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‘It’s a big, beautiful species’: New giant trapdoor spider discovered in Australia

Australia has discovered a new species of giant trapdoor spider.

This eight-legged, large arachnid has eight legs and is so massive that it was named Euoplos dignitas – Latin for dignity or greatness – to honor its “impressive” size.

Researchers have found that the body length of female spiders can reach up to five centimetres.

“It’s an enormous, beautiful species,” Dr Michael Rix, Queensland Museum curator of arachnology, said.


Scientists say that the chances of meeting the spider are very low.

The spider lives in open woodland habitats, and it builds its burrows in black soils in Central Queensland’s Brigalow Belt. This is located on Australia’s northeastern coast.

These forests have been ravaged by human development for over 150 years and are now home to some of Queensland’s most endangered ecological communities.

Image: Female spider from the new species. Pic by Queensland Museum

Researchers believe that the spider, which can live for up to 20 years in nature, has been decimated by land clearing. This could make it endangered.

It has been found in very isolated locations in the rural areas of Monto and Eidsvold.

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Dr Rix says that the female spiders of this new species live underground while the male spiders, which are described as “honey-red”, leave their burrows after five to seven years to search for a mate.

Most spiders are active at night. They wait for the insects to pass before they strike out.

To subdue their prey, they use venom. Dr Rix claims that they are harmless to humans.

Dr Rix stated that the scientists were thrilled to “scientifically document” the new species in a video released to announce its discovery.

Dr. Jeremy Wilson, Queensland Museum Network research assistant in arachnology, stated that naming a new species has real-life benefits for it, as a well as the fact that a species is known, “it can’t be protected”.

Project DIG was a partnership of five years between the Queensland Museum Network (QMN) and BHP to support the research.


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