9 Amazing New Arachnid Species


You’ve got your spiders, scorpions, harvestmen,
ticks, and mites… Arachnids aren’t the most popular group
of animals – lots of people think they’re scary or just plain old pests. But they are fascinating, and important parts
of ecosystems all around the world. Whether they’re dancing, hunting, or being
a pain in the nose, there have been lots of amazing new arachnid species discovered or
officially described in just the last five years. We’ll start with a new species of peacock
spider, which are basically the birds-of-paradise of the arachnid world. This little guy – just a few millimeters
long – is called Maratus bubo [ma-RAH-tus BOO-boe] since his abdomen kinda happens to
look like a horned owl. He’s one of seven new peacock spiders officially
announced in May 2016, and was discovered in 2015 by Jürgen Otto [Yur-gen] and David
Knowles, who were out spider-hunting in southwest Australia. These brightly colored males strut their stuff
to find a mate, and their dances are pretty impressive: Lifting two middle legs to frame his bright
abdomen, he shimmies from side-to-side and jiggles his booty – eyes locked on his audience-of-one. This is supposed to show off how healthy he
is, since he’s hoping to pass on his genes to the next generation of spiders. Otto and his colleague David Hill have helped
discover and categorize dozens of peacock spiders, and more movers-and-shakers could
be on the way soon. Jürgen Otto found this other new species
in 2015 – a jumping spider that was just sitting on his luggage as he unpacked from
a camping trip! This critter doesn’t have the mad dancing
flair of peacock spiders, and takes a more cautious approach to wooing the ladies…
almost like playing “peek-a-boo.” The males have large hairy paddles on two
of their middle legs, which are important in finding a mate. See, he’ll hide just out of his potential
mate’s view – like, on the other side of a leaf – then stick out one of these
paddles and wave. Now, female spiders of lots of species generally
attack, kill, or even eat the males. And Otto noticed that most of the females
were lunging at the male spiders’ waving leg paddles. So, at first, Otto thought the male spider
was trying to tire the female into submission… but eventually the males just gave up and
scurried away. More research suggested it might have to do
with finding out the female’s personality, or even whether she’s mated before. Certain spider species will only mate once,
so if she’s aggressive, it might mean she can’t mate anymore. But if she sits still and tolerates his coy
waving long enough, he’ll consider it an invitation to make a more… personal introduction. This next spider may not have any fancy decorations,
but it’s got its own signature move: the flic-flac or back handspring. It seems to move like a normal spider at first. But when it’s startled, it turns into a
leggy tumbleweed and flings itself away from danger, or straight at whatever disturbed
it – y’know, to act all macho and intimidating. It can flip forwards or backwards. But usually, the spider /pushes off/ of its
front legs and front-handsprings across the sand or even up slopes! It’s the only spider known to move this
way, and could even keep up with a human jogger. But such a high-energy move needs to be saved
for emergency situations, or this spider would be exhausted. The flic-flac spider was discovered in 2009
by Ingo Rechenberg [REHH-en-berg], a bionics professor from Berlin who was visiting the
Erg Chebbi [urg cheh-bee] desert in Morocco. Rechenberg was so impressed by the spider’s
tumbling that he built some rolling robots that mimic its movement – especially to
help the robots move across sand, a notoriously challenging terrain. He also showed the spider to arachnologist
Peter Jäger [YAY-ger] from the Senckenberg [ZEN-ken-berg] Research Institute in Frankfurt,
who officially described the new species in 2014, and named it after its discoverer. How many eyes do spiders have? You might be thinking eight… but not always! This new species of huntsman spider, discovered
by Peter Jäger in a cave in Laos [lao], has /zero/. If you spend your life in the pitch black,
it’s better to use energy for other senses like smell or touch, because vision isn’t
gonna help you get around. So it’s not unusual for animals living deep
underground, underwater, or in caves to lose their eyesight over evolutionary time. But this spider’s not just blind – it’s
completely eyeless. No lenses, no light detecting pigments, just
a smooth, featureless face above those menacing fangs. Jäger found other new huntsmen spider species
in the Laos caves, but none of them had completely gotten rid of their eyes! That being said, some of the species’ eyes
were more developed than others, ranging from a complete-looking set of eight, to two tiny
remnants that probably didn’t do much. We’ve got a lot to learn before we understand
why these spiders live in such similar environments, but apparently see the world so differently. Lots of people have heard Spiderman’s origin
story… over and over again, thanks to all the reboots… but the origin of /spiders/
is much more mysterious to scientists. However new research published in March 2016
on a proto-spider, or almost-spider, fossil from France tells us more of this ancient
story. In fact, they even named this proto-spider
after a Greek myth – Arachne [uh-rock-knee or uh-rack-knee] who was turned into a spider
by the goddess Athena for her pride, and her father Idmon [id-mahn]. The 305-million-year-old fossil is stunningly
well-preserved – it’s even in 3D! And the team of researchers, headed by Russell
Garwood from the University of Manchester, used high-res scanning techniques to create
a detailed “virtual fossil.” That way, they could study how it compares
to modern spiders. It /does/ look a lot like a spider, which
suggests that this body plan is pretty ancient. But it doesn’t have spinnerets, those silk-spinning
organs that all modern spiders have. The researchers think this proto-spider /did/
have a simple way to make silk. But without spinnerets it wouldn’t have
had enough control to make intricate webs – the silk would just kinda spurt out. So they think the fossil is an ancient cousin,
not a direct ancestor of the modern spider. And spinnerets must’ve appeared in a later,
separate part of the spider’s history. In the forests around the southwest Oregon
mountains, there lives a creature known as Cryptomaster behemoth [be-HE-moth]. It might sound like something out of a conspiracy
theory, but this little monster is real. But it’s /not/ a spider. It’s a harvestman, which some people call
daddy-long-legs. In 1969, the Cryptomaster leviathan [Le-VYE-uh-thun]
was discovered, and named for its secretive behavior and large body size compared to other
daddy-long-legs. For decades, it was thought to be one-of-a-kind
in the genus… until January this year. A team from San Diego University collected
77 Cryptomaster daddy-long-legs from 14 different regions of southern Oregon. And they /weren’t/ all similar. Careful measurements of body parts, mapping
their habitats, and genetic analyses all confirmed that the Cryptomaster genus was really two
species, not just one. So, they had to pick a name for this sister
species. And what’s worthy enough to match the biblical
leviathan? Well, a behemoth of course! Mites are one of the smallest and most diverse
group of arachnids – including the things that live on your face, or the dust mites
in your bed. This cool worm-like mite species, called the
buckeye dragon mite, was discovered by Samuel Bolton in the /exotic/ soil of the Ohio State
University campus and described in 2014. It /might/ [pun emphasis up to Aranda] not
look like much at first, but electron microscopy reveals a whole new beast. It’s a microbivore, or something that feeds
on single-celled organisms like yeast and bacteria – but only the juices inside. Bolton’s team studied this mite’s intricate
mouthparts and think its feeding habits probably resemble something between a hamster and a
trash compactor. Here’s their hypothesis: as the mite travels
through the soil, special cup-shaped hairs near its mouth attract microbes through intermolecular
forces. The microbes get stored in a little pouch
above its mouth. And when the time is right, the researchers
think a pincer stabs into the pouch, crushing the cells until they burst and release all
those delicious juices. The team hasn’t observed the buckeye dragon
mite feeding to test their theory, but they think this technique would extract lots of
nutritious microbial goop – great for living in poor quality soil where food is hard to
come by. To discover a new arachnid, sometimes you
just need to follow your nose. Not that researcher Tony Goldberg had much
of a choice. After a research trip to Kibale [ki-BALL-ay],
Uganda in 2012, he returned to his University of Wisconsin-Madison lab and felt a sharp
pain up his right nostril. And he discovered… a tick. These bloodsuckers are well known for latching
onto skin, but the nose thing isn’t well understood. And this tick’s DNA wasn’t a match for
any known species, so it /could/ be a new one. To know for sure, the team needs to do some
more research. But the tick did inspire a different kind
of study: Goldberg researches diseases that are transmitted
between humans and animals. And he wanted to study whether /chimpanzees/
in Kibale also had these nose ticks – especially because ticks can spread some pretty nasty
diseases. He called up some colleagues who had hundreds
of photos of young chimp faces for their own research on facial development, and at least
20% of them had nostril stowaways! It seems really unlikely that so many ticks
would get randomly get lost and end up in their noses, so it could be a survival strategy
– to avoid being caught by social grooming. Brazil is one of the most biodiverse places
on Earth, and can be a great place to find new species. So two researchers from Rio de Janeiro and
Copenhagen thought that the number of Brazilian whip spiders was suspiciously low compared
to nearby countries. And they wanted to test if this was really
true, or just a gap in the research. Whip spiders are not actually spiders, despite
their name and looks. They don’t have silk or venom glands like
most spiders, and use spiny claw-like pedipalps to catch insect and small vertebrate prey. The “whips” are modified front legs that
work as touch and chemical sensors, which help them navigate the caves and forest floors
where they live. The researchers scoured Brazilian museum collections
for whip spiders from the Amazon, focusing on one genus called Charinus [CHAIR-in-us
or maybe CARE-in-us because Latin?]. Taking painstaking measurements of specimens’
legs, eyes, and genitals, they uncovered 8 new whip spiders native to Brazil – almost
doubling the known species in the Charinus genus as of February 2016. Work like this helps understand the area’s
full biodiversity while it’s still there, since these whip spiders’ habitats are threatened
by dam building, deforestation, and mining. So even though they get a bad rep sometimes,
all these new arachnid species have their own, awesome stories and niche on Earth. Thanks to Jürgen Otto, Ingo Rechenberg, Peter
Jäger, Russell Garwood, James Starrett, Samuel Bolton, Tony Goldberg and Gustavo Silva de
Miranda for their help with this episode, and thanks to all of our patrons on Patreon
who make this show possible. If you want to help us keep making videos
like this, just go to patreon.com/scishow And don’t forget to go to youtube.com/scishow
and subscribe!

100 thoughts on “9 Amazing New Arachnid Species”

  1. That close up of the spider with now eyes freak me the F out so bad I just couldn't finish the video

  2. Jumping spiders always look so cute! Maybe it's just because my friend has a scorpion and a tarantula, but I appreciate arachnids, even the solpugids and scorpions!

  3. Aren't the Brazilian Whip Spiders the things that Mad Eye Moody used to demonstrate the Unforgivable Curses in Harry Potter?

  4. I like to dance. Let me dance for you. (And maybe mate with you)

  5. doesnt it sorta make sense that the dance is for a sign of health if the thing about spiders having asthma/low stamina is true(im wishy washy on that honestly)

  6. "Moroccan Flic-Flac Spider" sounds like an awesome bebop band. And if "Cryptomaster Leviathan" isn't already a deathmetal band, something is seriously awry with the world.

  7. 8 new species of whip spiders? "By taking pain-staking measurements" of various body parts, they decided they had 8 new species. If I'm taller than my dad, or my right index finger is shorter than my mom's, does that make me a new species? This shouldn't take pain-staking anything.

  8. I have discovered many insect species but a westerner will finally be the one to "discover" it and name them after them.

  9. I honestly didn't know that Daddy Longlegs…es aren't technically spiders. Harvestmen? Huh. Never heard of those. I actually learned something today! Especially relevant since it seems we get those things crawling around the house _every freaking summer_, and they're about the size of my palm. 😛 (I have small hands, but still…)

  10. J'ai combattu la phobie des arthropodes à 33 ans et j'ai réussi à la surpasser en m’intéressant à eux et en les respectant. Maintenant je les trouve mignons…
    I fought my arthropodes' phobia at 33 and I overcomed it by getting curious and respecting them. Now I think they are cute…

  11. I discovered a new spider just this morning I call it Bob spider and is currently taken up residents in my shower. anyone have an idea for eviction

  12. Why did i watch this video…

    Oh right, suffer from having arachnophobia…

    Very informal video by the way 🙂

  13. I love arachnids. There’s a harvestman I’ve named Charliey that hangs around my house. Mostly in my room or the back deck when the house is too cold since my family wants nothing to do with any arachnid whatsoever.

  14. Petition to rename Maratus bubo to Maratus autobot (how can you see anything in that back but Optimus Prime???)

  15. I hate parasites, but the tick can just burn to death. They have no natural enemies, they are notorious for being gross, passing on pretty terrible diseases that kill animals and affect humans for years

    I wouldn't want to pet a scorpion, but they are definitely part of an ecosystem, both hunters and hunted.
    Spiders are awesome. I know they scare people, but they are so useful for getting rid of things you don't want in your house. In fact the best thing for that is not even an arachnids, it's a pretty terrifying centipede that will eat any other small creature or insect in your home. It's not attracted at all to human scraps, dust etc. It is an insectivore. In a lot of places people actually buy some to get rid of an infestation, or just to have in case. They look terrifying, but they're actually extremely shy and will bolt like a bat outta hell to stay hidden. When they don't they are actually decently docile. I'm sure they don't like being pet, their species would have no use for the idea at all, but some do in fact tolerate it.
    Much like a jumping spider is more curious or shy.

    The first two in the video were jumping spiders. Often used as a stepping stone for aracnaphobes because they are cute by "insect" measures, are actually pretty smart and not even that cruel to their partners or children. You can find them sometimes carrying one of their young, wearing water droplets as hats, or being insanely good hunters.

    Even mosquitoes have a purpose as food, and in comparison, with the exception of spreading disease, they aren't at all as invasive or a problem in certain parts of the world. A mosquito you can generally deal with in a 1st sometimes 2nd world country. A tick from anywhere is terrifying. They stay on you, burrowing their fangs to grip you till they're so full they fall off. You have to twist a special way to make sure the fangs don't dislodge and stay in your body. If they feel threatened on you they will expel their innards and essentially implode and die.

    They are nearly sort of the amalgamation of gluttony and extreme resumes. They also have NO natural predators except birds and a few other things that are often more opportunistic than making it part of their main diet.. No creature seeks to eat them, it only happens in passing like with grooming. They wait in the grass and cling on when you pass by then travel to a spot to feed off of. They're also very resilient, hard to kill, because they are small and almost feel like a tiny rock with their exoskeleton. If any creature has enough of these terrible useless abominations, they will eventually die, because they can actually slowly gorge to get a LOT of blood. Often this is when they become noticed in the first place. To add another layer of anger, horror and disgust, there is a species that is large enough and forgoes waiting on you door way panel, and just straight up chases you out right. Where I live they've found a few, dead on imported plants, fruits etc (Also do not complain about your goods being checked, especially if they are organic and perishable because they are checking for diseases, parasites, animals that can ruin local eco systems.)
    Even if there might be some things we can learn from them, I strongly feel that the worth we'd get is not worth the risk that is proposed to our pets and even ourselves, as they have two diseases that are interchangeable to humans and our pets. if we get the same tick that carries it. One of them doesn't show up in humans for 2-3 years and when it does, you will get a couple years disability, because you can't lay down or stand. It's an inflammation of the brain.

    There are a lot of creatures we may hate that have use, environment, food chain, ecological system, etc but ticks have NONE of that. They steal blood and kill, going to extreme measures to get the job done. Not even worth sharing our planet. Mosquitoes can stay, leaches can stay, heck a lot of relatively harmless parasites can stay, because they have use, but ticks can die in poison, fire, explosion I don't care

  16. So.. what your telling me is..
    Both (New England Comics) The Tick and (Marvel Comics) Spider-man are arachnid-based heros..

    Neat.

  17. The combination of your face & voice are so relaxing that I, suffering from arachnophobia, was able to watch this video without being triggered…

  18. That flic-flac spider looks like a cartoon. Just add the cheesy sound effect and boom.

  19. How do yo know if those spiders are new??? They may have been there for thousands of years, only maybe yo R 2 stupid to know they exist. Or, more stupider, these spiders are just "new" to this channel!

  20. Good gosh. I am totally appreciative of what spiders do in nature. All I ask is don’t crawl on me/touch me and don’t show up in my inbox on YouTube. I’m still traumatized by watching that one thing on the Brazilian wandering spider. :Shivers: 😱😱😱😱

  21. The Peacock Jumping, and the Pee A Boo are my favorites…flic-flac🕷 spider? WTHeck?
    A flic-flac Break dancing spider! 🤣

  22. Brazil is one of the most, interesting places to look for new species. Mosquitoes as big as your hand. Huge ants almost 2 inches long, and dangerous spiders that can kill a man within seconds. Avoid walking around barefooted, there's these tiny worms that can get in your toenails, and eat through your skin.
    Be careful and stay safe.

  23. Sorry if you already caught this, but the binomial nomenclature for the Buckeye Dragon Mite is the same as the Proto-spider, which I’m assuming is a typo. I only realized it because you pointed out how it was named for Arachne and her father (which I didn’t know his name until this, thanks!)

    Great video! Keep em coming!

  24. Er, actually, Athena turned Arachne into a spider because Arachne beat her at a weaving contest. The Greek Gods were ridiculously petty.

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