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In Australia, there are more spiders than expected

In Australia, there are more spiders than expected

48 new species of spiders have been discovered in Australia. They are very small, nocturnal and fast. But these species are harmless.

I was surprised by the number of species described in this article. I knew there were a lot, but the number was more than I expected “, exclaims Robert Raven, Queensland Museum. He along with his team, A A new studyPublished at the end of October 2023, it lists the spider species in Australia.

We already know that spiders are legion in Australia (some of them bigger and more dangerous than France). Lambona murina Or White tail) but during their work, these scientists discovered new species. A lot.

48 new species of spiders in Australia

In their study, these scientists described no fewer than 48 newly discovered species of spiders in Australia. However, they are not “big spiders” like tarantulas or tarantulas. ” The newly described species have bodies up to 10 millimeters long and are fast-moving, nocturnal spiders. “, explains Robert Raven.

They are spiders belonging to the Miturgidae family. // Source: Queensland Museum/Modified

They are, moreover, part of a specific family of spiders: the hunting spiders. They live on the ground, where they hunt for prey. In fact, contrary to the typical image of a spider, they do not spin webs to catch their prey. They are distributed throughout Australia, from eucalyptus forests to more arid nooks and crannies.

The total number of spider species is estimated at 10,000, of which only 4,000 have been identified so far. And, for Robert Raven, this new research indicates that the number of species may actually be much higher — as many as 15,000 in total, he estimates. The 48 newly identified species are not particularly dangerous to humans. While some spiders are harmful to bite (and, yes, there are a few of this type in Australia), this is extremely rare. Most are harmless. And they’re useful species – even if they scare you, avoid killing them whenever possible.

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The work Raven and his team do is taxonomy – finding and cataloging living things. It is the fruit of years, even decades, of labor. And it doesn’t really stop: nature harbors species unknown even today. According to some researchers, we know only 20% of living things. We are constantly discovering new species. For example, even among the trees, there are still many to discover.

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