Wednesday, June 19, 2019

56 new species of arachnids found in Western Australia

Researchers at The University of Western Australia and the Western Australian Museum have discovered 56 new species of arachnids, known as schizomids, in Western Australia's Pilbara region.The research, published in Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, found all the new species, apart from one surface-dwelling species in Karijini National Park, live their entire lives underground—which makes them difficult to collect.
Lead researcher Dr. Kym Abrams, from UWA's School of Biological Sciences, said although the research team had not yet formally named the new species, they were able to use DNA sequences and  to determine that there were at least 56 new species from WA alone.
"The current known named Australian fauna is 53 species so we have just doubled this number," Dr. Abrams said. "Worldwide there are approximately 350 species known so once we've described these new species, Australia will have around one third of the known schizomid fauna."
The arachnids are also called "whip-sprickets" because of their whip-like, long front legs which they use almost like a cane. They have no eyes so they tap around their environment with their extra-long antenna-like legs, and the spricket part comes from them looking like a cross between a spider and a cricket, according to Dr. Abrams.
"We think there are likely to be a lot more species out there because they have such small distributions, they are poor dispersers and we've only been able to sample a few places; most of these have been collected during environmental impact assessment surveys in mining tenements or through scientific research," she said.
Dr. Abrams said WA was already globally recognized as a hotspot for subterranean fauna with an estimated 4000 species.
"This discovery of multiple  of schizomids reinforces how unique and highly diverse the fauna is," she said. "Currently there are 10 species of schizomid on the WA threatened  list (listed as vulnerable or endangered) because they live in habitats that are vulnerable to disturbance and destruction from .
"Having said this, mining companies follow a range of protocols to manage their sites to preserve some  and they conduct monitoring surveys to ensure that the animals are still surviving in their tenements. Preserving habitat is important because subterranean schizomids are so well-adapted to dark, humid environments that they can't survive on the surface and so can't move to new habitat if their current habitat is destroyed."
In 1995, co-researchers Dr. Mark Harvey and Dr. Bill Humphreys, from the WA Museum named the  from Barrow Island Draculoides bramstokeri after Bram Stoker's novel Dracula, because they are found in caves and have extra processes on their "fangs."
Courtesy of the University of Western Australia via Phys.Org 

1 comment:

  1. Being a vampire has certain limitations, but it can also be a ton of fun. Your extra strengths and abilities can make you successful in almost every endeavor you participate in and before you know it the money and acquaintances will come streaming in. You can build wealth and gain prestige and notoriety and attempt things you may never have even considered as a human. One thing you will definitely have more of is time. Beef up your education and learn all you every wanted to. Travel the world to see things most people only ever see on TV This is going to be especially fun if you turned to share your life with one of us. Let us show you the wonders of the world. Learn new languages, go skydiving or scuba dive with sharks, visit the African safari. You no longer need to be scared of nature or wildlife – you will have become the worlds strongest predator. Have fun with it and your life as a vampire can be more fulfilling than you ever dreamed. Explore, experiment, experience and get excited. There’s a big world out there with lots to see and do and as a vampire, you can do it all. If your dream is to become a powerful person in life contact: