Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

And then there was light! Discovery of the world's first eyeless huntsman spider

Date:
August 9, 2012
Source:
Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum
Summary:
A scientist has discovered the first eyeless huntsman spider in the world. With a leg span of only six centimetres and a body size of around twelve millimetres, the spider Sinopoda scurion is certainly not one of the largest representatives of the huntsman spiders, which include more than 1100 species. However, it is the first of its kind in the world without any eyes.

Front view of Sinopoda scurion – The spider’s eyes are completely missing.
Credit: © Senckenberg

A scientist from the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt has discovered the first eyeless huntsman spider in the world. The accompanying study has been published by the scientific journal Zootaxa.

Related Articles


With a leg span of only six centimetres and a body size of around twelve millimetres, the spider Sinopoda scurion is certainly not one of the largest representatives of the huntsman spiders, which include more than 1100 species. However, it is the first of its kind in the world without any eyes.

"I found the spider in a cave in Laos, around 100 kilometres away from the famous Xe Bang Fai cave," reports Peter Jäger, head of the arachnology section at the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt. "We already knew of spiders of this genus from other caves, but they always had eyes and complete pigmentation. Sinopoda scurion is the first huntsman spider without eyes."

The regression of the eyes is attributable to living permanently without daylight. This adaptation was also observed in other cave-dwelling spider species by the Frankfurt arachnologist. "The Sinopoda species described demonstrate all kinds of transitions to cave adaptation -- from eight functioning eyes to forms with six, four and two lenses, right up to blind spiders," explains Jäger.

The spiders are in good company: fish, scorpions and crabs that have adapted to caves have already been found in the caves of Laos.

In total, the Frankfurt spider researchers have described nine new species of the genus Sinopoda. The fact that all of the species have been found in caves confirms the animals' preference for underground habitats. Because of the small-scale area in which the spider species can be found it is possible to study their adjustment to the cave as a dwelling -- the number of eyes present and the visual faculty may possibly shed light on the time of settlement. "Furthermore, the spiders can be used as indicators for the threat to their habitats. These are often endangered by tourism or the exploitation of the limestone rocks to make cement," says Jäger.

The eyeless huntsman spider was named after the Swiss company "Scurion" that makes headlamps for caves. "Sinopoda scurion is the first species that I have named after a company in the context of the Patrons for Biodiversity programme," explains Jäger. "The headlamps by Scurion help me to illuminate the darkest corners on my cave trips, and thus recognise hazards such as poisonous snakes and scorpions, but also discover very small organisms."


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum. "And then there was light! Discovery of the world's first eyeless huntsman spider." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 9 August 2012. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120809090431.htm>.
Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum. (2012, August 9). And then there was light! Discovery of the world's first eyeless huntsman spider. ScienceDaily. Retrieved January 25, 2015 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120809090431.htm
Senckenberg Research Institute and Natural History Museum. "And then there was light! Discovery of the world's first eyeless huntsman spider." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/08/120809090431.htm (accessed January 25, 2015).

Share This


More From ScienceDaily



More Plants & Animals News

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Florida Might Legalize Black Bear Hunting

Newsy (Jan. 24, 2015) — A string of black bear attacks has Florida officials considering lifting the ban on hunting the animals to control their population. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Ebola Killing Large Portion Of Ape Population

Newsy (Jan. 23, 2015) — Experts estimate Ebola has wiped out one-third of the world&apos;s gorillas and chimpanzees. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Controversy Shrouds Captive Killer Whale in Miami

Reuters - Light News Video Online (Jan. 23, 2015) — Activists hope the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Agency (NOAA) will label killer whales endangered, allowing lawyers to sue a Miami aquarium to release an orca into the wild after 44 years. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

‘Healthy’ Foods That Surprisingly Pack on Pounds

Buzz60 (Jan. 23, 2015) — Some &apos;healthy&apos; foods are actually fattening. Fitness and nutrition expert John Basedow (@JohnBasedow) shines a light on the sneaky foods like nuts, seeds, granola, trail mix, avocados, guacamole, olive oil, peanut butter, fruit juices and salads that are good for you...but not so much for your waistline. Video provided by Buzz60
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