Arachnologists from the Centre for Animal Taxonomy and Ecology (CATE), Christ College, Irinjalakuda in Kerala have recently discovered six new species of spiders from across the country.
The new species of spiders were found from the Garo hills in Meghalaya, the Thar desert of Rajasthan, Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary, Kottappara hills near Kothamangalam, Thumboormuzhi butterfly garden near Athirappilly, and the University of Calicut campus.
Siamspinops garoensis —
- Studies conducted on the Garo hills of Meghalaya resulted in the first spotting of the genus Siamspinops from India with a new species Siamspinops garoensis.
- This belongs to the family of flat spiders, Selenopidae.
- This spider lives in the crevices of rocks on hills.
- The yellowish brown spider measures about 10 mm in length.
- There is a black circle around its eyes and black patches on the abdomen.
Jumping spiders —
- Two new species of spiders coming under the family of jumping spiders (Salticidae) were discovered from the Thar desert of Rajasthan and the Kurichiyad forest ranges of the Wayanad Wildlife Sanctuary.
- Afraflacilla miajlarensis, the Thar species, is characterised by white fine hairs on a black head and black horizontal lines on the abdomen. This spider stays among dry leaf blades.
- Afraflacilla kurichiadensis, the Wayanad species, is characterised by red patches around the eyes and white hairs on the abdomen. The bulged first pair of legs are also a special feature of this species. This spider lives in the moist deciduous forest of Kurichiyad.
Feather- legged spiders —
The next spider species lacks a venom gland and belongs to the family of feather- legged spiders (Uloboridae). This new species has been named as Philoponella rostralis, due to the presence of a beak like structure on the male reproductive organ.
Spiny-legged spiders —
Two new species of spiders belonging to the family of spiny-legged spiders (Oxyopidae) have been discovered from the Thumboormuzhi butterfly garden, near the Athirappilly waterfalls, and on the Calicut University campus.