New Species of Trapdoor Spiders Discovered in Queensland, Australia

Posted on September 5, 2016

Trapdoor spider from Lamington National Park

PhD student Jeremy Wilson discovered new species of trapdoor spiders while on a mission exploration Queensland national parks through the Queensland Museum. The spider above was found in Lamington National Park. Some of the spiders discovered build intricate traps.

Trapdoor spiders spend much of their lives underground so there exact numbers remain somewhat of a mystery, particularly in less explored regions. The large female trapdoor spiders are likely the top invertebrate predator in their ecosystem according to Wilson.

Wilson says in a statement, "We believe there are many more undiscovered species out there. The really cool thing about them is that they're really long lived and they don't move much, they live in these holes their entire life. What that means is it's really easy for populations to become isolated and become new species."

A picture of one of the spider trapdoors is pictured below. A photograph of another interesting burrow can be seen here. Wilson has discovered 11 new species of trapdoor spiders so far.

Trapdoor spider trap found in Gympie, Queensland Australia

Wilson also says they have the potential to do serious damage with their 1 centimeter fangs. He says, "You have to be very careful with the spiders and if they're in a bad mood you don't pick them up. If you hesitate that's when it will bite you."

Photos: Jeremy Wilson

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