Genus Epeira, Walck
Epeira brounii, sp. n. Pl. x., fig. 5.
Length of an adult female 18 mm., and of an adult male 11 mm.
The cephalothorax of the female is moderately convex, compressed before, rounded on the sides, medial indentation and, normal grooves moderate; it has a reddish-brown hue, and is clothed with silky whitish hairs. The height of the clypeus equals the facial space.
The four intermediate eyes are placed on a prominence and nearly form a square; the tubercles of the lateral eyes arch over the anterior pair.
Relative length of legs 1, 4, 2, 3, first and fourth nearly equal (30 mm.); they have a red chestnut tint, and are sparingly furnished with fine light hairs; the armature consists of spines and sustentacula.
The palpi are moderately slender and resemble the legs in colour.
The falces are strong, vertical, and have a dark amber hue.
The maxillæ are as broad as long, slightly pointed, and inclined towards the lip, which is somewhat oval; these parts have a greenish-brown tint.
The sternum is heart-shaped, has eminences opposite the legs; is brown in colour, and clothed with light hairs.
The abdomen is a broad oval, depressed above, projects over the base of the cephalothorax; the ground colour is brown, and the specific markings have a pale ochraceous hue; the fore-pair of impressed spots form a transverse line with the anterior tubercles; these brown spots are intersected by the broad medial band, forming a cross-like pattern, margined with the paler tints; the fore-margins have a somewhat crescent-shape, and the hind converge into a double loop above the posterior tubercle; between this conical protuberance and the two anterior tubercles there are four hook-shaped marks; on the lateral margins there are a series of oblique lines converging towards the spinners. On the ventral surface there is a shield-like mark with light margins, and a double row of four pits in the centre. The vulva consists of a long, curved, dark amber-coloured, wrinkled, taper, membraneous process, directed backwards; beneath it are black protuberances.
The male is about two-thirds the length of the female. The cephalothorax is oval, nearly as broad as long; medial fovea deep; the anterior prominence of the caput is more pointed, and the tubercles of the lateral eyes more prominent than in the female; it has a brownish-amber hue. The legs are long, moderately stout, and resemble the cephalothorax in colour; there is a curved process on the coxæ of the first pair; the tibiæ of the second pair are tumid, and have four irregular rows of spines on the inferior surface; the general armature consists of numerous long spines.
The palpi are short and stout, yellowish-brown; the cubital and radial joints are short, the former has at its extremity, in front, a long bristle directed forwards, and the lather joins in closely with the digital joint, which is well developed, and somewhat globose; the convex sides are hairy, and directed towards each other; the palpal organs are complex, and compact, the most remarkable being a strong curved process at the base. The abdomen is ovate; it has the same tints, and the specific pattern much the same form, as the female.
I have much pleasure in connecting this fine species with the name of Captain Broun, M.E.S., to whom I am indebted for an interesting collection of spiders. Several examples were captured by him at Tairua and Whangarei Harbour. I have taken it near Auckland.
Epeira indistincta, var. n.
This handsome variety only differs from E. brounii in colour, and as a rule in the specific pattern being less distinct; the cephalothorax and legs have a rather dark amber colour, and the abdomen has a pale yellowish-brown hue faintly tinged with green; the specific marks are buff, picked out with red.
Numerous specimens. Tairua, Whangarei Harbour, T. Broun; Karaka, Auckland, A.T.U.
Epeira (?) attenuata, sp. n. Pl. ix., fig. 1.
Length of an adult female, 15–17 mm.
Thecephalothorax is oval, depressed above; the lateral constrictions at the caput, which is rather convex and roundly truncate, are moderate; there is a deep transverse fovea, and the furrows at the junction of the caput are well marked; it has a yellow amber hue, suffused with brown; sparingly clothed with pale grey silky hairs. The profile line ascends with a slight curve from the thoracic junction, running in an undulating line to the ocular area, which is only moderately prominent; projecting slightly over the clypeus, whose height is more than the diameter of one of the fore-central eyes.
The area of the four intermediate eyes is nearly twice as long as broad in front, this interval being rather more than the diameter of one of these eyes; the space between the hind-centrals is slightly in excess of the latter interval; the laterals are nearly contiguous, and placed on tubercles; the fore-pair are the smallest of the eight. The eyes, which are seated on small black tubercular spots, when viewed from above form two transverse rows; the anterior row includes the laterals, and is slightly procurved.
The legs are long and slender, relative length 1, 2, 4, 3, the second pair nearly equals the first in length; they are like the cephalothorax in colour, and are moderately furnished with dark hairs and long fine spines.
The palpi resemble the legs in colour, and are clothed with hairs and bristles.
The falces are strong, conical, vertical, divergent at their extremities; armed with a short double row of teeth.
The maxillæ are a broad oval, slightly inclined towards the lip, which is pointed, broader than łong; these parts have a duller yellow hue than the falces.
The sternum is cordate, brown, and stamped with a yellow seven-lobed embossed mark.
The abdomen is ovate-lanceolate, of a slightly mottled creamy brown colour, margined—as far as the base of the tail-like extremity—with two broad bands of soft light silky hairs; beneath these bands there are a series of longitudinal undulating wrinkles; a narrow irregular brown medial line runs between the eight impressed spots. From the posterior pair of spots a series of four creamy brown longitudinal streaks extend along the superior surface of the tail; this part, measured from the posterior pair of spinners, is 5 mm. in length; it is shaded with brown and yellow-brown tints, furnished with fine erect hairs, and encircled with closely-set wrinkles; devoid of terminal tubercles. The ventral surface has a dark brownish hue; two creamy-coloured bands extend from the branchial opercula as far as the posterior spinnerets. The vulva consists of a long, thick, pendulous yellow-brown process, directed backwards, with an orifice at its extremity.
This species—which I have placed provisionally amongst the Epeira—appears to be intermediate between that genus and Arachnura; resembling the former in having spines on the 3–4 pairs of legs, and showing its affinities to the latter genus by its cross-ringed tail; which is stouter and less flexible than that of the type form.
It affects shrubs, and the lower parts of furze hedges.
Tairua, T. Broun; Karaka, Auckland, A.T.U.