Arachnids

Unprecedented top-to-bottom survey reveals new species in Malaysian rainforest

Unprecedented top-to-bottom survey reveals new species in Malaysian rainforest

This fall, the California Academy of Sciences partnered with The Habitat Penang Hill and colleagues to conduct a top-to-bottom rainforest survey of biodiversity on Malaysia’s island state of Penang,.  Over the course of two weeks the international team of 117 scientists discovered several species previously unknown to science—including a new species of ghost scorpion, living just miles from a major metropolis.   From-the-field updates were broadcast digitally by JASON Learning to classrooms around the world and over 1,400 species observations were logged on the nature-tracking mobile app iNaturalist..    A new-to-science scorpion discovered on Penang Hill.  Photo: Phil Torres/bioGraphic

Large wolf spider from Madagascar named for the albino direwolf Ghost, from the Game of Thrones

Large wolf spider from Madagascar named for the albino direwolf Ghost, from the Game of Thrones

Arachnids, Celebrity Taxa, New Species November 30, 2017 at 10:34 am

A large white species of wolf spider, Ocyale ghost Jocque M. & Jocqué R. sp. nov. is described from a white sandy beach of an inland freshwater lake in the northwest of Madagascar. The first photos of a living specimen of the genus Ocyale are provided together with some observations on the biology of the newly described species. Wolf Spiders, Lycosidae, are large, active Spiders that do not build webs, ambushing animals that passes close to their burrows or actively seeking out and chasing down prey. They have large prominent eyes, and a habit of carrying their eggs in a sack on their abdomens.

Name a new species!

Name a new species!

Arachnids, New Species November 26, 2017 at 2:54 pm

This species of jumping spider was found by researchers on a Bush Blitz species discovery expedition in QLD last year and is totally new to science. The Department of the Environment and Energy is giving Australians the opportunity to be part of scientific history by giving it a name!  Entries close midnight 22 December 2017.  See report earlier this year where this new species and over 60 others were discovered during the bush blitz expedition:  ‘50 New Spiders Discovered in Australia‘. The genus Jotus is part of the jumping spider family (Salticidae). There are only nine species in the genus.  Jumping spiders areRead More

BioBlitz finds new species of peacock spider

BioBlitz finds new species of peacock spider

Arachnids, Citizen Science, New Species November 22, 2017 at 10:27 am

While on a BioBlitz in the Murrah Flora Reserve on the NSW South Coast, citizen scientist Helen Ranson showed her colleague, Canberra’s renowned “spider man”, Stuart Harris a spider she’d just found.  Mr Harris immediately knew it was a new species.  

Survey reveals more than 30 new species from biodiverse Kaieteur Plateau, Guyana

Survey reveals more than 30 new species from biodiverse Kaieteur Plateau, Guyana

Amphibians, Arachnids, Fish, Insects, New Species November 22, 2017 at 10:20 am

The newly discovered species include more than 30 species new to science, and likely endemic to Guyana, including six species of fish, three plants, a tarantula, a frog, a snake, some dragonflies, plants and beetles.  The month long survey was conducted in Kaieteur National Park (KNP) and the Kaieteur Plateau in Guyana.

A new wolf spider named for Hagrid’s Aragog, from Harry Potter

A new wolf spider named for Hagrid’s Aragog, from Harry Potter

Arachnids, Celebrity Taxa, New Species July 18, 2017 at 9:48 am

A new species of wolf spider found in southeastern Iran has been officially named after Aragog, the enormous, sentient arachnid character in the Harry Potter books and movies.

Fifty new species of spider discovered in far north Australia

Fifty new species of spider discovered in far north Australia

Arachnids, New Species May 8, 2017 at 10:41 am

More than 50 new species of spider, including a peacock spider with a “wonderful courtship behaviour, like dancing”, have been discovered in Queensland Australia’s Cape York region, during a 10-day trip by scientists from the Queensland Museum.  The new arachnids, which are now being formally classified, include a brush-footed trap-door spider, a large black creature that looks like a funnel web with the added power of being able to walk up glass doors; a new species of swift spider, with fuzzy black and white front legs; and several new species of ant spider.

A New Genus species of diplurid Spider from northeast India

A New Genus species of diplurid Spider from northeast India

Arachnids, New Species May 2, 2017 at 10:59 am

The collected specimen differs from all known species and genera from Asia. A detailed comparison of museum material was used to conclude that the specimen is a new species; a new genus is proposed.

Jumping spider that mimics ants found in California Park

Jumping spider that mimics ants found in California Park

Arachnids, New Species April 27, 2017 at 4:37 pm

Student found spider that mimics ant, believed to be a new species.

50 New Spiders Discovered in Australia

50 New Spiders Discovered in Australia

Arachnids, New Species April 26, 2017 at 2:44 pm

During a two-week research mission in the Australian bush, a team of 23 scientists and rangers identified 50 new species of spiders.  One of the species that has scientists particularly excited is a peacock spider that displays an elaborate dance in order to attract females. Other notable species discovered include a spider that mimics the behavior of ants and spiders that dive beneath the surface of the water.

Started as a hobby, photographer has documented the discovery of 56 new species

Started as a hobby, photographer has documented the discovery of 56 new species

For Robert Whyte, snapping a photo of an unusual spider has eventually led him to his dream job.

New species of funnel-web spider from Tasmania

New species of funnel-web spider from Tasmania

Arachnids, New Species April 13, 2017 at 1:53 pm

Nearly 30 species of unidentified Tasmanian spiders have been found by researchers at the Queen Victoria Museum in the past 18 months, highlighting the diversity of the state’s arachnid population and the fact that Tasmania is literally crawling with spiders.  “Our next step is to liaise with spider taxonomists across the world to have these species properly described”, says Queen Victoria Museum Curator of Natural Sciences David Maynard.  

New cave spider from Mexico is as big as a softball

New cave spider from Mexico is as big as a softball

Arachnids, New Species April 7, 2017 at 10:24 am

Researchers at the San Diego Natural History Museum, along with experts from Mexico and Brazil, have described a new species of large cave-dwelling spider. Related to the notoriously venomous Brazilian wandering spider (Phoneutria fera), the Sierra Cacachilas wandering spider was first discovered on a collaborative research expedition in 2013 into a small mountain range outside of La Paz in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

Three new bird-eating’ tarantulas from Ecuador, Peru and Brazil

Three new bird-eating’ tarantulas from Ecuador, Peru and Brazil

Arachnids, New Species March 7, 2017 at 11:26 pm

The Avicularia group contains species of tarantula that live in trees and eat a range of food including insects, bats and even small birds. One of the new species is named after by naturalist Maria Sybilla Merian (1647-1717) depicting an Avicularia avicularia spider eating a bird (below). Dr Fukushima, the lead author of the research, said: ‘This illustration gave origin to the name of the genus and the popular name birdeater spiders. People (in) that time did not believe in her observations, saying that a spider eating a bird was a female fantasy. But now we know she is right!’Read More

An unknown species of orb-weaving spider mimics a leaf

An unknown species of orb-weaving spider mimics a leaf

Arachnids, New Species January 25, 2017 at 9:51 am

Scientists stumbled upon the potentially new species in a Chinese rain forest. The arachnid uses its silk to attach leaves to tree branches, and then hides among the branches. The researchers still aren’t sure why the spider does this, but they believe it’s likely to hide from predators or sneak up on prey.   The orb weaving spider from southwest China and Southeast Asia belongs to a taxonomically and biologically unstudied species group within the genus Poltys C. L. Koch, 1843 (Araneidae).

New film: mysterious spiderlings emerge into the safety of a fenced yard.  maybe.

New film: mysterious spiderlings emerge into the safety of a fenced yard. maybe.

Arachnids December 22, 2016 at 10:05 am

In the sticky jungles of South America, a mysterious spider crafts towers out of silk—confounding scientists with its intricate creations.  Baby spiders have now been filmed emerging from the egg sac within the structure’s interior.  Scientists are still still attempting to identify the spider.  Scientists think the web may be an enclosure to prevent ants from getting to the spider hatchlings.  

Two new jumping spiders from India

Two new jumping spiders from India

Arachnids, New Species November 7, 2016 at 6:05 pm

Dhruv Prajapati, 23, who is pursuing PhD from Sacred Heart College, Kochi in Kerala, in the field of arachnology (study of spiders and related species), has discovered two new species of spiders in Gujarat, India.

New species of trap door spiders identified in Queensland

New species of trap door spiders identified in Queensland

Arachnids, New Species September 22, 2016 at 9:23 am

MGraduate student Jeremy Wilson has even found up to 10 new species of trap door spiders in Lamington National Park in Queensland’s Gold Coast Hinterland, species that build intricate traps. A trapdoor found in the Lamington National Park, one of at least 10 new species of trapdoor spiders discovered in Queensland.

Eleven new species of trapdoor spiders found in Queensland

Eleven new species of trapdoor spiders found in Queensland

Arachnids, New Species September 1, 2016 at 8:43 pm

A scientist has discovered not one, but at least 10 new species of trapdoor spiders in southeast Queensland, hiding in Brisbane forests and national parks throughout the state.  

Two new species of scorpion from Arizona

Two new species of scorpion from Arizona

Arachnids, New Species August 25, 2016 at 11:21 am

A new species of scorpion has been identified inhabiting the Santa Rita and Santa Catalina mountains in southern Arizona. Female P. santarita. Photo Richard Ayrey. Male P. santarita. Photo Richard Ayrey.