Human Interest

Three species of harmless spiders discovered in Australian Alps

Sydney, Australia, Feb 16 (EFE).- A group of scientists discovered three new species of harmless spiders in the alpine zone of Australia, a country known not only for its curious animals such as kangaroos, koalas and platypuses but also its sharks and other highly poisonous specimens.

“The discovery of the three new spiders in the Australian Alps is fantastic. Around three-quarters of Australia’s biodiversity is still waiting to be discovered by science,” Australian Environment and Water Minister Tanya Plibersek said Thursday, in a statement announcing the find.

The species discovered in the southeast of the country is a “warrior hunter” that has a sort of shield on its chest, which belongs to the Sparassidae family – a tiny 3-millimeter jumping spider that pretends to be a tree branch, the statement said.

The find reflects Australia’s immense diversity, ranging “from the infamous shield hunter, with war paint on its legs and a shield on its chest to ward off predators, to tiny jumping spiders that look like eight-eyed puppies” said Joseph Schubert, Museum of Victoria Research Institute spider expert.

“Spiders are also experts in camouflage. The wrap spider is a ferocious nocturnal mini-hunter that masquerades as a tree branch during the day to hide from predators,” said the expert, who participated in this scientific expedition in the Australian Alps.

Australia is home to a wide variety of animal species, including the funnel web spider (Atrax robustus) and the red-backed spider (Latrodectus hasselti), considered among the most venomous in the world. EFE


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