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Exquisite trapdoors

Five new species of trapdoor spider in the genus Euoplos have been discovered in south-eastern Queensland and described in a paper by Jeremy Wilson (Griffith University) and colleagues.

Jeremy has also written a simply wonderful article, with stunning photographs, in The Conversation. The trapdoors on the burrows of some of these species are simply exquisite - read the article if only for the pictures.

The burrow entrance of Euoplos crenatus, with its peculiar ‘crenate’ burrow door. Photo (c) Michael Rix

Trapdoors are mygalomorph spiders, along with the mouse spiders, whistling spiders and funnelwebs. There are over 500 named species of mygalomorph spiders in Australia, with many more still to be described.

Because of their biology, many, including the five new ones described here, are short-range endemics. This both increases the chances that new species await discovery, and makes their documentation more important, because many short-range endemic mygalomorphs are rare and vulnerable to extinction.

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