Spider-killing spiders found

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORECasino Insider: Here’s a look at San Manuel’s new high limit rooms, Asian restaurant160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Researchers scouring the remote forests of Madagascar have made a spidery find: Tiny assassin spiders, grotesque-looking bugs that prey on other spiders, are more diverse than previously thought. Scientists from the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco have documented nine new species of assassin spiders during a four-year expedition through rain and deciduous forests in the African island nation. “The western part of the island has been so little studied that we expected to find new types of assassin spiders,” said Charles Griswold, a curator at the academy. The newly discovered species could shed light on how assassin spiders evolved, and perhaps point scientists to other places in Madagascar where other types could be located. The bizarre-looking assassin spiders used to be widely found around the world, but they now live in Madagascar, Australia and South Africa. About a dozen species of assassin spiders were previously discovered. Assassin spiders, which grow to less than an eighth of an inch long, are notorious for stabbing helpless spiders with their sharp, venom-filled fangs attached to super-sized jaws. Assassin spiders also possess very long necks so they can attack their prey from a distance. Assassin spiders do not spin webs to entrap their prey and they pose no threat to humans, Griswold said. In the latest research, field teams from California and Madagascar set traps in the western part of the island over a four-year period. More than a million bugs, including the species of assassin spiders, were collected and studied. Some assassin spiders will be shipped to a museum in Madagascar and others will be preserved for future study, Griswold said. The research was partly funded by the National Science Foundation.last_img

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *