Lycosa leuckarti (Thorell, 1870)

Female and male of Lycosa leuckarti [as illustrated in Koch (1877a)]. Cephalothorax length female 12 mm, male 9 mm. McKay (1975b, p. 321) states that the ‘the illustration of the male of ‘Lycosa leuckartii’ given by Koch (1877, pl 81, figs 1. 1a) [..] is undoubtedly a different species.

NB: Lycosa leuckarti, L. gilberta, and L. molyneuxi have been revised as the ‘Lycosa leuckarti-group without a proper differentiation of the male (McKay (1975b). Examination of a large number of specimens in the Museum Victoria showed a distinct morphological difference between the terminal apophysis of the male pedipalp of L. leuckarti and L. gilberta. A webpage to illustrate these differences is in preparation.

Systematics and Taxonomy

Tarentula leuckartii Thorell, 1870c: 388-389.
Lycosa leuckartii (Thorell).- Koch, 1877a: 896-899, plate 77, Figs 3, 3A; plate 81, Figs 1, 1A.
Lycosa leuckarti (Thorell).- Simon, 1909d: 182.
Lycosa christopheri Simon, 1909d: 182 (new synonymy in McKay, 1975b).
Lycosa christopheri Simon.- Rainbow, 1911: 266.
Lycosa leuckartii (Thorell).- Rainbow, 1911: 269.
Avicosa christopheri (Simon).- Roewer, 1955c: 236.
Scaptocosa leuckartii (Thorell).- Roewer, 1955c: 291.
Lycosa christopheri Simon.- Bonnet, 1957: 2638
Lycosa leuckartii (Thorell).- Bonnet, 1957: 2649
Avicosa christopheri (Simon).- Rack, 1961: 37.
Lycosa leuckartii (Thorell).- Main, 1964: 120, Figs E-F.
Schizocosa christopheri (Simon).- McKay, 1973: 381.
Schizocosa leuckartii (Thorell).- McKay, 1973: 381.
Lycosa leuckartii (Thorell).- McKay, 1975b: 320-325, Figs 1A-E, 2A-I, 3E-F.
Lycosa leuckartii (Thorell).- McKay, 1985b: 79.
Lycosa leuckarti (Thorell).- Platnick, 1993: 488.


Thorell (1870c) described this species from two female syntypes (‘Feminas duas adultas possideo’), however, one female in the syntype series is penultimate.


Male of Lycosa leuckarti [as illustrated in McKay (1975b)].

Variation of female epigyne of Lycosa leuckarti [as illustrated in McKay (1975b)].


Very common. McKay (1985b) lists 'SW coastal, S Gulfs, SE coastal, Murray-Darling basin, NE coastal, W.A., S.A., Vic., N.S.W., Qld.'

Biological Reference

Lateric gravels, loam, or clay soils, especially on alluvial clay soils near swamps, streams, and on river banks; open areas free of dense vegetation; open burrow (McKay, 1975b). Soil water does not appear to provide a source of hydration in summer and water availability does not govern the local distribution of L. leuckarti. Feeding appears to be the primary mechanism by which this species maintains a positive water balance (Steggles, 2001).

© Volker W. Framenau, 2002

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Latest change: 12 July 2002.