Australia Unveils Discovery Of A New 'Giant' Spider

When Australia is mentioned, the conversation often turns to its unsettling collection of creepy crawlers.

From the venomous snakes to the less alarming kangaroos, and, of course, the spiders, the country is home to a number of notorious creatures.

Fear of spiders is a common phobia, and many of us try to steer clear of them whenever we can.

A survey conducted by Graham Davey of City University London revealed that out of 118 respondents, a remarkable 75 percent admitted to harboring a fear of spiders.

For those who are not particularly fond of these eight-legged creatures, any news relating to spiders in Australia is hardly welcome (apologies).

Adding to Australia's already-extensive list of wildlife, scientists have recently uncovered a new species of spider in the country.

Furthermore, the spider has been labeled as 'colossal' after its official classification in Queensland.

The newly identified species, named Euoplos Dignitas, is exclusively present in the Brigalow Belt of Central Queensland.

The study was carried out by scientists from the Queensland Museum, who have provided information on its distinctive characteristics.

This species is a sizable trapdoor spider that inhabits open woodland environments, constructing its burrows in the dark soils found throughout Central Queensland.

The spider's peculiar name, derived from the Latin term 'dignitas,' meaning grandeur or majesty, is a testament to its enormous size.

Additionally, the name pays homage to Project DIG, a research initiative by the Queensland Museum that provided assistance for the study, including fieldwork, genetic analysis, and laboratory investigations.

Unfortunately, Euoplos dignitas is classified as an endangered species due to the significant loss of its natural habitat resulting from land clearing.

Dr. Jeremy Wilson, a research assistant in arachnology at the Queensland Museum, stated that he particularly appreciates the type of work they undertake at the museum.

"You get to come into the collection and look through specimens from across Australia and you just never know what you're going to find."

"When you then get to see that through to the end, which is giving a name to that species and knowing that that species is now known to everyone and can be protected."

In the meantime, Dr. Michael Rix, the leading arachnologist at the museum, commented: "The females, which are the larger trapdoor spiders of the two sexes, they're almost five centimeters in body length.

"They've got these really cryptic trapdoors in these woodland habitats on the ground and most people wouldn't even realize that they're there."