Incredible new species of wolf spider is discovered in Australia – and it’s VERY hairy
Every arachnophobe’s worst nightmare has been confirmed after a new species of spider was unearthed by an inquisitive 11-year-old.
The new species of wolf spider was found last year on Deal Island off the coast north-east of Tasmania, where young Murphy Widdowson was staying while his parents were working on the island.
Murphy contacted Launceston’s Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery to identify the species, a task that left resident spider expert John Douglas stumped.
Tasmanian schoolboy Murphy Widdowson, 11, (pictured) unearthed the new spider species
A specimen was sent to spider taxonomist Dr Volker Framenau in Western Australia to identify the species and has since been called Artoriopsis murphyi in honour of the inquisitive schoolboy.
Museum staff and volunteers recently held a special presentation to celebrate Murphy’s achievements which was attended by his proud family and teacher and included an ‘Artoriopsis murphyi’ cake!
While new species are common, few arachnologists in Australia have the time or ability to describe spiders, according to Mr Douglas.
The new species of wolf spider has since been called Artoriopsis murphyi (pictured)
‘It looks fairly similar to the look of wolf spiders in this genus … and it was only really under a microscope you could pick it was a different species [through its unique sex organs],’ he told the Examiner.
The latest species of spider is not venomous to humans.
‘This one is five millimetres, if it bit you I doubt you would even feel it if it penetrated your skin,’ Mr Douglas said
Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery’s resident spider expert John Douglas (left) stumped when Murphy (right) contacted him to identify a spider species he found on Deal Island