp: Robert Whyte

Sub adult male from side AUS-1871 Mackay


Photo: Iain R. Macaulay

Sub adult male, facing AUS-1871 Mackay


Cosmophasis micarioides
Note the red rimmed eyes, which resemble those of the female, having not developed the vertical black bars of the adult. Photo: Iain R. Macaulay

Female, heavily pregnant, from side AUS-1980 Mackay


Cosmophasis micarioides
Photo: Iain R. Macaulay

Juveniles, Daintree (at Wild Wings and Swampy Things)


Cosmophasis micarioides
Photo: Dr Greg Anderson

Female seen at Mt-Cootha, Brisbane, South East Queensland, October 2015


Cosmophasis micarioides
Photo: Andreas Lambrianides

References


Cosmophasis micarioides
Illustrations from Koch Keyserling (Arachniden Australiens) bottom left, Marek Zabka top left and bottom right, and Chrysanthus, top right.

  • Zabka and Waldock, 2012 - Salticidae (Arachnida: Araneae) from Oriental, Australian and Pacific Regions. Genus Cosmophasis Simon, 1901
 

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