A New Species Of Spider Was Discovered At The Miami Zoo

The zoo has only discovered males so far.

A New Species Of Spider Was Discovered At The Miami Zoo

Sorry world, a new spider has been discovered at the Miami Zoo, and it looks quite horrifying.

The Pine Rockland Trapdoor Spider (Ummidia Richmond) was discovered by zoo staff in 2012, in the critically endangered pine rocklands environment that surrounds the zoo. It was not confirmed as a new species until specimens were sent to Dr. Rebecca Godwin of Piedmont College, who was able to confirm that the creepy crawler was new to humans.

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"The fact that a new species like this could be found in a fragment of endangered forest in the middle of the city underscores the importance of preserving these ecosystems before we lose not only what we know, but also what is still to be discovered," said Frank Ridgley, DVM, Zoo Miami's conservation & veterinary services manager. "Venoms of related species have been found to contain compounds with potential use as pain medications and cancer treatments."

Spiders of the Trapdoor family are in fact venomous but they are described as a "low risk" to humans as they rarely bite. If they do, though, it can be painful due to their fangs.

The new species has not been documented anywhere else but the pine rockland fragments around the zoo. Only about 1.5% of the pine rocklands outside Everglades National Park are actually left in Miami-Dade County, leading researchers to believe the species may already be near extinction.

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