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New trapdoor spider species discovered

A new trapdoor spider species has been discovered by Sanjay Keshari Das, Assistant Professor, Guru Gobind Singh Indraprastha University, Delhi, in a deciduous forest near Nilagiri town in Odisha during field surveys this year.

It was collected on a roadside cut in a forest during a field survey to document spider diversity in Kuldhia Wildlife Sanctuary.

“This new mygalomorph species has been described based on female specimens and named ‘Idiops nilagiri’ after Nilagiri town, from where the spider was recorded. This is a medium-size spider that measures about 8-13 mm in length. With this discovery, the number of the members of the genus Idiops goes up to 95 species worldwide, of which 12 are from India,” Dr. Das said.

He added that the discovery takes global spider count to 48,277 and Indian spider count to 1,910 species, of which 263 species are recorded from Odisha.

Among Indian spiders, only 116 species belonging to 33 genera and 8 families are mygalomorph spiders. “Mygalomorphs are relatively large and long-living spiders (can live about 25 years) and represent primitive spiders that include tarantulas, funnel web and trapdoor spiders. Zoologists believe India’s diversity of these primitive spiders remains under-represented,” Mr. Das said.

Talking about the new species, Mr. Das said that it comes under family Idiopidae representing front-eyed trapdoors.

Females live in tubular burrows with their walls lined by silk and have a cork-shape lid at the entrance used as a door. Males are smaller in size, wandering and occasionally living in burrows.

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Printable version | Sep 22, 2021 5:33:43 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/new-trapdoor-spider-species-discovered/article29570093.ece

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