View Full Version : 2 new species of spiders found in Western Ghats

Abhishek Jamalabad
14-07-2011, 02:08 PM
2 new species of spiders found in Western Ghats

(Simit Bhagat, TNN Jul 10, 2011, 02.15am IST)

MUMBAI: Two Andheri-based researchers have discovered two new species of a genus of trapdoor spiders from the southern Western Ghats.

The species—Scalidognathus nigriaraneus and Scalidognathus tigerinus—have been discovered from the Nilgiri and Coimbatore districts. The find by Rajesh Sanap and Zeeshan Mirza has been published in the latest edition of international journal, Acta Zoologica Lituanica.

"Until now, there was only one known species of the genus Scalidognathus found in India. This discovery has added two more in this group," said Sanap, who had also discovered a new species of scorpion in Jalna recently. He added that since trapdoor spiders were poorly documented, they had decided to carry out the survey in the Western Ghats of Tamil Nadu in January.

Trapdoor spiders are known for their burrows that are made from soil, vegetation and silk. The burrows—that have a door like opening—go deep in and the network of web around it sends a signal to the spider every time a potential prey approaches the door.

"We were aware that our survey area is a goldmine for smaller species like geckos, tarantulas, spiders and scorpions. During the survey, we came across trapdoor spider specimens from two localities. However, when we studied them closely, we realized that they are new species, as there were no previous records," said Mirza, who co-authored the research paper on the spiders.

Although the average size of both the species is similar and both feed on insects, S nigriaraneus is black, while S tigerinus is maroon with stripes. The average size of S nigriaraneus is 10.22 mm, while that of S tigerinus is 10.33 mm. According to the researchers, the species name nigriaraneus is composed of two Latin words—'nigri', which means black and 'aranaeus', which means spider. The second species has prominent lateral stripes similar the tiger and hence the species name tigerinus.

The specimens have been deposited with the Wildlife Information Collection Liaison Development Society in Coimbatore. "The fact that two new species were found in a single survey of the same region highlights that more research needs to be done," says Mirza.

Original article here- 2 new species of spiders found in Western Ghats - Times Of India (http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-07-10/flora-fauna/29757643_1_new-species-spiders-zeeshan-mirza)

Sabyasachi Patra
15-07-2011, 11:41 AM
Good to know about the discovery. The western ghats is a global biodiversity hotspot. Wish there are more studies.