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Servaea Simon, 1887


Servaea has six Australian species: Servaea incana, S. melaina, S. narraweena, S. spinibarbis, S. villosa and S. zabkai and undescribed spp. are also known (Whyte unpubl.) Its relationships to other Australian or Oriental genera are uncertain (Zhang and Maddison 2015). Further information on the genus and described species can be found in Richardson and Gunter (2012), Richardson and Żabka (2017) and Whyte and Anderson (2017).


Servaea spp. are medium-sized spiders, ranging in body length from 5 to 8 mm. The head, viewed from above, is roughly rectangular with curved sides, widest behind the posterior lateral eyes, narrowing noticeably towards the rear. The carapace is high, peaking at the posterior median eyes. Chelicerae are geniculate (more so in the males) and have a single subdivided (fissident) retromarginal tooth and three or more promarginal teeth together on a mound. The abdomen is rounded or ovate, sometimes appearing rhomboid or diamond-shaped. The first pair of legs is a little longer and heavier than the others.

The male’s palp has a long, thin embolus whose origin varies in position from proximal to distal, forming a tapering, single, anticlockwise spiral around the tegulum. The tegulum is relatively broad and V-shaped because of a large proximal lobe. The palpal tibia has a single, long apophysis tapering to a point, sometimes with a very small lump on the tip.

The female has two large epigynal atria with poorly-sclerotised guides. Indistinct copulatory openings on the distal or lateral margins of each atrium lead into insemination ducts which travel in an antero-medial curve towards the mid-line and then posteriorly to pear-shaped spermathecae located within the margins of the atria, near the posterior edge. Distinct brown patches, varying in shape and position, are sometimes found in the middle of each atrium and can be confused with the spermathecae.


Servaea is a very common genus, found under bark and on foliage in eucalypt forests and woodlands, often in gardens.


The genus occurs widely across the wetter areas of southern, western and eastern Australia. It is found as far south as Tasmania and, in Queensland, as far north as the Atherton Tableland.


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.

Richardson, B.J. & Gunter, N.L. 2012. Revision of Australian jumping spider genus Servaea Simon 1887 (Aranaea: Salticidae) including use of DNA sequence data and predicted distributions. Zootaxa 3350, 1-33.

Richardson, B.J. & Żabka, M. 2017. Salticidae. Arachnida: Araneomorphae. Canberra, Australian Faunal Directory. Australian Biological Resources Study, at

Whyte, R. & Anderson, G. 2017. A field guide to the spiders of Australia. Clayton: CSIRO Publishing 451pp.

Zhang, Junxia & Maddison, W.P. 2015. Genera of euophryine jumping spiders (Araneae: Salticidae), with a combined molecular-morphological phylogeny. Zootaxa 3938, 1-147.

* The information sheet should be read in the context of the associated diagrams and photographs. Diagrams explaining anatomical terms can be found in the ‘Salticidae’ pictures at the beginning of the list of genera.