48 is the number of new hunting spider species discovered by Dr. Robert Raven and his team. He grouped these new spiders into five very different genera (Miturgopelma, Knotodo, Xeromiturga, Miturgiella and Xistera). Thanks to the diversity of the climate unique in the world, Australia is known for its exceptional wildlife.
In this multitude of landscapes, spiders are present by the thousands. There are so many of them that it is difficult for scientists to categorize them all. Endemic present on the island continent, Australian spiders they have adapted over the centuries to survive in these sometimes arid environments, or on the contrary, tropical and humid environments.
48 new species
Dr Robert Raven is an Australian spider expert. With his teams, he managed to discover 48 new species. They all belong to the family Miturgidae. These spiders have the peculiarity of living and hunting in the middle of the night. They also differ from other spiders by their lack of canvas. They move quickly on the ground to catch their prey.
This research paper by Dr. Robert Raven brings together years of work. Published in the journal Zootaxa, this major classification took Dr. Robert Raven and his teams more than 10 years.
Spiders, unloved animals
It is estimated that 40% of the French population suffers from a terrible fear of spiders. For 10% of the population, this fear would even become a phobia, which would lead to a disabling disorder and physical or psychological suffering. However, in the vast majority of cases, spiders are harmless.
Those present in France are also very useful for population regulation in our ecosystem. As the Natural History Museum explains “Spiders contribute to the balance of ecosystems and are part of many food chains.”
Although almost all spiders living in France are non-venomous, they have a bad reputation. On the other side of the world, in Americathe locals are used to being around very dangerous spiders like the black widow, capable of killing a person in a few minutes with their powerful venom.
But despite this danger, accidents are very rare. Black widows are more timid and rarely attack humans. In the world, only 5 people die from spider bites every year. For comparison, 50 people died in 2021 trying to take a selfie. Smartphones are therefore, statistically, 10 times more dangerous than spiders.