Euoplos dignitas: A New Species of Trapdoor Spider from Queensland

Researchers in central Queensland’s Brigalow Belt have discovered a new species of trapdoor spider called Euoplos dignitas. This nocturnal species lives underground and is larger and stockier than its male counterpart. The discovery of this new spider species is an exciting development, but it also raises concerns about its future, given the impact of land clearing in the region.

Appearance and Habits

The female Euoplos dignitas spiders are almost five centimetres in body length, while the males are more brightly coloured. The males spend several years underground before venturing out to find female burrows. The females, which are larger and stockier, spend their entire lives underground. The spiders have venom apparatus in their fangs, but they are not known to be dangerously venomous.

Threats to the Species

There are concerns that the species may be endangered due to land clearing in the region. The spiders are found in burrows about the diameter of a 50-cent piece in the black soil around Eidsvold and Monto, west of Bundaberg. The Brigalow Belt has been heavily cleared for agriculture and other land uses, reducing natural woodland remnants that the spiders are suited to. These spiders are not good at getting around the landscape and dispersing compared to flying insects.

Future Research

More surveys need to be done in the general area where the spiders were found to determine the size of the population and the extent of the species’ range. The protection of the natural woodland remnants where the spiders are likely to thrive is critical for the species’ survival. More research is needed to understand the spider’s biology and ecology to develop conservation measures that ensure its survival.



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