Researchers at the Biodiversity Research Centre of Christ College claimed to have spotted six new species of spiders at Harithavanam (also known as Kuttivanam) located near the banks of the Aluva Sivarathri manappuram in Kerala. This is the second time the same team has discovered new species. The researchers have listed the six spider species under the genus Chrysso, Dendrolycosa, Tetragntha, Trachelas and Argyrodes.
Argyrodes: This genus is said to be associated with the family of black widow which is known as world’s most venomous spider. It is about the size of a housefly and lives in an irregular web weaved in between green leaves.
Tetragntha: Two other species belong to this genus. The yellow coloured long jawed spider is characterised by four black spots on the back of their abdomen and black bands on the joints of legs. The dorsal surface of abdomen of green-coloured long jawed spider is covered by white coloured scales.
Trachelas: A member of ant mimicking spiders characterised by the presence of eight diamonds like sparkling eyes located in the anterior part of dark brown head.
Dendrolycosa: These spiders feed only on insects in water bodies. There are white lines in the brown coloured body and prominent spines on the legs. The eight eyes are located in two rows of inverted U-shaped pattern.
Chrysso: This tiny spider builds small webs in between grass blades to catch their prey. It is characterized by black glossy body and brownish legs. It comes under the Chrysso genus of comb footed spider family.
The researchers pointed out that the diversity of species in a comparatively small area like Kuttivanam need to be protected.