New family of spiders found in US

2012-08-18 11:25
The Cave Robber spider (AP)

The Cave Robber spider (AP)

Multimedia   ·   User Galleries   ·   News in Pictures Send us your pictures  ·  Send us your stories

Washington - A team of amateur cave explorers and arachnologists has found a new family of spiders in Oregon caves and old-growth redwood forests, US researchers said on Friday.

Entomologists at the California Academy of Sciences said the spider, named Trogloaptor - or "cave robber" - for its lethal front claws, had such unique evolutionary features that it represented not just a new genus or species, but also a new family of spiders.

The study, published in the journal ZooKeys, noted that finding a new, previously unknown family was rare, even for species-rich insects and arachnids.

Trogloraptor hangs beneath rudimentary webs spun below cave ceilings. It measures about 4cm wide when its legs are extended.

The spider's impressive claws "suggest that they are fierce, specialised predators," though scientists have not yet determined what they eat and how they attack and kill their prey, according to the study.

It pointed to strong evidence suggesting Trogloraptor was a close relative of goblin spiders.

Citizen scientists from the Western Cave Conservancy and arachnologists from the California Academy of Sciences found the spiders living in caves in southwestern Oregon. Scientists from San Diego State University found more of the creatures in old-growth redwood forests.

Research on the spiders at the California Academy of Sciences was paid in part by the National Science Foundation, along with a private fund.

The forests in the coastal regions from California to the Canadian province of British Columbia are known for hosting unique and ancient flora and fauna, including tailed frogs, mountain beavers and coast redwoods.

"That such a relatively large, peculiar animal could elude discovery until 2012 suggests that more may be lurking in the forests and caves of western North America," the study said.

- SAPA
Read more on:    us  |  research
NEXT ON NEWS24X
SHARE:

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
8 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
 

Inside News24

 
/News
 

13 summer safety tips

Summer time and the burning is easy. Get some great tips to ensure sunburn doesn't spoil your holiday!

 
 

I love summer.24

Stay in shape this summer
Ultimate fails compilation 2014
This sleeping bulldog is you during the holidays
This man's reaction to his Christmas present is priceless!

Jobs in Cape Town [change area]

Property [change area]

Travel - Look, Book, Go!

Kalahari.com - shop online today

Grand Theft Auto 5

Now available on PS4, Xbox One and PC from R649. Buy now!

Festive gifts!

Check out our awesome range of festive gifts to make everyone’s wishes come true. Shop now!

Save on Samsung

Cameras, mobile phones, TVs, Tablets and more. While stocks last. Shop now!

Save up to R2200 on electronics! – As seen in the catalogue

Wishing for tech gadgets this festive? Save up to R2100 on hot tech products at kalahari.com. While stocks last. Shop now!

30% off the bestselling books

Save big on the most captivating reads of 2014. While stocks last. Shop now!

OLX Free Classifieds [change area]

Samsung Galaxy s4

Mobile, Cell Phones in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 24

Best bargain in big bay

Real Estate, Houses - Apartments for Sale in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

VW Golf 6, 1.6 Trendline (Excellent condition)

Vehicles, Cars in South Africa, Western Cape, Cape Town. Date October 25

Horoscopes
Aquarius
Aquarius

Short term gratification seems like fun at the time; just remember that your boundaries are down right now and there s a tendency...read more

There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.

Settings

Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.








Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.