New publication on trapdoor spiders

4th August 2014

Danilo Harms has co-authored a paper describing four new Mouse Spider species from the Pilbara and Carnarvon. The paper, a collaboration with Laura Miglio (Museu Paraense Emilio Goeldi, Brazil), Mark Harvey (WA Museum) and Volker Framenau (Phoenix Environmental) was published in the journal ZooKeys  and can be downloaded here. Mouse spiders are one of the target groups in SRE surveys and, although very pretty, are infamous for the toxicity of their venom. Males have the unusual habit of wandering around during the day in search of a mate and perhaps the red colouration of the carapace in some species helps to scare off predators such as birds. This paper provides a key to males of all currently recognised species of Missenulena in Australia. It is a major step towards documenting the taxonomic richness of these truly fascinating spiders in Western Australia. Missulena_4_species_small

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