A field guide to Spiders of Australia by Robert Whyte and Greg Anderson, 468 pages, 1350 images, 78 families 381 genera and 836 species. Copies signed by both authors are available for $50 each (including postage).
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No nature book is ever perfect or stays up to date forever, because new discoveries are made every day. Keep up with the latest here.
Pages 23 and 43: Xysticus albomaculatus should be Xysticus bimaculatus.
Page 31, 316: The body length of Holconia immanis is noted as 45 mm. Readers have reported specimens with body lengths of 50 mm and leg spans of 170 mm while Queensland Museum reports Huntsman leg spans of up to a whopping 230 mm. The Holconia sp. on page 316 is almost certainly Holconia immanis so its body lengths should read ♀ 50 mm ♂ 45 mm as should those on page 31.
Page 37: All Misgolas spp. are now Arbanitis including the one depicted on page 37 bottom right. (More spiders affected by this change are detailed below at the entry for page 394.)
Page 45: under the photo of the Idiommata sp. bottom left, the family is given as Idiopidae. The correct family name is Barychelidae.
Page 64-65: Apologies to Patrick Calmels, of Squeaking Point, North Coast Tasmania, the real photographer of the beautiful Backobourkia photos wrongly credited to Allan Lance of Bordertown SA. Thanks Patrick for bringing this error to our attention. The error will be fixed before the next reprinting as well as being flagged here.
Page 127: The images of Battalus adamparsonsi is male not female & Battalus spinipes is female not male.
Page 187: The caption bottom right should read "Odo sp. Kiwirrkurra Odo ♀ Gibson Desert WA photo: robert whyte.♀ 9 mm ♂ 7 mm"
Page 226-227: Some Australian Afraflacilla are now in the genus Psenuc created by Jerzy Prószynski in 2016, notably Afraflacilla courti which is not officially listed in Australia but found in north Queensland, and Afraflacilla milledgei from the Kimberly region of Western Australia. Therefore the Afraflacilla courti on page 226 and the undescribed Stridulating Jumping Spider depicted on top right on page 227 should be written Psenuc courti
Page 271-272: Some of the undescribed Peacock spiders on these pages have since been named. The male 'White-dot' is a new genus, Saratus hesperus which refers to the Latin name for the planet Venus as the Morning Star, corresponding to the light-coloured spot at the centre of the fan of this species. 'Blue-stripes' from Maitland NSW is Maratus neptunus. Page 271 bottom left is Maratus nimbus. On page 272 top left is Maratus cristatus, top right is Maratus trigonus the undescribed male 'Orange' middle right is Maratus aurantius while the undescribed male from Stanthorpe is Maratus cinerus.
Page 290: The caption at the top of this page should read "Opisthoncus parcedentatus Scarcely-toothed Jumper, left ♂ right ♀ both from Queanbeyan NSW photos: iain r. macaulay. After more than five years searching, a genuine male Opisthoncus parcedentatus was finally discovered by one of the authors. The spurs on the male chelicerae are distinctive. The name Scarcely-toothed must have been applied at night, because there's no particular scarcity of dental matter. ♀ 6 mm ♂ 6.5 mm"
Page 292: The caption at the top of this page should read "Opisthoncus sp. Chevronned Jumper ♀ ♂ both from Barron Gorge QLD photos: robert whyte. This species is another case where the female is relatively easy to identify, making the male obvious when they are seen cohabiting with amorous intent. Going by the nickname anvilhead because a pattern of markings shared by both male and female, this species is extremely widespread with disjunct (separate) populations from Cape York QLD to TAS. ♀ 6 mm ♂ 6 mm"
Page 322: The Leucauge dromedaria Humped Silver Orb-weaver ♀ Brisbane QLD is wrongly credited to Robert Whyte. The correct credit is Photo Ed Nieuwenhuys.
Page 379: Thanks to a great bit of detective work from Adam Parsons we now know the Storena on page 379 is Storena cyanea not Storena colossea
Page 388: Thanks to Robert Raven we now know the "Diplurid sp. Namirea or Australothele" photo top right is in fact Namirea; the photo in the middle, "Diplurid sp. juv Mapleton QLD" is Australothele; and the photos bottom left and bottom right captioned "Diplurid sp. Left ♂ right ♀ Namirea or Australothele Mount Mee QLD" are Namirea
Page 381, 395: The Anidiops mentioned in paragraph one, column two, is now Gaius. Anidiops villosus mentioned on page 395 is now Gaius villosus
Page 394-398 and page 37 as above: All Misgolas spp. are now Arbanitis. Names occurring in the text which need to change are in the top paragraph column two, page 394; caption bottom right on page 397 (twice); in the caption of the photos at the top of page 398 (six times); and in the caption of the bottom photo on page 398. All Aganippe spp. are now Idiosoma. Mentions of Aganippe spp. which need to be changed to Idiosoma are in the second paragraph, column two, page 394; the two Aganippe spp. at the bottom of page 394; and the Aganippe at the bottom of page 395.
Page 432: Unfortunately the male shown bottom right is not Stiphidion, it is Corasoides, a genus which has been removed from Stiphidiidae, now in Desidae.
Page 435: The spider captioned "Austrotengella hackerae ♀ Cunningham's Gap QLD" is not a Zoropsid, it is Toxopsoides sp. in family Toxopidae. Note also that Australian Zoropsids are not cribellate.
Page 437: at the end of the first paragraph a glitch caused the cross reference to page 19 to be repeated. It needs only to be stated once.
Page 448: the list of common names for spider families includes the large subfamilies of Araneidae, resulting in a list of 86 items. However only 78 spider families are represented, which you can deduce if you take away the subfamilies which have a lower rank. They should be formatted to indicate this.
Please note: most changes will also affect the index.
Further changes of note include those in a paper by Azevedo and others, due in 2018 in which Hemicloea in Gnaphosidae becomes a Trochanteriid, and Prodidomidae disappears as a family, reduced in rank to a Gnaphosid subfamily.
Hemicloea has been a problematic genus for Gnaphosidea as there were almost identical spiders in Trochanteriidae, for example Hemicloeina, which have been historically distinguished by the ability to run on vertical glass surfaces. Recent research by Azevedo and others, due to be published in 2018, will move Hemicloea into Trochanteriidae, removing the issue of running on glass altogether. This will remove a difficult problem of identification to family, gathering the very similar looking Hemicloea, Rebilus, Morebilus and Hemicloeina together in one family, but these genera will still be hard, if not impossible, to separate with the naked eye."
Regarding the demotion of Prodidomidae, about which we are distinctly unthrilled, it will be impossible to adjust every reference to prodidomid spiders in the book, for example on pages 28, 29, 151, 219, 220, 221. Spiders in 219-221 would move to be alphabetically listed in Gnaphosidae and most of the family introduction text would be lost. The Gnaphosidae family introduction would change substantially.
The good news is that CSIRO Publishing is preparing a reprint which will update the text to take in all the above changes. Those only having a copy from the first and second printing will still need to refer to this page.
Catalogue of Peacock Spiders
Jürgen Otto and David Hill have produced a Catalogue of Peacock Spiders usefully arranged into groups of close relatives with photographs of the males and distribution maps.
- Catalogue of the Australian peacock spiders - PECKHAMIA 148.1, 28 March 2017, 1―21