From: Roger Greenway, ENN
Published May 8, 2012 06:35 AM

Not ALL Spiders use a web to catch prey

The Trapdoor Spider builds a tunnel with a trapdoor on one end. It hides in this lair until hungry and then emerges to capture an unsuspecting meal. Trapdoor Spiders are found in many warm locations around the globe. 

Researchers at Auburn University reported the discovery a new trapdoor spider species from a well-developed housing subdivision in the heart of the city of Auburn, Ala. Myrmekiaphila tigris, affectionately referred to as the Auburn Tiger Trapdoor spider, is named in honor of Auburn University’s costumed Tiger mascot, Aubie.

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The research team, directed by Biological Sciences professor Jason Bond, lead investigator and director of the Auburn University Museum of Natural History, and Charles Ray, a research fellow in the Department of Entomology and Plant Pathology, was excited at the prospect of such a remarkable find just underfoot. Bond and Ray actually live in the neighborhood where the new species was discovered.

Bond said, "The discovery of a new species in a well-developed area like this further demonstrates the amount of biodiversity on our planet that remains unknown; we know so little about our home planet and the other organisms that inhabit it with us."

Photo of female Myrmekiaphila tigris, credit Auburn University.

The study describing the Auburn Tiger Trapdoor Spider, Myrmekiaphila tigris, was published in the open access journal Zookeys, with an accompanying description of the spider in the online pages of the Encyclopedia of Life. For more information, contact Bond at 334.844.8713, by email at jeb0037@auburn.edu or visit Bond’s website.

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