Two rare spider species spotted after over 100 years

Source : Myanmar Times
View Count : 617
Aug 07, 2018

Two rare species of spiders endemic to Myanmar have been found in Taunggyi and Pyin Oo Lwin after more than 100 years, said Dr Thidar Lay Thwe, professor and head of the Department of Zoology, University of Yangon.
        The species are Trapdoor spiders having its scientific names as Liphistius birmanicus and Liphistius lordae.

        The Liphistius birmanicus species was found in Pyin Oo Lwin, while the Liphistius lordae species found in Taunggyi was discovered in Thidar Lay Thwe, she said.
        Trapdoor spiders construct burrows in the damp ground beside roads of the regions 3,000 feet above sea-level. At the entrance of the burrow, they build a silken-hinged door to grab an insect that is passing close by. That is why, they are called trapdoor spiders.
        Their size is about one inch and it is hard to find them. However, these kinds of spider species help cultivators by catching harmful insects.
        “If we are able to carry out conservation and research works not to extinct these species, it will help a lot in promoting biological diversity and improve the ecosystem. We can carry out spider research works widely,” Daw Thidar Lay Thwe said.
        An American scientist discovered the species in 1897 for the first time and two Swedish scientists revealed the second species in 1984. These species was recorded at the world science organization as Myanmar new spider species.
        Research for species of spiders was conducted in cooperation with the Zoology Department of Yangon University and Biological Sciences Department of the National University of Singapore from 12 to 23 July in Pyin Oo Lwin, Taunggyi, Loikaw, Pinlaung and Hpa-an townships and recorded.
        The number of these rare species is fast declining due to deforestation, widespread use of chemical insecticides and weed killers, the experts of spider study team said.
        “This species are found again after over 100 years. When we see their living style, they commonly stay at bamboo trees and damp soil. We found nearly 50 spiders. We didn’t find in Hpa-an,” said Dr Wai Wai Lwin from Zoology Department of Yangon University.
        The Department of Biological Sciences of National University of Singapore will continue to cooperate in spider researches, said Dr Thida Lay Thwe.

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