Friday, December 29, 2017

[Arachnida • 2017] Desis bobmarleyi • A New Spider (Araneae, Desidae) from Coral Reefs in Australia’s Sunshine State and its Relative from Sāmoa

Desis bobmarleyi  
Baehr, Raven & Harms, 2017 

Spiders of the genus Desis Walckenaer, 1837 (Araneae: Desidae) are water-adapted spiders and live in the intertidal zone on reefs, marine debris and under rocks. Here, we describe a new intertidal species from tropical Queensland and name it after Bob Marley, whose song “High Tide or Low Tide” inspired us as it lives in a “high tide low tide” habitat. We also re-describe a close morphological relative, Desis vorax L. Koch, 1872 from Sāmoa. This species was described some 150 years ago from the Godeffroy Collection which holds the oldest major collection of Australasian and Pacific spiders, now mainly hosted in the Centre of Natural History in Hamburg (CeNak). A third species, Desis hartmeyeri Simon, 1909, was described from juvenile specimens only and is considered a nomen dubium.

“None but ourselves can free our minds.” Bob Marley, Redemption Song (1980).

Key Words: Taxonomy, systematics, new species, Bob Marley, intertidal, spiders, Australia, Pacific

Figure 1. Life image of Desis bobmarleyi sp. n. female allotype
 (Photo: R. Raven). 

Desis bobmarleyi male holotype
 (photo: R. Raven)

Family DESIDAE Pocock, 1895
Subfamily Desinae Pocock, 1895

Desis Walckenaer, 1837

Desis bobmarleyi sp. n.

Etymology: The specific name is a patronym in honour of Bob Marley, an internationally renowned Jamaican Reggae singer and songwriter.

Common name: We propose Bob Marley’s Intertidal Spider as a common name.

Diagnosis: Males of Desis bobmarleyi sp. n. resemble D. kenyonae, D. marina and D. vorax in having a broad, semicircular conductor with a retrolateral conductor plate, a hood-shaped DTA and a spine-like MTA but can be separated from these by having a broadly triangular conductor plate (CP), a stout conductor tip and an indented hood–shaped tip of the retrodistal apophysis (DTA) (Figs 3E, 7A, B). Females of Desis bobmarleyi sp. n. share the long convoluted copulatory ducts but have them arranged spherical not longitudinal (Fig. 7D).

Distribution: Known from intertidal zones of the Great Barrier Reef at the north-eastern coast of Queensland: Australia’s “Sunshine State”. The exact distribution range along the coastline of Australia is still unknown.

Figure 2. Locality and life images of Desis bobmarleyi sp. n.:
A, beach near Port Douglas high tide; B, same low tide; C, Desis bobmarleyi sp. n. on coral at low tide (photo: Paul Hoye); D, Desis bobmarleyi male holotype (photo: R. Raven).

 Barbara C. Baehr, Robert Raven and Danilo Harms. 2017. “High Tide or Low Tide”: Desis bobmarleyi sp. n., A New Spider from Coral Reefs in Australia’s Sunshine State and its Relative from Sāmoa (Araneae, Desidae, Desis). Evolutionary Systematics. 1; 111-120.  DOI: 10.3897/evolsyst.1.15735
New species of marine spider emerges at low tide to remind scientists of Bob Marley via @physorg_com


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