Recently, in order for a group of researchers to find a host of new spider species each researcher had to take ten day trip, much of it by foot, to a remote location that has been scarcely explored for its wildlife. The researchers eventually gathered fifty unknown spiders from the area in order to take them back to the lab for testing and identification.
The new spiders being identified include a brush-footed trap-door spider, which looks like a funnel web spider, only it can walk vertically up glass doors. Several new species of ant spider have also been discovered.
These spider expeditions are funded by the Australian government in order to identify all known spiders on the continent–that seems like a tall order for Australia. The research body that hires researchers for expeditions is called Bush Blitz. Bush Blitz has now operated over thirty expeditions into the Australian wilderness.
The research organization has recently broken their own record for the amount of spiders found during one expedition, which in this case, was fifty. However Bush Blitz has gathered an astonishing twelve hundred new species of different animals during only thirty four expeditions, and two hundred and one of these animals have been spiders.
According to Dr Barbara Baehr, a research biologist, Australia has an abundance of different ecosystems, and after the relatively mild winter of 2016 and 2017, there are regions growing with an abundance of plant life that have never been seen so early in the year. These conditions make finding a new spider species an easy task.
Dr. Baehr is one of the leading members of the team that is tasked with identifying the newly found spiders. During her career she has described over six hundred different types of spiders, and a whole two hundred and fifty species of ant-spiders. There are still between seven and fifteen thousand spiders waiting to be identified in Australia.
Have you ever know anyone who had discovered a new type of spider or insect?