Image: 1 of 19 new Goblin spiders

1 of 19 new Goblin spiders

Cavisternum is a new genus in the spider family Oonopidae, also known as goblin spiders.

Barbara Baehr
© Barbara Baehr, Queensland Museum.


Nineteen species of Cavisternum have been described from localities scattered across the north of Australia. Dr Helen Smith collaborated on the project with senior author Dr Barbara Baehr, Queensland Museum and Dr Mark Harvey, Western Australian Museum.

Cavisternum clavatum is the type species of the genus. This species is the most commonly collected in the genus, being recorded from many sites around the Pilbara region of Western Australia. It was named 'Cavisternum clavatum' because it has distinctuve clavate setae lining the concavity of the sternum. These can be clearly seen in the scanning electron micrograph.

Baehr, B., Harvey, M.S. and Smith, H.M. 2010. The goblin spiders of the new endemic Australian genus Cavisternum (Araneae, Oonopidae). American Museum Novitates 3684: 1–40.

This research was undertaken as part of the National Science Foundation’s Planetary Biodiversity Inventory.

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