Largest spider in the Middle East newly discovered

A new species of spider in the Arava Region in Israel has been discovered by a team of scientists from the Department of Biology in the University of Haifa-Oranim. This species was found in the sand dunes of the Samar.

The spider named, Cerbalus aravensis, is being said to be the largest spider that can be found in that particular region of Middle east, but unfortunately its habitat is endangered.

The researchers said that this spider's leg-span can reach up to 14 cms. The spiders have been detected to be nocturnal in nature. Not much information or study material is available at this point of time.

Even the exact population is not known. The scientists however, know that this spider is mostly active in the hottest months of the year and constructs an underground den.

The head of the team (The Department of Biology) was Dr Shanas, who said that the discovery of the spider led to the preservation of the sand dune. Even these sand dunes are the only remaining ones in Israel given to the fact that the areas have been used up for agriculture.

The 7 square KMs of the dunes that extended in the region once upon a time, has now been reduced to just 3 square Kms. The species’ existence is even more endangered given to the fact that soon mining projects could start in the area, in the coming times.

“The new discovery shows how much we still have to investigate, and that there are likely to be many more species that are unknown to us. If we do not preserve the few habitats that remain for these species, they will become extinct before we can even discover them,” Dr. Shanas concludes.

Via - Thai Indian, Physorg

Photos by Yael Olek, courtesy of the University of Haifa



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