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From Darwin to moramora ('take it easy'): Ten new subsocial spider species from Madagascar

Date:
June 22, 2015
Source:
Pensoft Publishers
Summary:
A thorough research on nearly 400 Madagascan subsocial spider colonies adds to the unique biodiversity and endemism on the exotic island. Not only did the scientists find as many as ten new cobweb spider species, but they also gave them some very honorary and curious names.
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This is a Madagascan cobweb spider species, A. darwini, named after the father of evolutionary biology Charles Darwin.
Credit: Ingi Agnarsson; CC-BY 4.0

Ten subsocial cobweb spider species were discovered in a research on nearly 400 Madagascan colonies, conducted by Dr. Agnarsson's team. Most of them are single forest endemics and belong to one genus, Anelosimus.

The number of newly found species in an otherwise ongoingly deforested area such as Madagascar triggers the need for additional samplings, the research team point out.

In their report the scientists also stress on the fact that the extraordinary biodiversity there is still "mostly unexplored and undescribed" in terms of "many arthropod groups, such as spiders." The California Academy of Sciences is one of the few institutions to have thoroughly looked into Madagascan spider research.

Curiously, five of the new species bare the names of the staple figures within the field of evolutionary biology: Wallace, Huxley, Buffon, Hooker and Lamarck. The Anelosimus darwini derives its name from the father of evolutionary biology Charles Darwin himself.

Yet, another one out of the ten species, Anelosimus moramora, got its name from the Madagascan motto 'no rush' or 'take it easy.'

Dr. Agnarsson led the research in the biodiversity hotspot of Madagascar on behalf of both the University of Vermont's Biology department and the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History. The study can be found in the open-access journal ZooKeys.


Story Source:

Materials provided by Pensoft Publishers. The original story is licensed under a Creative Commons License. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.


Journal Reference:

  1. Ingi Agnarsson, Brian B. Jencik, Giselle M. Veve, Sahondra Hanitriniaina, Diego Agostini, Seok Ping Goh, Jonathan Pruitt, Matjaž Kuntner. Systematics of the Madagascar Anelosimus spiders: remarkable local richness and endemism, and dual colonization from the Americas. ZooKeys, 2015; 509: 13 DOI: 10.3897/zookeys.509.8897

Cite This Page:

Pensoft Publishers. "From Darwin to moramora ('take it easy'): Ten new subsocial spider species from Madagascar." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 22 June 2015. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150622124640.htm>.
Pensoft Publishers. (2015, June 22). From Darwin to moramora ('take it easy'): Ten new subsocial spider species from Madagascar. ScienceDaily. Retrieved May 26, 2017 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150622124640.htm
Pensoft Publishers. "From Darwin to moramora ('take it easy'): Ten new subsocial spider species from Madagascar." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2015/06/150622124640.htm (accessed May 26, 2017).

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