Spiders as if they rained: there are more than 50 new species of arachnids discovered, in just 10 days, in the region of Cape York, in the state of Queensland (north-eastern Australia).

Image Another new species, renamed Gnaphosidae Ceryerda. The world is full of surprises, and many of these are spiders (cit.). | R. White

The creatures now being classified have been found by the scientists of the Queensland Museum, in particular by a research group called Bush Blitz, which in 4 years has observed, on the continent, almost 1200 new animal species, 201 of which are of spider.

The invasion of spiders in Australia

A diverse family. Among the newcomers there are a jumping spider with disturbing courtship dances, a never-before-seen species of trap-door spider (for the type of burrow it builds) capable of walking on glass walls, a spider with lightning-fast movements and white legs and black, different types of jumping spiders and ant-spiders.

Image A new trap-door spider (fam. Barychelidae) found in Queensland. | Bush Blitz

Peaceful types. Except for a couple of species, the others do not attack unless disturbed, and do no more damage than a bee sting. The abundance of discoveries has been made possible by the richness of the habitat, biodiversity reserve, and the abundant rainfall of recent weeks. In Australia there are about 3, 500 known species of spiders, and between 7, 000 and 15, 000 species yet to be classified.