Adorable Mini Spider Discovered in China
by Nadia Drake
Tiny spiders with oversized rumps have been discovered in China. The little arachnids, each about a mm long, represent two new species of orb-weaving spiders. They belong to the Mysmenidae family of orb-weavers, and were described on May 21 in the journal ZooKeys.
Found near giant panda sanctuaries in Chongqing and Sichuan, the mini-spiders live among leaf litter and in caves, making them incredibly hard to spot. Mysmenidae weave tiny webs in the cavities created by leaves and mosses on the forest floor, and they generally prefer humid climates.
Trogloneta yuensis, collected in April 2010, is about 1 mm long. Mysmena wawuensis, collected in June 2012, is even smaller — about 0.75 mm long — and named after the Wawu Mountains National Forest Park, where it lives. Scientists believe both spiders are endemic to their particular regions, meaning you’d need to travel to China to meet these adorable micro-arachnids.
(via: Wired Science) (photo: Lin and Li, ZooKeys)