New species of traps could be hidden in your garden



ARE the creepy spiders that hide behind cryptic trapdoors, and could hide in your backyard.

Dozens of new species of secret spiders are discovered all over the country for that same reason: they are so elusive.

A group of trapper spiders from southwestern Australia have been listed as threatened species, despite being formally named.

A research group led by scientist Michael Rix of the Queensland Museum, together with the Museum of Western Australia, University of Adelaide and the South Australian Museum, has described 15 new species.

The group includes the only spider in Australia that is both in the western Australian state and on the lists of endangered Commonwealth species, and now two other species that have been included in Australia's List of Threatened Species due to the latest investigation.

Another researcher at Griffith University, Ph.D. student Jeremy Wilson, has also discovered a lineage of trap spiders that were previously not known to occur in mainland Australia, since they had only been in Tasmania.

"Due to their cryptic burrows and some other difficulties associated with trap spiders, they remained undetected until now," Mr. Wilson said

He also described four new species from a lineage of traps that create strange "trapdoors" for their burrows.

"His burrow is projected from the ground like a small tower," Wilson said.

"They are also very restricted, with two of the known species from a single national park."

Queensland Museum scientist Dr. Michael Rix said that trap spiders can provide a good indication of how natural landscapes were doing, and a population struggled to survive in an area, which could indicate a serious problem.

Their collaborative research work, published in ZooKeys, is a major review of new species of spider trap and has "great importance for conservation".

"They are the face of invertebrate conservation in some parts of Western Australia," said Dr. Rix.

"Where there are trap spiders in the landscape and they exist in good numbers, it is a good indication that these habitats are functioning relatively well compared to other places where trap spiders no longer occur due to long-term declines."

The research highlighted that there may be declines in real time and conservation challenges facing animal species not formally named.

"These are threatened species and exist in the landscape and some are seriously declining, however, in many cases we still do not have scientific names for them," said Dr. Rix.

"It is a particular problem for invertebrates, such as spiders and insects, and it is crucial that we manage the taxonomy and names of these species before they are lost forever."

Apart from the Conservatives The importance of the new species of spiders is unique as they are one of the few groups of animals in the world that use their bodies as another layer of defense to protect their homes.

"These spiders have essentially changed the backs of their bodies into armored shields, which they use to cover their burrows and defend against predators," said Dr. Rix.

"They are one of the few spiders in the world that have this defense mechanism." [19659003] The Acting Executive Director of the Queensland Museum Network, Dr. Jim Thompson, said that this scientific article highlights the important work that taxonomists do.

"For many people spiders are feared but they actually play a very important role in our ecosystem and this research is important to identify endangered species," said Dr. Thompson.

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