Examples of live Simaethula
Illustrator (and ©) I.R. Macaulay
Aspects of the general morphology of Simaethula
Illustrators (and ©) B.J. Richardson (CSIRO), R. Whyte (BR) & M. Zabka (diag,) (QMB)
Palp morphology of Simaethula
Illustrators (and ©) B.J. Richardson (CSIRO), M. Zabka (diag.) (QMB)
Epigyne morphology of Simaethula
Illustrators (and ©) I.R. Macaulay, M. Zabka (diag.) (QMB)
Simaethula Simon, 1902
Simaethula has seven Australian species: Simaethula aurata, S. auronitens, S. chalcops, S. janthina, S. mutica, S. opulenta and S. violacea. It is closely related to the Australian genus Simaetha.
Simaethula spp. are mostly small or medium-sized spiders, ranging in body length from 3 to 5 mm. The head, viewed from above, is rounded, widest at or in front of the posterior lateral eyes. The carapace is low and flat, with a very steep thoracic slope. Chelicerae have a number of retromarginal teeth, a large variably-shaped retromarginal projection and one or two promarginal teeth. The abdomen is ovate. The first pair of legs is a little longer but much heavier than the others. There are no spines on the tibia of the first pair of legs.
The male’s palp has a thin, medium-length embolus arising on the distal edge of the tegulum. The tegulum is rectangular to oval in shape, without a proximal lobe. There may be a groove in the distal mid-line of the tegulum. The palpal tibia lacks an apophysis.
The female has two epigynal atria with copulatory openings on the median edges of each atrium. The insemination ducts lead posteriorly to rounded spermathecae close together between the atria near the epigastric fold.
SImaethula is found in woodland and open forest, on foliage, occasionally on the ground, often in gardens.
The genus occurs widely across the wetter areas of Australia in all States and Territories including Tasmania.
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. 2017. 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 the spiders of Australia. Clayton: CSIRO Publishing 451pp.
* 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.