May 31, 2023

Brighton Journal

Complete News World

Trapdoor spider: A new giant species has been found in Australia

image source, Queensland Museum

photo caption,

Species Euoplos premitas are not dangerous to humans

Australian researchers have discovered a super-sized species of trapdoor spider found only in Queensland.

Females of this rare species can live for more than 20 years in the wild and reach 5 cm in length – large from a spider’s perspective.

Males are up to 3 cm in size.

Unfortunately, much of its habitat has been lost due to land clearing, scientists said, making it likely an endangered species.

So-called trapdoor spiders build “trap doors” out of leaves to prey on insects. They usually measure about 1.5 cm to 3 cm.

The newly discovered species, Euoplos premitas, is a species of golden spider that was discovered in the semi-arid forests of the Brigaloo Belt, a region in central Queensland. It is not dangerous to humans.

In Latin, its name means variety or greatness, said scientists from the Queensland Museum who discovered it, reflecting the spider’s “magnificent size and nature”.

Females of this species have a red-brown carapace, while males have a honey-red outer coat and a grey-brown abdomen.

Euoplos gentitas live in open woodland habitats, and build their burrows in black soil.

Females spend their lives underground. Males leave to find their mate in another burrow after five to seven years.

Very few specimens of this species have been collected in recent decades, the scientists said in a study published in the journal Arachnology, with only one female presented to the Queensland Museum since the 1960s.

A three-day search in May 2021 revealed only one population along several hundred meters of the roadside edge, with most of the habitat available for cultivation and stocks cleared.

They said continued degradation of such habitats could make the species “critically endangered” in the future.

The largest spider in the world is generally known as the Goliath bird-eater – its body is about 13 cm long and its legs are 30 cm – more than the size of a dinner plate.

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