Eight New Whip Spider Species Discovered in the Brazilian Amazon

Posted on February 29, 2016

Eight new species of whip spiders have been discovered in the Brazilian Amazon. These new species are endemic to the Amazon Region. They belong to the order Amblypygi. There are now 25 different known species in Brazil. Whip spiders are also known as tailless whip scorpions.

The research was led by Alessandro Ponce de Leao Giupponi from FundaƧao Oswaldo Cruz, Brazil and Gustavo Silva de Miranda from the University of Copenhagen. They differentiated each new species by the presence or absence of median eyes, the number of leg IV basitibia pseudo-articles, and the shape of the female genitalia.

The newly discovered whip spiders all belong to the Charinus species. A female of the newly discovered species Charinus brescoviti is pictured above. The scale bar in the above image is 1 mm in length. These new whip spiders are smaller than some of the larger known whip spiders. The eight new species include C. bichuetteae, C. bonaldoi, C. carajas, C. ferreus, C. guto, C. orientalis, C. brescoviti, and C. ricardoi.

Whip spiders possess spiky pedipalps they can use to grasp onto prey. They are not venomous or dangerous to humans. Miranda told Newsweek that the males of the newly discovered species, Charinus carajas, use their pedipalps to fight for mates.

A female whip spider carrying eggs can be seen in the photo below. A research paper with photos of the different species can be found here in the journal, PLOS One.

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