Maratus speciosus (♂,♀) (O. PICKARD-CAMBRIDGE, 1874)


Original description O. PICKARD-CAMBRIDGE, 1874:

Adult male, length nearly 2 1/2 lines.

The cephalothorax of this beautiful species is of ordinary form; its colour is a dark reddish brown, nearly black on the quadrangular area enclosed by the eyes; this space is clothed with short reddish-yellow hairs, mixed with others fewer and longer, both dark-coloured and of a hoary hue, the latter chiefly round the eyes on the anterior portion: the lower part of the sides all round is thinly clothed with fine hoary hairs; and there is a largish, oblong, longitudinal, central patch of white hairs on and behind the occiput; behind each of teh eyes of the hinder row is also a small spot of similar hairs.

The eyes are mother-of-pearl-like, those of the first row being of a soft green colour, changing to amethyst and bluish grey; they form a quadrangular figure, whose transverse is considerably longer than its longitudinal diameter; the minute eye between the laterals of the first and third rows on each side is intermediate between and in the same straight line with them; the fore lateral eyes are rather less than half the diameter of the fore centrals, being but very slightly (if at all) larger than those of the third or hinder row: the height of the clypeus, which retreats, is less than half the diameter of the fore central eye.

The legs are moderate in length and strength; their relative length is apparently 3, 4, 1, 2 (1 and 2 being almost equal); they are of a brownish- yellow colour, paler in parts, and irregularly, but pretty distinctly and boldly, marked and blotched with blackish brown: the tibiae and metatarsi of the hinder pair are strongly fringed on each side with black bristly hairs; other ordinary hairs clothe the rest; all are furnished with a few spines, and have a strong claw-tuft at the extremity of each tarsus.

The palpi are short and similar to the legs in colour; they are clothed with long hairs, nearly all of which are white. The radial joint is considerably shorter and less strong than the cubital, and has its outer extremity continued in the form of a rather slender, tapering, sharp-pointed, thorn-like apophysis, equal in length to the joint itself, but not easy to be seen among the long hairs by which it is concealed; the digital joint is oblong-oval, not very large, but somewhat truncated at its fore extremity, and darker- coloured than the rest of the palpus. The palpal organs consist apparently of a large oval lobe, most prominent towards the hinder part.

The falces are small, inclined backwards, placed a good way back, beneath the ocular region, and of a dark yellow-brown colour.

The abdomen is of a broad-oval form and flattish, sloping gradually (when seen in profile) from the fore part to the spinners; the upper surface is densely clothed with short adpressed scale-like hairs, among which are a few erect ordinary ones; the lateral margins, quite round to the spinners, appear to project slightly, and are furnished with a rather dense fringe of long, buff and pale yellowish-white, silky hairs; these fringes are very characteristic; and, from their appearance in the six examples that have come under my notice, I suspect that the living spider has power to raise and depress or expand them as a peacock does its train, and that when so expanded they assist to sustain the spider in its leaps. The slightly projecting lateral margins of the upper epidermis appear also to connect this spider to Salticus volans (last described); and there is a general similarity in the colouring of the two species: the upperside of the abdomen in the present spider is broadly and transversely banded with alternate and somewhat wavy bands of scarlet maroon and brilliant emerald-green, changing to blue with the different incidences of the light; there are three bands of the scarlet-maroon colour, and four of emerald, the foremost and hindmost bands being of this latter colour; the underside is of a uniform brownish yellow, marked and spottet with dark brown, and clothed with hoary hairs.

Six examples of this interesting and lovely species were received in 1864 from the Swan River, New South Wales.

Body: Habitusnormal jumping spider-like. Carapace: Heightrelative high. Lengthlonger than wide. Cephalic arearatio length : thoracic area = 1 : 1. Eyes: Number eye rowsthree. Opisthosoma: General shapelateral enhanced.


Body: Habitusnormal jumping spider-like. Carapace: Heightrelative high. Lengthlonger than wide. Cephalic arearatio length : thoracic area = 1 : 1. Eyes: Number eye rowsthree.