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April 13, 2023
Researchers in Australia have discovered a “rare” species of the giant trapdoor spider.
The spider is so large that it has been given the name “Euoplos dignitas,” which means dignity or greatness in Latin. This name is to recognize and honor the spider’s “impressive” size.
Researchers said the female spiders can grow up to 5 centimeters in body length, with the males being a little smaller. The spider can live up to 20 years in the wild.
“It’s a big, beautiful species,” said one of the lead researchers, Dr Michael Rix, who is the curator of arachnology at Queensland Museum.
The spider lives in woodland habitats in Brigalow Belt in Central Queensland. Scientists have said that due to its habitation, the chances of encountering this spider in the wild are slim.
Reseachers have said that due to over a century of human development, which includes land clearing, in the spider’s natural habitat, it will likely be an endangered species.
Dr Rix said that female spiders of the new species will live underground, while male spiders, described as being “honey-red” in color, leave their burrows after around five to seven years to find a new mate.
The spiders are mostly active at night, perched at the trapdoor of their burrows waiting for insects to pass by, which they will strike out at.
The trapdoor spider will subdue their prey using venom, however Dr Rix said that this venom is not dangerous to humans.
In a video posted to announce the discovery, Dr Rix said his team of researchers were excited to “scientifically document this new species.”
ARTICLE: PAUL MURDOCH
MANAGING EDITOR: LUKE MOCHERMAN
PHOTO CREDIT: SKY NEWS