Door opens on re­search

Sci­en­tists use Eidsvold res­i­dent’s grand­fa­ther’s work in new trap­door spi­der study

Central and North Burnett Times - - NEWS - Emily Smith

EIDSVOLD’S Eve­lyn and Tom Ban­croft have helped link trap­door spi­der re­search across a gen­er­a­tion.

They hosted two vis­it­ing sci­en­tists re­cently who were seek­ing to un­der­stand work that had been car­ried out by Mr Ban­croft’s grand­fa­ther be­tween 1910-1930.

His grand­fa­ther, also Dr Tom Ban­croft, was a pi­o­neer­ing early re­searcher of trap­door spi­ders, and his work has pro­vided a crit­i­cal link in a three-year Aus­tralia-wide

Dr Michael Rix

We found all six species (in Eidsvold) in just a few hours, and we will now use molec­u­lar-level anal­y­sis to con­firm their iden­ti­fi­ca­tion.

study into trap­door spi­ders by Dr Michael Rix and PhD stu­dent Sophie Har­ri­son.

The Univer­sity of Ade­laide andWestern Aus­tralian Mu­seum sci­en­tists agree Dr Ban­croft’s knowl­edge is the foun­da­tion of what is known about trap­door spi­ders found in this area.

The doc­tor was in the Eidsvold area for 20 years and, when he was not work­ing as a med­i­cal of­fi­cer, he col­lected bi­o­log­i­cal spec­i­mens to send to the Aus­tralian mu­seum in Syd­ney.

Dr Ban­croft col­lected six species of lo­cal trap­door spi­ders in that time and one, the aganippe ban­crofti, was named af­ter him.

“It was crit­i­cal for us to col­lect the same species from the same parts of Eidsvold Dr Ban­croft would have worked, to pro­vide some con­text be­hind this un­der­stand­ing,” Dr Rix said.

He said there were hun­dreds of species of trap­door spi­ders around Aus­tralia, many that had not yet been cat­a­logued.

He said their study would help them con­firm if these same species were found any­where else.

“We found all six species (in Eidsvold) in just a few hours, and we will now use molec­u­lar-level anal­y­sis to con­firm their iden­ti­fi­ca­tion,” he said.

Re­sults will be pub­lished in the next 18 months.

Lo­cal hosts Eve­lyn and Tom Ban­croft were happy to be able to pro­vide such a big help for the vis­it­ing sci­en­tists.

“It was lovely to have such en­thu­si­as­tic people, we showed them Dr Tom’s old mi­cro­scope and they were just rapt with it,” Eve­lyn said.


STUDY: Eve­lyn and Tom Ban­croft, the grand­son of pi­o­neer­ing sci­en­tist Dr Tom Ban­croft, hosted Dr Michael Rix and PhD stu­dent Sophie Har­ri­son on their Eidsvold property last month, so they could delve fur­ther into the re­search of trap­door spi­ders.

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