Ten new spider species found at Madagascar

Washington, June 23 (IANS) As many as 10 sub-social cobweb spider species have been spotted during a research on nearly 400 Madagascar colonies.

The research was conducted by a California Academy of Sciences team led by Agnarsson, which was outlined in the journal ZooKeys.

Interestingly, five of the new species are named after famous evolutionary biologists. These include Wallace, Huxley, Buffon, Hooker and Lamarck.

The Anelosimus darwini took its cue from the father of evolutionary biology Charles Darwin.

Yet another species, Anelosimus moramora, got its name from the Madagascan motto “no rush” or “take it easy”.

Most of them are single forest endemics and belong to one genus, Anelosimus.

The number of newly found species in an otherwise deforested area such as Madagascar triggers the need for additional samplings, the team said.

The extraordinary biodiversity in Madagascar is still mostly unexplored and undescribed in terms of many arthropod groups, such as spiders.

Agnarsson led the research in the biodiversity hotspot of Madagascar on behalf of both the University of Vermont’s Biology department and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History.

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