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New armored spiders: Spiders with ‘body armor’ discovered luring in dark caves

Within the caves of southeast China, Chinese scientists have discovered five new species of armored spiders.
(Photo : REUTERS/Toby Melville)

New armored spiders that were recently discovered by scientists are amazing since the spiders have plates with complex patterns covering their abdomens. The plates, which resemble that of body armor is the reason why the spiders of the Tetrablemmidae family are being called “armored spiders,” reports Entomology Today on March 17, 2014.

The Tetrablemmidae family consists of 126 described species that can be found throughout the world in tropical climates in litter and soil. The newly discovered five species of the Tetrablemmidae family were found lurking in dark caves in Southwest China.

During the past decade, researchers from the Chinese Academy of Sciences have examined more than 2,000 caves in the South China. As a result, the number of known spider species increased from 2,300 to 4,300.

The new armored spiders discovered by scientists have the typical characteristics of cave spiders, which includes the loss of some of the eyes. Two of the five new spider species found distinguish themselves by having just four eyes instead of eight and researchers believe that the reduction of eyes is a typical adaption of cave spiders.

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