Examples of live Urogelides
Illustrator (and ©) I.R. Macaulay
Aspects of the general morphology of Urogelides
Illustrators (and ©) I.R. Macaulay (TL, BR), R. Whyte (TR, BL)
Palp morphology of Urogelides
Illustrators (and ©). B.J. (BL), R. Whyte (TL), M. Zabka (diag.)
Epigyne morphology of Urogelides
Illustrators (and ©) I.R. Macaulay, M. Zabka (diag.)
Urogelides Zabka, 2009
Urogelides is an Australian genus with a single described species: Urogelides daviesae. There are other undescribed species (Whyte unpubl.) The phylogenetic relationships of the genus are unclear (Zabka 2009, Maddison 2015).
Urogelides spp. are small-sized spiders, ranging in body length from 2 to 3 mm. The head, viewed from above, is elongate-rectangular with slightly rounded sides, slightly wider behind the posterior lateral eyes. The carapace is low, with a gently-curved upper surface, appearing flattish, the highest point behind the posterior lateral eyes. Chelicerae have a large single (unident) retromarginal tooth and two promarginal teeth. The abdomen is elongate-ovate with long spinnerets. The first pair of legs is a little longer and stouter than the others.
The male’s palp has a short, thick embolus arising with a clockwise curve on the distal edge of tegulum, which is blocky in shape with a proximal bulge. The palpal tibia has a bilobed apophysis, the inner branch talon-like, the outer branch thumb-like and smoothly-rounded.
The female has two slit-like openings into the insemination ducts which lead medo-posteriorly to pear-shaped spermathecae near the posterior edge of the epigyne. Very large lateral chambers lead off the sides of the spermathecae. A hard-to-see, median pouch is located anterior to the copulatory openings.
Urogelides spp. have been found in drier open forest in litter and on vegetation. When walking, Urogelides ‘waves’ its prominent spinnerets in an up-and-down pattern. Its behaviour and morphology suggest it may be a collembolla (springtail) mimic, possibly luring prey.
The genus is known from scattered localities in eastern Queensland and the Northern Territory, mostly in warmer, wetter areas but at least south to the Stanthorpe area in the south-east Queensland hinterland.
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.
Żabka, M. 2009. Salticidae (Arachnida: Araneae) from Oriental, Australian and Pacific Regions: Astilodes and Urogelides, new genera from Australia. Insect Systematics and Evolution 40, 349-359.
* 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.