Spider a good hider
A NEW spider species may have been discovered in the Daintree rainforest.
On a recent field trip the green, translucent spider was photographed by owner of Cooper Creek Wilderness Tours Neil Hewett.
Mr Hewett said he had never seen a spider like it in all the 24 years he has been in the rainforest and it is the first time, as far as he can determine, it has been photographed along with its spiderlings.
“Even seeing this amazing spider with its newly hatched brood is an achievement, but its identification is yet another challenge for Cooper Creek Wilderness and the Daintree rainforest,” Mr Hewett said.
Mr Hewett said he saw shading on a leaf of the small-leaved fire vine, almost like a silhouette. He then discovered the green camouflaged female spider and young blending in beautifully with its green surrounds.
“We don’t like to be nuisances to any of the animals here, so we try to identify as much as we can from reliable sources and an excellent website, www.findaspider.org.au has images of many spiders found in southeast Queensland and has helped us a great deal in the past,” Mr Hewett said.
“This elegant specimen was not there, so our next step was to appeal to the author of this site, arachnid expert Ron Atkinson, who has helped us to identify many species during the years.”
Mr Atkinson was equally baffled by the sighting.
“This is not a spider I recognise,” Mr Atkinson said.
“Its leg arrangement is suggestive of a huntsman (Family Sparassidae) and some of the Australian Neosparassus species are green. However, the eye pattern does not look like that of a typical huntsman and I have never previously seen a sparassid (single specimen) with what looks like a sharply narrowed end to its abdomen.
“This specimen illustrates the fact that there are so many North Queensland spider species still waiting to be discovered and named.”