Super-Sized Trapdoor Spider Discovered In Australia

Euoplos dignitas

Photo: Queensland Museum Network

Scientists with the Queensland Museum Network have discovered an endangered species of trapdoor spiders living on the northeastern coast of Australia. The super-sized spider has been named Euoplos dignitas and is much larger than other species of trapdoor spiders, which usually grow to no more than 1.5 inches.

"The females, which are the larger trapdoor spiders of the two sexes, they're almost five centimeters (1.9 inches) in body length," arachnologist Michael Rix told ABC.

Rix said that while the spiders are venomous, they do not pose much of a threat to humans.

"They have venom apparatus in the fangs, but none of the Australian trapdoor spiders in the group are known to be dangerously venomous," he said. "They might hurt if they bit you, but they're not actually medically significant."

Dr. Rix believes that the species is likely endangered because it has only been seen in a few locations and has lost much of its habitat to land clearing.

"We're a little bit concerned for it," he said. "It doesn't seem to be doing too well in the natural environment, which is a bit of a worry."

For now, Dr. Rix is hopeful that by identifying the species, they can spearhead efforts to protect it.

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