Dr Barbara Baehr, a German arachnologist is the discoverer of five new species of tiny brushed jumping spiders along with Dr Danilo Harms from the University of Hamburg and Dr Joseph Schubert from Monash University.
Four of these spiders have been discovered in Queensland and one in New South Wales.
Each of these spiders is as tiny as a grain of rice, and hence, they are extremely difficult to spot.
Dr Baehr has already classified dozens of spiders. According to her, the little ones have more appealing characteristics and features. She believes that these tiny spiders are the ones that are swift to catch everyone’s attention as they are some of the most gorgeous spiders in Australia.
She is not happy with the fact that so little is known about their taxonomic identity and diversity.
Fascinated with spiders during her trip to Germany’s Black Forest, she came to Australia to study more about them.
Her foremost reason for coming to Australia was that more than 70% of spiders in Australia remain unclassified.
Scientists believe that though the classified number of spiders is currently 3500, the number is definite to increase past 10,000.
The male brushed jumping spider are called so because of an extensive mating dance they do, which involves a brush of long and colorful seta in their legs, just like butterflies.
These newly discovered species of spiders are close kin of the Australian peacock spiders who are also known to perform a similar courtship dance for females.
Here are the names of the new found members of the spider clan:
- Jotus albimanus – White-handed Brushed Jumping Spider
- Jotus fortiniae
- Jotus karllagerfeldi – named after the late famous German fashion icon for its black and white front legs and black sunglasses like eyes
- Jotus moonensis – Mount Moon Brushed Jumping Spider
- Jotus newtoni – Mark Newton’s Brushed Jumping Spider
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