New Australian Taxa

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Two new species of Synsphyronus (Pseudoscorpiones: Garypidae) from mid-western Australia

Mark S. Harvey (1,2)

(1) Department of Terrestrial Zoology, Western Australian Museum, Locked Bag 49, Welshpool DC, Western Australia 6986, Australia.
(2) Adjunct: School of Animal Biology, University of Western Australia, Crawley, Western Australia 6009, Australia.


The pseudoscorpion genus Synsphyronusis widely distributed in the Australasian region, with 30 species described from Australia, two from New Zealand and one from New Caledonia. This paper describes two new species from mid-western Australia, and S. spatiosus, sp. nov. and S. tenuis, sp. nov., collected from saxicolous habitats.

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The pseudoscorpion genus Synsphyronus Chamberlin, 1930 is endemic to Australasia where there are currently 33 named species (Harvey 1987, 2011, 2012; Harvey et al. 2015; Harvey 2020), making it the largest genus of the subfamily Synsphyroninae which was recently reestablished and defined by Harvey et al. (2020). The majority of species have been described from Australia, including Tasmania, but two are recorded from New Zealand (Harvey 1987) and one from New Caledonia (Harvey in press). Many additional unnamed species are also known from Australia, especially in arid and semi-arid ecosystems (Harvey, unpublished data). The present contribution describes two further species of Synsphyronus, both from mid-western Australia, that occur in saxicolous habitats.


This project represents a contribution to Taxonomy Australia (2020), a national initiative organised under the auspices of the Australian Academy of Science that brings together the taxonomic community to develop approaches that will significantly increase the rate at which new species are discovered, resolved and named, with a view to completely documenting the Australian biota within a generation.

Materials & Methods

The material utilized in the present study is lodged in the Western Australian Museum, Perth (WAM). They were examined by preparing temporary slide mounts by immersing the specimen in 75% lactic acid at room temperature for one to several days, and mounting them on microscope slides with 10 or 12 mm coverslips supported by small sections of nylon fishing line. Specimens were examined with a Leica MZ16 dissecting microscope, and an Olympus BH–2 compound microscope, and illustrated with the aid of a drawing tube. Auto-montaged images were taken at different focal planes with a Leica DFC500 digital camera attached to a Leica MZ16A stereo microscope, using Leica Application Suite (LAS) version 2.5.OR1 software. Measurements (in mm) were taken at the highest possible magnification using an ocular graticule. After study the specimens were rinsed in water and returned to 75% ethanol with the dissected portions placed in 12 × 3 mm glass genitalia microvials (BioQuip Products, Inc.).


Terminology and mensuration largely follow Chamberlin (1931), with the exception of the nomenclature of the pedipalps, legs and with some minor modifications to the terminology of the trichobothria (Harvey 1992), chelicera (Harvey and Edward 2007; Judson 2007) and faces of the appendages (Harvey et al. 2012). Observations regarding variation were limited to some meristic features, but did not extend to the numbers of setae or blades in the serrula exterior.




Family Garypidae Simon, 1879

Subfamily Synsphyroninae Beier, 1932

Genus Synsphyronus Chamberlin, 1930

Swainsona hammeri



I am grateful to Julianne Waldock and Kris Brimmell for the collection of some of the specimens of S. tenuis, and Māra Blosfelds for assistance with the collection of the type specimens of S. tenuis.

Supplementary Material


Brown, R.W. (1956). Composition of scientific words, Revised edition. Smithsonian Institution Press: Washington, D.C.


Harvey, M.S. (1987). A revision of the genus Synsphyronus Chamberlin (Garypidae: Pseudoscorpionida: Arachnida). Australian Journal of Zoology, Supplementary Series 126: 1–99.


Harvey, M.S. (1992). The phylogeny and classification of the Pseudoscorpionida (Chelicerata: Arachnida). Invertebrate Taxonomy 6: 1373–1435.


Harvey, M.S. (2011). Two new species of Synsphyronus (Pseudoscorpiones: Garypidae) from southern Western Australian granite landforms. Records of the Western Australian Museum 26: 11–22.


Harvey, M.S. (2012). A new species of Synsphyronus (Pseudoscorpiones: Garypidae) from Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 27: 55–61.


Harvey, M.S. (2020). The first Synsphyronus (Pseudoscorpiones: Garypidae) from New Caledonia. Arachnology 18: 468–472.


Harvey, M.S., Abrams, K.M. and Burger, M.A.A. (2015). A new species of the pseudoscorpion genus Synsphyronus (Pseudoscorpiones: Garypidae) from Barrow Island, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum 30: 137–143.


Harvey, M.S. and Edward, K.L. (2007). A review of the pseudoscorpion genus Ideoblothrus (Pseudoscorpiones, Syarinidae) from western and northern Australia. Journal of Natural History 41: 445–472.


Harvey, M.S., Hillyer, M.J., Carvajal, J.I. and Huey, J.A. (2020). Supralittoral pseudoscorpions of the genus Garypus (Pseudoscorpiones: Garypidae) from the Indo-West Pacific region, with a review of the subfamily classification of Garypidae. Invertebrate Systematics 34: 34–87.


Harvey, M.S., Ratnaweera, P.B., Udagama, P.V. and Wijesinghe, M.R. (2012). A new species of the pseudoscorpion genus Megachernes (Pseudoscorpiones: Chernetidae) associated with a threatened Sri Lankan rainforest rodent, with a review of host associations of Megachernes. Journal of Natural History 46: 2519–2535.


Judson, M.L.I. (2007). A new and endangered species of the pseudoscorpion genus Lagynochthoniusfrom a cave in Vietnam, with notes on chelal morphology and the composition of the Tyrannochthoniini (Arachnida, Chelonethi, Chthoniidae). Zootaxa 1627: 53–68.


Taxonomy Australia (2020). Discovering Our Biodiversity. Australian Academy of Science: Canberra.

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