A TERRIFYING new venomous tarantula that can live for 20 years was discovered in a US zoo this year.
The Pine Rockland trapdoor spider, or Ummidia richmond, was first spotted in Zoo Miami in Florida in 2012, but scientists didn’t confirm that it was an entirely new species until this year.
A new type of spider was discovered at Zoo Miami[/caption]
The shiny, black insects can live for decades hiding in borrows, popping out to subdue prey when it crosses their path.
“They spend their entire lives in that same burrow, waiting for prey to come past their trapdoor,” Zoo Miami conservation chief Frank Ridgley told the Daily Mail.
“Then they lunge out from their camouflaged lair to grab their prey.”
To a human, a bite from the insects would feel something like a bee sting.
The spider was first spotted at the zoo in 2012[/caption]
The spiders certainly look like miniature tarantulas.
The male Pine Rockland spider is about the size of a quarter, and females are thought to be two to three times bigger.
The females are the ones who can live up to two decades, while the males typically burrow for about seven years before leaving their shelter to mate.
They die shortly after that.
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Dr. Rebecca Godwin, an assistant professor of biology at Piedmont College who published a paper on the new species this month, believes that the spiders that were found in the zoo were “wandering males.”
She also noted that the species is likely limited to “the small area of threatened habitat and subsequently could be threatened itself.”
According to Dr. Godwin, little of the animal’s natural habitat exists outside of Everglades National Park.