New tarantula species from Angola distinct with a one-of-a-kind 'horn' on its back

ScienceDaily | 2/12/2019 | Staff
echolea (Posted by) Level 3
Click For Photo: https://www.sciencedaily.com/images/2019/02/190212104658_1_540x360.jpg

Collected as part of the National Geographic Okavango Wilderness Project, which aims to uncover the undersampled biodiversity in the entire Okavango catchment of Angola, Namibia and Botswana, thereby paving the way for sustainable conservation in the area, the new arachnid is described in a paper published in the open-access journal African Invertebrates by the team of Drs John Midgley and Ian Engelbrecht.

Although the new spider (Ceratogyrus attonitifer sp.n.) belongs to a group known as horned baboon spiders, the peculiar protuberance is not present in all of these species. Moreover, in the other species -- where it is -- the structure is completely sclerotised, whereas the Angolan specimens demonstrate a soft and characteristically longer 'horn'. The function of the curious structure remains unknown.

Tarantula - Morphology - Species - C - Attonitifer

The new tarantula's extraordinary morphology has also prompted its species name: C. attonitifer, which is derived from the Latin root attonit- ("astonishment" or "fascination"), and the suffix -fer ("bearer of" or "carrier"). It refers to the astonishment of the authors upon the discovery of the remarkable species.

"No other spider in the world possesses a similar foveal protuberance," comment the authors of the paper.

Series - Surveys - Researchers - Specimens - Forests

During a series of surveys between 2015 and 2016, the researchers collected several female specimens from the miombo forests of central Angola. To find them, the team would normally spend the day locating burrows, often hidden among grass tufts, but sometimes found in open sand, and excavate specimens during the...
(Excerpt) Read more at: ScienceDaily
Wake Up To Breaking News!
Appeasement - when you're what's for dinner!
Sign In or Register to comment.

Welcome to Long Room!

Where The World Finds Its News!