Wednesday, 12 April 2017

Fifty new species of spider discovered in far north Australia

New arachnids found in Queensland include brush-footed trap-door spider, which looks like a funnel web and can walk up glass doors

Tuesday 11 April 2017 08.16 BST Last modified on Wednesday 12 April 2017 02.27 BST 

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.

It is the most new spiders ever discovered on a research trip by Bush Blitz, an Australian government funded ecological research body. Bush Blitz has funded 34 similar surveys and discovered almost 1,200 new species since being established four years ago, of which 201 have been spiders.

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