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The Atoll of Funafuti, Ellice group : its zoology, botany, ethnology and general structure based on collections made by Charles Hedley of the Australian Museum, Sydney, N.S.W.

[V.] — The Arachnidan Fauna

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The Arachnidan Fauna.

The Arachnological Collection obtained by Mr. Hedley during his sojourn on the Island of Funafuti, although not large, is, nevertheless, more representative of its branch of Invertebrate Fauna than was the Entomological Collection. Had it been possible to have made a thorough and systematic search, there is little doubt but that many interesting forms would have been brought to light. As it is, however, the collection is not without interest, and it is hoped, value. In all there were 88 specimens procured, and these are distributed as follows:—

Order Family. No. of Specimens.
Scorpionidæ Androctonidse 4
Chelonethi Cheliferidæ 8
Acarina Oribatidæ 14
Araneidse Epeiridæ 32
Araneidse Tetragnathidæ 1
Araneidse Uloboridæ 12
Araneidse Drassidæ 3
Araneidse Scytodæ 3
Araneidse Thomisidæ 4
Araneidse Salticidæ 7
Total 88

Of these the following table will show the re suits of the examination of the collection:—

Order. Family. Known Species. New Species.
Scorpionidæ Androctonidæ 0 1
Chelonethi Cheliferidæ 1 1
Acarinaæ Oribatidæ 0 1
Araneidæ Epeiridæ 2 10
Araneidæ Tetragnathidæ 1 0
Araneidæ Uloboridaæ 1 0
Araneidæ Drassidæ 1 0
Araneidæ Sceytodgæ 1 0
Araneidæ Thomisidæ 2 0
Araneidæ Salticidtæ 1 2
Total 10 15
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It will be seen, therefore, that of the twenty-five species obtained, fifteen would appear to be new to science. The most numerously represented family in the collection is that of the Epeiridæ (known to the natives by the name of " Marakau"), of which two species proved to be known, and ten appear to be new. of the former Epeira mangareva, Walck,, has a very wide distribution, extending from the Celebes to New Guinea, and from there to the Island of Mangareva, in the Paumotu or Low Archipelago; the other, E. plebeja, L. Koch, was previously recorded by L. Koch from Ovalau and Tonga.* One of the principal features that strikes a student upon examining a collection of Island (female) Epeiridæ, is the close resemblance the different species bear to one another in shape and contour of the epigynum. In the two species enumerated as previously known, and in each of those described below, with three exceptions, namely, E. distincta, Rainb., E. hoggi, Rainb., and E. speciosa, Rainb., the same general uniformity prevails. There are differences, truly, as will be seen on reference to the figures accompanying this paper; thus in one species, the long dark brown, slightly curved chitinous process is closely adpressed, while in another it is poised upon a high tubercle and stands prominently out.

The commonest spider on the Island appeared to be XJloborus zosis, Walck. This beautiful Arachnid possesses a very wide geographical range, having been previously recorded from Madagascar, Mauritius, Réunion, Seychelles, St. Helena, Bombay, Java, Amboina, Upolu, Permambuco, Parana, Rio Grande, Guyana, St. Fe di Bogota, and the Antilles.

The other previously known species were formerly recorded as follows:—Obisium antipodum, Sim., from New Caledonia; Teiragnatha laqueata, L. Koch, Upolu; Clubiona alveolata, L. Koch, Upolu; Dictus striatipes, L. Koch, Upolu, Tonga, and. Viti; Acompse suavis, L. Koch, Huaheine, Raietea, and. Tahiti; Sarotes debilis, L. Koch, Upolu; S. regius, Fabr., is another species having a very wide geographical range, as the following list of localities will testify: Singapore, China, Japan, Africa, Dafeta, Mombus, Zanzibar, Isle of France, Senegal, St. Thomas, California, Mexico, Martinique, Brazil, Valparaiso, Fiji, Samoan Archipelago, Tongan Archipelago, Rarotonga, Pelew, Tahiti, Huaheine, Island of Meduro, and. New Caledonia. In addition to the species enumerated, there were ten specimens of Epeiridæ, and four of the Salticidæ, that were too young for determination or description, and these have not been enumerated in the tables.

* Koch—Die Arachniden Australiens, i., p. 70, 1871.

Vide Thorell, "Studi Sui Ragni," etc., ii. "Ragni di Amboina," p. 133. 1878.