Examples of live Ligonipes
Illustrator (and ©) R. Whyte
Aspects of the general morphology of Ligonipes
Illustrators (and ©) B.J. Richardson (CSIRO), M. Żabka (diag,) (QMB)
Examples of Ligonipes palps
Illustrators (and ©) R. Whyte, M. Zabka (diag,) (QMB)
Epigyne morphology of Ligonipes
Illustrators (and ©) B.J. Richardson (L) (CSIRO), M. Żabka (diag.) (QMB)
Ligonipes Karsch, 1878
Ligonipes has four Australian species: Ligonipes flavipes, L. illustris, L. lacertosus and L. semitectus. There are other, undescribed, species in Australia (Davies & Zabka, 1989). In Australia the genus is related to other ant-mimicking genera, Damoetas, Judalana, Myrmarachne and Rhombonotus and elsewhere to Belippo (Africa) and Bocus (Borneo and the Philippines) (Maddison, 2015). Rhombonotus, Judalana and Ligonipes have a strong, thick fringe of black hairs on the tibia of the first leg. Further information on the genus and described species can be found in Richardson and Żabka (2017) and Whyte and Anderson (2017).
Ligonipes is a small to medium-sized spider, body length 4 to 8 mm, with an ant-like appearance. The cephalothorax is long and narrow, with parallel sides. The abdomen has an anterior hump, and a central constriction similar to other ant-like spiders. Chelicerae have a row of retromarginal teeth (plurident) and two or three promarginal teeth. The first legs are longer and more strongly-built compared to the other legs. The tibia of the first leg is greatly enlarged and has a strongly-developed fringe.
In Ligonipes the tibial apophysis of the male palp has a single medium-sized, crooked, pointed retro-lateral tibial apophysis. The tegulum is ovate with a large proximal lobe. A long slender embolus arising from the proximal edge of the tegulum follows a highly convoluted clockwise series of curves, ending distally.
The female has two epigynal atria with broad copulatory openings located on the posterior edges. Long, coiled, tube-like insemination ducts and spermathecae are posterior to the atria. Long fertilisation ducts run anteriorly between the atria. A median pocket is posterior to the atria.
This ant-mimic is usually found on grass in habitats ranging from open woodlands to open forests.
Ligonipes is found east of the Great Dividing Range from southern N.S.W. to Cape York.
Davies, V.T. & Żabka, M. 1989. Illustrated keys to the genera of jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae) in Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 27, 189-266.
Maddison, W.P. 2015. A phylogenetic classification of jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae). Journal of Arachnology 43, 231-292.
Richardson, B.J. & Żabka, M. 2016. Salticidae. Arachnida: Araneomorphae. Canberra, Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Biological Resources Study, at https://biodiversity.org.au/afd/taxa/SALTICIDAE.
Whyte, R. & Anderson, G. 2017. A Field Guide to Spiders of Australia. CSIRO Publishing: Clayton.
* The information sheet should be interpreted in the context of the associated diagrams and photographs. A glossary and diagrams explaining anatomical terms can be found on the ‘Salticidae’ pages at the beginning of the list of genera.