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Review of the Australian and New Zealand orb-weaving spider genus Novakiella (Araneae, Araneidae)

Framenau, V.W., Vink, C.J., Scharff, N., Baptista, R.L.C. and de S. Castanheira, P. (2021) Review of the Australian and New Zealand orb-weaving spider genus Novakiella (Araneae, Araneidae). Zoosystematics and Evolution, 97 (2). pp. 393-405.

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The orb-weaving spider genus Novakiella Court & Forster, 1993 (family Araneidae Clerck, 1757) is reviewed to include two species, N. trituberculosa (Roewer, 1942) (type species, Australia and New Zealand) and N. boletus sp. nov. (Australia). Novakiella belongs to the informal, largely Australian ‘backobourkiine’ clade and shares with the other genera of the clade a single macroseta on the male pedipalp patella and a median apophysis of the male pedipalp that forms an arch over the radix. The proposed genus synapomorphies are the presence of a large basal conductor lobe expanding apically over the radix and the shape of the median apophysis, which extends into a basally directed, pointy projection. Males have an apico-prolateral spur on the tibia of the second leg that carries a distinct spine. Females have an epigyne with triangular base plate bearing transverse ridges and an elongate triangular scape, which is almost always broken off. The humeral humps of the abdomen are distinct. Novakiella trituberculosa build characteristic dome-shaped webs; however, the foraging behaviour and web-shape of N. boletus sp. nov., currently only known from museum specimens, are not known.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Harry Butler Institute
Publisher: Pensoft Publishers
Copyright: © 2021 The Authors.
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