A new species of giant trapdoor spider has been found in Central Queensland's black soils. The spider, which builds burrows and lives in open woodland habitats, is believed to be an endangered species due to the loss of much of its natural habitat through land clearing.
The discovery was made by a team from the Queensland Museum while conducting research in the region. The spider, which has not yet been officially named, is said to have a leg span of up to 20 centimeters and can weigh as much as 100 grams.
According to Dr. Robert Raven, Principal Scientist at the Queensland Museum Network, "This is an incredibly exciting discovery for us. Finding a new species is always special but finding one that could potentially be endangered makes it even more significant."
The giant trapdoor spider belongs to the Mygalomorphae family and builds burrows with a hinged door made from soil or vegetation. The spiders are ambush predators, waiting for prey to walk over their burrow before lunging out and capturing them.
Dr. Raven added that "the loss of suitable habitat due to land clearing activities puts pressure on these types of animals and highlights why we need strong conservation measures in place."
The discovery highlights the importance of preserving natural habitats for rare and unique wildlife species such as this newly discovered giant trapdoor spider.
For now, researchers will continue studying this fascinating creature with hopes that they can learn more about its behavior and biology in order to better protect it from extinction.