A nature lover discovered a mysterious new species of spider in her backyard in Australia.
Amanda De George spotted the eight-eyed creature walking across a recycling bin at her home in Thirroul, south of Sydney, 18 months ago. However, she got to know in June this year that the arachnid was a newly found species.
She shared pictures of the eight-legged, 4millimetre-long creature on a spider identification Facebook page with the caption “What is this?”
Its blue face caught the attention of a leading spider expert in Melbourne who confirmed that the species was unknown.
“I thought it was incredibly beautiful with its bright blue face and eyes but didn’t realise how special it was,” she said.
“By the time I was told it was a species new to science it was long gone. It took me three-and-a-half months of full on searching to find another specimen. So that was the hard part! The capturing was easy!” Amanda said.
After over three months of search, she eventually captured two of the spiders. She put them inside containers filled with tissues and sent them to Joseph Schubert, a Museums Victoria taxonomist who specialises in jumping spiders.
“The naming is totally up to Joseph who does all the hard work, but who wouldn’t want a spider named after them?” Amanda said.
“Honestly it is so exciting! It feels so nice to be able to contribute something to science,” she said.
“I’m just an amateur nature lover and could never have imagined that this is something I would or even could do.”
The spider is a part of the genus group Jotus, which includes other jumping spiders commonly found in Australia and New Zealand. Jumping spiders are harmless to humans but inject venom when attacking their prey.
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