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Spider discovery, Queensland: Euoplos dignitas found near Bundaberg in web trapdoors

A new ‘rare and giant’ spider species found in Queensland has sent scientists into a spin but fears are growing they may soon be gone thanks to land clearing. 

The nocturnal Euoplos dignitas were found inside trapdoors, about the size of a 50-cent piece, hidden in the soil around Eidsvold and Monto, west of Bundaberg, in central Queensland.

The females, at almost five centimetres in length, are bigger than the more colourful males, arachnologist Dr Michael Rix of Queensland Museum’s Project DIG team said. 

The females spend their whole lives underground, unlike their more brightly coloured male counterparts, who spend at least some time above ground.  

‘They’ve got these really cryptic trapdoors in these woodland habitats on the ground and most people wouldn’t even realise that they’re there,’ Dr Rix told the ABC.

He said the spider’s scientific name is an acknowledgement of its large size. 

‘Euoplos’ is a group of what are called ‘golden trapdoor spiders’,  and ‘dignitas’ is a Latin word meaning dignity or greatness.

Euoplos dignitas spend the first five to seven years of their lives in burrows, then the males venture out to look for a mate by finding female burrows. 

Source of data and images: dailymail

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