New Delhi: A new trapdoor spider species has been discovered from India by a team of researchers led by Dr Sanjay Keshari Das, an assistant professor – University School of Environment Management, IP University.
The spider was traced on a lane leading to an open plantation area close to a forest area near Nayagram village of West Bengal by Dr Suman Pratihar, assistant professor and his graduate student Chandan Dandpath, Keshpur College, West Bengal during field survey in lockdown period this year.
Dr Das said the area being part of the Gangetic plain where wildlife faces large scale anthropogenic pressure, this new discovery is highly significant for science as many species going to be extinct before they come into our knowledge.
The new species comes under family Idiopidae representing front-eyed trapdoors.
Females live in tubular burrows with their walls lined by silk and having a cork-shape silk-lined lid at the entrance used as a door. Males are smaller in size, wandering and occasionally live in burrow.
The species was named as Idiopsmedina, taken from the type locality belonging to undivided Paschim Medinipur.
The information about the new species has been published by journal Serket and in the World Spider Catalog maintained by Natural History Museum Bern.
At present, total 3,111 species of mygalomorph spiders are described in the world under 358 genera in 30 families. However, in India these spiders remain poorly documented with reporting of only 112 species under 32 genera in 9 families. With this discovery the species under the genus Idiops goes to 99 in the world and 17 in India.
Dr Pratihar added West Bengal has a perfect habitat for ancient mygalomorph spiders, which needs to be explored meticulously.