Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

New spider species is largest of its type in Middle East

Date:
January 11, 2010
Source:
University of Haifa
Summary:
A new and previously unknown species of spider has been discovered in the dune of the Sands of Samar in the southern Arava region of Israel. Unfortunately, however, its habitat is endangered.

A new species of spider -- Cerbalus aravensis -- is the largest of its type in the Middle East, scientists in Israel say.
Credit: Photo by Yael Olek, courtesy of the University of Haifa

A new and previously unknown species of spider has been discovered in the dune of the Sands of Samar in the southern Arava region of Israel by a team of scientists from the Department of Biology in the University of Haifa-Oranim. Unfortunately, however, its habitat is endangered.

Related Articles


"The discovery of this new spider illustrates our obligation to preserve the dune," says Dr. Shanas, who headed the team of scientists.

The Sands of Samar are the last remaining sand dune in Israeli territory in the southern Arava region. In the past, the sands stretched across some 7 square kilometers, but due to the rezoning of areas for agriculture and sand quarries, the sands have been reduced to fewer than 3 square kilometers.

During a course of studies that Dr. Shanas's research team has carried out in the region, they discovered this new spider, a member of the Cerbalus genus. Since it has been found in the Arava, it has been given the name Cerbalus aravensis.

The researchers say that this spider's leg-span can reach up to 14 cm., which makes it the largest spider of its type in the Middle East. Even though details are still lacking to enable a full analysis of its biology and of its population in the sands, the scientists know that this is a nocturnal spider, mostly active in the hottest months of the year, and that it constructs an underground den which is closed with a "lifting door" made of sand particles that are glued together to camouflage the den.

The scientists' excitement is indeed mixed with apprehension. According to Dr. Shanas, the Israel Land Administration intends to renew mining projects in the Sands of Samar in the near future, which will endanger the existence of the newly discovered spider. He adds that it is possible that there are additional unknown animal species living in the sands, and therefore efforts should be made to preserve this unique region in the Arava.

"The new discovery shows how much we still have to investigate, and that there are likely to be many more species that are unknown to us. If we do not preserve the few habitats that remain for these species, they will become extinct before we can even discover them," Dr. Shanas concludes.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Haifa. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Haifa. "New spider species is largest of its type in Middle East." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 11 January 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100111102534.htm>.
University of Haifa. (2010, January 11). New spider species is largest of its type in Middle East. ScienceDaily. Retrieved February 26, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100111102534.htm
University of Haifa. "New spider species is largest of its type in Middle East." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/01/100111102534.htm (accessed February 26, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

The Amazon Keeps Its Green Thanks To The Sahara Desert

The Amazon Keeps Its Green Thanks To The Sahara Desert

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) Satellite data shows the Amazon rainforest supports its lush flora with a little help from Sahara Desert dust. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Mayor Says District of Columbia to Go Ahead With Pot Legalization

Reuters - News Video Online (Feb. 25, 2015) Washington&apos;s mayor says the District of Columbia will move forward with marijuana legalization, despite pushback from Congress. Rough Cut (no reporter narration). Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Marijuana Nowhere Near As Deadly As Alcohol: Study

Newsy (Feb. 25, 2015) A new study says marijuana is about 114 times less deadly than alcohol. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Fox With Horrifying Injury Rescued and Released Back Into the Wild

Fox With Horrifying Injury Rescued and Released Back Into the Wild

RightThisMinute (Feb. 25, 2015) This wounded fox knew what she was doing when she wandered into the yard of a nature photographer. The photographer got "Scamp" immediately in the hands of Wildlife Aid and she was released back into the wild in no time. Video provided by RightThisMinute
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:

Strange & Offbeat Stories


Plants & Animals

Earth & Climate

Fossils & Ruins

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins