Australia has more large, scary spiders than previously thought


Researchers identify four new venomous species.


A male Euoplos turrificus.

Michael Rix

Meet Euoplos turrificus, one of four newly described Australian trapdoor spider species.

The arachnids are all native to the south-east region of the Australian state of Queensland. As their name suggests, all four species construct burrows, topped with moveable flaps.

In the case of E. turrificus and three closely related species, however, the flaps are ornate and crenelated, giving them a vaguely Medieval appearance.

This did not go unnoticed by Jeremy Wilson from Queensland’s Griffith University who, with colleagues, describes the new spiders in the journal Invertebrate Systematics.

The species have been clumped into a new taxonomic group, called turrificus – deriving from the Latin word “turris”, from which derive the words “turret” and “tower”.

  1. http://www.publish.csiro.au/IS/IS18014
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