New Spider Species Discovered in Central Spain

Posted on June 29, 2016

Cheiracanthium ilicis spider

A new species of spider has been discovered living in Holm oak tress in central Spain. These isolated trees are found at the borders of cereal fields. The discovery is an unusual find because it is rare to find a new spider species in populated regions.

Scientists Eduardo Morano (University of Castilla-La Mancha) and Dr Raul Bonal (University of Extremadura) have named the new species Cheiracanthium ilicis. The spiders have a body length of about 1 centimeter. They were found in the trunks and branches of the Holm Oaks. They have large mouthparts and can penetrate human skin. The scientists say "the effects of the poison appear mild."

A research paper on the spiders was published here in the journal, ZooKeys. The image below shows one of the isolated Holm oak trees the spiders call home.

Holm oak tree in Spain


Photos: Dr. Raul Bonal