New Australian Taxa

Open-access, online, rapid taxonomy

ISSN: 2200-####

Thank you for agreeing to review this paper in New Australian Taxa. As you know, peer review is a critical step in ensuring high quality, adequate care and scientific rigour in taxonomy.

Reviewing for New Australian Taxa may be slightly different to reviewing for other more conventional journals. New Australian Taxa specialises in papers describing new taxa in as straightforward a manner as possible. It forms part of a strategy to accelerate the documentation of Australia's species. While as a reviewer you are asked to draw attention to inaccuracies, ambiguities and errors in this paper, please ensure that your review focuses on ensuring adequacy rather than demanding unreasonable levels of detail.

New Australian Taxa is also a lightly styled journal. That is, there is no highly prescriptive journal style to which authors must conform. Rather, authors are expected to be consistent within a paper, reasonable, and moderately conventional in their styling and formatting. Within these bounds, New Australian Taxa allows considerable latitude. Please look for and point out to the author anything that creates ambiguity or reduces clarity, but do not ask for formatting changes that achieve nothing more than consistency for its own sake.

Reviews for New Australian Taxa are done fully online. Whenever you need to leave a review comment, click the Rev button to the left of each content element. At the end of the paper, please give a recommendation; there you may also leave general comments for the author(s) and editor. You may save a return to your review whenever necessary. Once complet, please give your recommendation, mark the review as complete, then submit it.

Note that as a reviewer of this paper you will be acknowledged directly in the paper's head section, unless you choose to remain anonymous.

Thanks again for agreeing to review. We appreciate your time and expertise.


A new species of Teyl (Araneae: Mygalomorphae: Anamidae) from Western Australia's Pilbara bioregion

Michael G. Rix (1*) & Mark S. Harvey (2)

(1) Biodiversity and Geosciences Program, Queensland Museum, South Brisbane, QLD 4101, Australia
(2) Department of Terrestrial Zoology, Western Australian Museum, Welshpool, WA 6106, Australia



The open-holed trapdoor spiders of the genus Teyl Main, 1975 from the Pilbara bioregion of Western Australia are investigated. A single endemic species from the southern Pilbara, T. heuretes sp. nov., is newly described, representing the northern-most occurrence of the genus in Australia.


The open-holed trapdoor spiders of the genus Teyl Main, 1975 are a poorly documented yet widely distributed group of Anamini Simon, 1889 endemic to Australia, with a range that extends from the Indian Ocean coastline of Western Australia east to at least western Victoria (Harvey et al. 2018). Like the co-occurring taxa IdiosomaAusserer, 1871 (family Idiopidae Simon, 1889) and Proshermacha Simon, 1908 (Nemesiidae Simon, 1889), the genus Teyl reaches its highest diversity in the south-western land division of Western Australia, where they are a major component of the mygalomorph spider fauna. While a number of species are clearly dependent on southern-temperate mesic habitats in the far south of Western Australia (e.g. see Main 1985: 753–758), most occur in semi-arid or arid inland regions (Fig. 1). Only six species have so far been described, including three from south-western Australia (see Main 1975, 1983, 1985) and three from western Victoria (Main 2004). However, numerous undescribed species are present in Australian collections (MSH, MGR, unpubl. data), some of which were identified by Castalanelli et al.(2014) using barcoding molecular data, and including one (Teyl sp. ‘BYM1953/2683’) formally listed as Critically Endangered under the Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Act 1950 (see Western Australian Government Gazette 2018).


This paper names one of them! :-)

Materials & Methods

All WA Museum specimens of Teyl currently known from the Pilbara bioregion of Western Australia were examined for this study, and are listed below and mapped (Fig. 2) either as a named species or as unidentified juveniles. Specimens were examined and described in 70% ethanol under a Leica MZ16A dissecting microscope, following preservation in 70% or 95% ethanol. Digital images were taken using a Leica DFC500 camera attached to a Leica MZ16A microscope, and processed using Leica Application Suite (LAS) version 2.5.OR1 software. All measurements are in millimetres (to one decimal point), and total length measurements include the chelicerae, in dorsal view, but exclude the spinnerets. Leg I measurements were made along the dorsal edge of each segment, in prolateral view. Specimens are lodged at the Western Australian Museum, Perth (WAM) or the South Australian Museum, Adelaide (SAM). The following abbreviations are used throughout the text: ALE, anterior lateral eye/s; AME, anterior median eye/s; IBRA, Interim Biogeographic Regionalisation of Australia Version 7 (online at; PIL, Pilbara bioregion; PLE, posterior lateral eye/s; PME, posterior median eye/s.


Maximum Likelihood analysis of the concatenated dataset recovered an overall topology (Fig. 3) congruent with that of Harvey et al. (2018, fig. 3). The Chenistonia Group, Teyl Group, Kwonkan Group and Aname Group of Harvey et al. (2018) were all monophyletic, and nested genera within each clade were recovered in the same relative phylogenetic positions, with high support (Fig. 3). The Chenistonia Group was found to be sister to the Teyl Group, both of which were sister to the Aname Group plus Kwonkan Group.


Within the genus Teyl, specimens that were collected from the Pilbara bioregion formed a genetically homogeneous lineage distinct (and phylogenetically distant) from all other described and undescribed species of Teyl included in the analysis (Fig. 3), with a minimum pairwise genetic COI divergence of 16.7% between Pilbara specimens and ‘MYG053’ (represented in this analysis by WAM T96326). This Pilbara lineage is here newly described as T. heuretes sp. nov. (Fig. 3). Currently described species were similarly recovered in disparate positions throughout the phylogeny, with eastern taxa (T. nryeni and T. nr. harveyi) not each other’s closest relatives. As noted by Harvey et al.(2018), the genus Teyl is clearly a phylogenetically diverse assemblage of taxa with a complex biogeographic history, and a much larger molecular taxon sample is required to better understand the taxonomy and evolutionary history of the group.

Figure 1. Map showing collection records of Teyl from Western Australia, including specimens from the Pilbara bioregion (inset box; see Fig. 2). Black circles denote male specimens; open circles denote female or juvenile specimens.

Figure 2. Map showing collection records of Teyl from the Pilbara bioregion (PIL) of Western Australia (see Fig. 1 for details). Black circles denote identified specimens of Teyl heuretes sp. nov.; open circles denote unidentified juveniles. Other mapped IBRA 7.0 bioregions are as follows: CAR, Carnarvon; GAS, Gascoyne; GSD, Great Sandy Desert; LSD, Little Sandy Desert.


Swainsona hammeri



We would like to thank the various collectors of Teyl specimens from the Pilbara bioregion, without which this work would not have been possible. This study was funded by the Gorgon Barrow Island Net Conservation Benefits Fund. This fund is administered by the Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions (Western Australia) and approved by the Minister for Environment after considering advice from the Gorgon Barrow Island Net Conservation Benefits Advisory Board. Additional funding was also provided to MGR and JDW by the Australian Biological Resources Study Taxonomy Research Grants Scheme (ABRS Grant No. RG18-03).

Supplementary Material


Brown, R.W. (1956) Composition of Scientific Words. Revised edition. Smithsonian Institution Press, Washington, DC.


Castalanelli, M.A., Huey, J.A., Hillyer, M.J. & Harvey, M.S. (2017) Molecular and morphological evidence for a new genus of small trapdoor spiders from arid Western Australia (Araneae: Mygalomorphae: Nemesiidae: Anaminae). Invertebrate Systematics, 31, 492–505.


Castalanelli, M.A., Teale, R., Rix, M.G., Kennington, W.J. & Harvey, M.S. (2014) Barcoding of mygalomorph spiders (Araneae: Mygalomorphae) in the Pilbara bioregion of Western Australia reveals a highly diverse biota. Invertebrate Systematics, 28, 375–385.


Castresana, J. (2000) Selection of conserved blocks from multiple alignments for their use in phylogenetic analysis. Molecular Biology and Evolution, 17, 540–552.


de Queiroz, K. (2007) Species concepts and species delimitation. Systematic Biology, 56, 879–886.


Durrant, B.J., Harvey, M.S., Framenau, V.W., Ott, R. & Waldock, J.M. (2010) Patterns in the composition of ground-dwelling spider communities in the Pilbara bioregion, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum Supplement, 78,185– (Diplurinae: Dipluridae: Araneae). Australian Journal of Zoology Supplementary Series, 96, 1–51.


Harvey, M.S., Hillyer, M.J., Main, B.Y., Moulds, T.A., Raven, R.J., Rix, M.G., Vink, C.J. & Huey, J.A. (2018) Phylogenetic relationships of the Australasian open-holed trapdoor spiders (Araneae: Mygalomorphae: Nemesiidae: Anaminae): multi-locus molecular analyses resolve the generic classification of a highly diverse fauna. Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society, 184, 407–452.


For author(s)

For editors

General Review comments

For author(s)

For editors

Your recommendation: