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New jumping spider discovered

March 28, 2015 12:00 am | Updated 09:08 am IST - Thiruvananthapuram

Researchers at Kochi’s Sacred Heart College have discovered a new little jumping spider belonging to the Salticidae family in the Western Ghats.

The new spider is remarkable for the presence of mating plugs, which are supposed to function as the paternity protection devices.

The new species has been named Stenaelurillus albus, owing to the presence of a unique whitish area on the tegulum of the pedipalp — the copulatory organ of the male spider. The study was published in the open access journal ZooKeys .

“Mating plugs are not very unusual in the animal kingdom. However, it is interesting to note that they have been reported in only 17 species of the approximately 5,800 jumping spiders described so far,” said research supervisor P.A. Sebastian of the Sacred Heart College.

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