Super-sized trapdoor spider discovered in Australia

    Researchers in Australia have made a big discovery: a super-sized species of trapdoor spider found only in Central Queensland.

    The arachnid is called Euoplos dignitas, a name “derived from the Latin dignitas meaning dignity or greatness, reflects the impressive size and nature of the spiderscientists from the Queensland Museum said in a statement.

    The male Euoplos dignitas.
    The male Euoplos dignitas.Queensland Museum

    The spider lives in open forest habitats, building its burrows in the black soil of the Brigalow Belt in Central Queensland, on Australia’s northeast coast.

    The species has lost much of its habitat to land clearing, making it likely an endangered species, the scientists said.

    While the Australian team has not detailed the size of their find, Trapdoor spiders typically have bodies up to 4 cm long that nest underground, according to National Geographic. They are hairy tropical spiders and their bites can cause pain and swelling in humans.

    According to Britain, the spiders build holes in the ground and build doors with silk hinges. The spiders then feed by quickly opening the hatch and grabbing unsuspecting insects that pass by.

    In a video posted to announce the Australian discovery of the giant creepy crawler, Michael Rix, chief curator of arachnology at the Queensland Museum Network, said the experts were excited to “scientifically document this new species.”

    The female Euoplos dignitas.
    The female Euoplos dignitas.Queensland Museum

    Dr. Jeremy Wilson, research assistant in arachnology at the Queensland Museum Network, said in the video that the research is exciting because “you just never know what you’re going to find.”

    Wilson said naming the new species has positive implications in real life because a known species means “it can be protected.”

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