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Eight new species of Whip spider found in the Brazilian Amazon

One of the new species of whip spider discovered in Brazil. (Image Courtesy: Google)

According to the recent study being published in the Journal of PLOS ONE, they have identified eight newer species of the whip spiders from the northern Brazil, being located in the Amazon rain forest. These whip spiders being also known as tailless whip scorpions but they are not harmful for the human beings. They are not being considered so well known scientifically and being considered one of the less diverse group of arachnids.

They are being almost an inch long being hanging out in the lead litter being located in the rain forest floor or in the caves. Gustavo Miranda along with her fellow scientist Alessandro Giupponi commenting over the same says that the size and the kind of living habitat makes them difficult to collect and even to tell about them.

The whip spider, also known as a tailless whip scorpion, is a cross between a spider and a scorpion. It is an arachnid that is harmless to humans, with no silk glands or venomous fangs. One of the new species called Charinus carajas is pictured. (Image Courtesy: Google)
The whip spider, also known as a tailless whip scorpion, is a cross between a spider and a scorpion. It is an arachnid that is harmless to humans, with no silk glands or venomous fangs. One of the new species called Charinus carajas is pictured. (Image Courtesy: Google)

Whip Spiders: Brief introduction

Whip spiders can not actually be considered as a true spiders as they are lagging in having fangs, silk glands and even the venon glands which other spiders possess. Their name is being mainly given from their long, spiny, whip-like front legs, which is being actually used for the sensory structure to make up for their poor vision. But one of the interesting thing which they possess consists of large, spiky pedipalps. These appendages are being extending from the front of their body and appears to be like clawed arms which they are using for grasping the prey, says Miranda who is now the researcher at the University of Copenhagen.

The two researchers Alessandro Ponce de Leão Giupponi and Gustavo Silva de Miranda have identified this new arachnids while examining the museum collection according to one of the press release. The pair of researchers examined the spiders closely under the microscope to identify the location of their ears and even count the number of spines they possess over their pedipalps. Miranda commenting over the species variation says that the shape which is being possessed by the female organ needs to be completely matched with those being possessed by the male organ. If there has been even a slight variation will lead to a completely newer species.

whip spiders
Around 170 species of the spider/scorpion are known and several new ones have been described in the last few years from all over the world. This graphic shows the various parts of the Charinus ricardoi. (Image Courtesy: Google)

Whip spiders are being found around the world but the new species being discovered only lives in the caves and hides under the barks, rocks or leaf litter in the Amazon. Males of the species compares their pedipalps size to win over the female part. Those having a bigger size of pedipalps wins. One of the newer species being discovered being named Charinus carajas, are having very large size of their body and even their pedipalps are very huge.

Human Activities

It has been found that about half of the newly found species are being at risk due to the ongoing human activities. One of the newer species being found is being under danger due to the ongoing construction of Belo Monte Hydroelectric Dam over the Xingu river, which is being located in the Para region of northern Brazil. Even three more of the new whip spiders are being considered to be extincted soon due to the mining of the iron in the area of Carajas municipality, located in the north-central Amazon.

Despite of their creepy appearance, their disappearance could greatly disrupt the local food chain of this area.

Species Discovered

The eight new species being discovered are from the genus Charinus and are being named as C. bichuetteae, C. bonaldoi,C. carajas, C. ferreus, C. guto, C. orientalis, C. brescoviti, and C. ricardoi. Brazil now consists of largest diversity of whip spiders in the world with a total of 25 known species. The authors of this paper have differentiated these species by means of the presence or the absence of the median eyes, the number of leg IV basitibia pseudo-articles and the shape of the female genitalia.

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