Arachnologists Discover 43 New Species of Scaffold Web Spiders

Posted on October 27, 2016

Juvenile scaffold web spider

Scientists have discovered 43 new species of scaffold web spiders. The discoveries increase the number of known scaffold web spiders species by 20%. The spiders were collected over the past 20 years in countries including China, Indonesia, Philippines, Singapore, Thailand, Vietnam and Madagascar.

Chinese, American and European arachnologists carried out multiple surveys to identify the new species. They belong to the spider family Nesticidae. Prior to the new study by Dr. Yucheng Lin and his team there were 245 known 245 species. This number includes 12 extinct species known only from fossils.

The scientists also established a new genus (Speleoticus) for five previously known, but misplaced species, which spend much of their time taking shelter in caves.

A juvenile scaffold web spider is pictured above and a female is pictured below. Photographs of the newly discovered species can be found in the ZooKeys paper.

Female scaffold web spider

Photo: Dr. Shuqiang Li

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