|Class:||Animals (Animalia) - Jointed Legs (Arthropoda) - Spiders, Scorpions, Mites & Ticks (Arachnida)|
|Family:||Jumping Spider (Salticidae) iNaturalist Observation|
|Species:||Variable Saitis (Saitis mutans)|
|This Photo:||Female: Eye Arrangement|
Thank you Shannon Deale for identifying and Suzanne and Jim & Ben Kurek for helping with the id of this species for us
General Species Information:
Found on Ellura (in the Murray Mallee, SA) and elsewhere
One of the diagnostics of this genus is that the 3rd legs are longer than the rest. This lady certainly has that trait. She was a strong jumper and the 3rd legs were always tucked in (when sitting), like a spring ready to pounce
When tucked in the 3rd legs were higher than the rest and you can measure on the screen on the last photo to show the rest of the leg is also longer than the rear.
Suzanne and Jim said "Yes its very similar to one of the female variation of S mutans shown in Jurgens early paper. S mutans is still recognized as a valid Oz species in WSC but several later papers have shown that both S saitis and S virgatus are probably not Saitis.
In particular the 2021 paper Phylogenomics of peacock spiders and their kin (Salticidae: Maratus) state that the genetics of these two species show that they are not even in the same genus, and it confirmed an earlier paper that casts doubt on either of them being the same genus as Saitis barbipes.
So yes I think this female is probably similar to what is currently called Saitis mutan, and that taxon is probably suspect, but until we get a paper retaxoning them you have the choice to either id as S mutans or more generically ( probably not as Saitis)