Two Spider Species: Implications of Discovery

Two Spider Species: Implications of Discovery

Question: Team of naturalists have discovered 2 spider species at Aarey Milk Colony, Mumbai, Maharashtra recently. Highlight the implications of this scientific discovery.

- Team of young scientists have discovered 2 spider species at Aarey Milk Colony

- These two species are named after the spitting and lynx spiders Dictis mumbaiensis (named after Mumbai city) and Peucetia phantasma (which only hunts on the silver-barked ghost tree).

- The new spitting spider is unique as a new species but the genus Dictis itself is a new record for the Mumbai region

- Lynx spider has been named phantasma meaning “ghost” in Latin; its botanical nomenclature is Sterculia Urens

- These findings were published in the Indian Journal of Arachnology

- It has been published by the Indian Society of Arachnology

- This species showcases the unique ability of species to be part of any available niche for survival while stressing the need for localised biodiversity documentation efforts

- This is for better comprehension of numerous species living in the region before the initiation of any conservation action plan

- Further reduction of greenery in these areas can affect research progress in such discoveries

- The researchers who discovered these 2 spider species include naturalist Javed Ahmed, natural historian Rajashree Khalap, wet bird and native aboriginal dog breed expert Dr Krishna Mohan and Mumbai policeman Yogendra Satam

Facts and Stats

- Spitting spiders or Sctodidae Blackwall 1864 comprise a small, pan tropical family comprising five genera and 230 species

- These spiders are called so because they catch their prey through expulsion of a fluid which congeals on contact into a sticky, venomous mass

- The other new species of lynx spider, Peucetia phantasma makes little use of webs, living as hunting spiders on plants instead

- Many species frequent flowers specifically, as much as crab spiders
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