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Taxonomy and systematics of the new Australo-Pacific orb-weaving spider genus Socca (Araneae: Araneidae)

Framenau, V.W., Castanheira, S. and Vink, C.J. (2022) Taxonomy and systematics of the new Australo-Pacific orb-weaving spider genus Socca (Araneae: Araneidae). New Zealand Journal of Zoology . pp. 1-72.

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The new Australo-Pacific orb-weaving spider genus Socca is established to include 12 species from Australia: Socca pustulosa (Walckenaer, 1841) comb. nov. (type species; also present in New Zealand); S. arena sp. nov., S. australis sp. nov. S. caiguna sp. nov., S. elvispresleyi sp. nov., S. eugeni sp. nov., S. johnnywarreni sp. nov., S. kullmanni sp. nov., S. levyashini sp. nov., S. pleia sp. nov., S. senicaudata (Simon, 1908) comb. nov. (= Araneus senicaudatus simplex Simon, 1908 syn. nov.) and S. sydneyica (Keyserling, 1887) comb. nov. (= Epeira inquieta Keyserling, 1887 syn. nov.). Socca gen. nov. includes medium-sised, nocturnal orb-weaving spiders. It differs from other backobourkiine genera by five tubercles posteriorly on the abdomen and a tri-partite terminal apophysis of the male pedipalp. The epigyne plate in females is about as wide as long and the scape elongate and reaches posteriorly beyond the epigyne plate. Specimens of five Socca gen. nov. species were sequenced for the mitochondrial gene cytochrome c oxidase subunit 1 (COI). The preliminary phylogeny supports our morphological species but does not confirm species-groups based on morphology and suggests that New Zealand S. pustulosa comb. nov. populations originate from south-eastern Australia.

Item Type: Journal Article
Murdoch Affiliation(s): Harry Butler Institute
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
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