Seven new species of spider, including a type of tarantula completely new to science, have been discovered in a Northern Territory national park.
The discoveries were made by a team participating in the Bush Blitz nature program which saw 16 scientists, Indigenous rangers and field assistants, searching the 1.3m hectare Judbarra park for new species.
“The spider team, led by Dr Robert Raven from the Queensland Museum, had had their heads down all day in search of spider holes when luck finally struck and they spotted a promising burrow,” Professor David McInnes, chief executive of Earthwatch, said in a statement.
“Sophie Harrison, a PhD student from the University of Adelaide, started digging and found a tarantula so new and different that it doesn’t fit into any of the existing genus of spider species. It looks just as you’d expect, brown and hairy. But the scientists say it’s beautiful!”