New spider species named after Bob Marley
MELBOURNE: Scientists have discovered a water-adapted species of spiders and named it after Jamaican reggae legend Bob Marley.
In 2009, the sea along the coastline of Queensland in Australia receded to such an extent that it exposed a population of spiders.
Researchers associated their emergence with Marley’s song “High Tide or Low Tide”.
In a study published in the journal Evolutionary Systematics, researchers from Queensland Museum in Australia and University of Hamburg in Germany described the intertidal spider.
Unlike the spiders which people are familiar with, the intertidal species have adapted to the underwater life by hiding in barnacle shells, corals or kelp holdfast during high tide.
To breathe, they build air chambers from silk. Once the sea water recedes, though, they are out and about hunting small invertebrates that roam the surfaces of the nearby rocks, corals and plants.
The new species, listed under the scientific name of Desis bobmarleyi, is described based on male and female specimens spotted and collected from brain coral.
Both sexes are characterised by predominantly red-brown colours, while their legs are orange-brown and covered with a dense layer of long, thin and dark grey hair-like structures.
The females appear to be larger in size with the studied specimen measuring nearly nine millimetres, whereas the male was about six millimetres long.
While the exact distribution range of the newly described species remains unknown, it is currently recorded from the intertidal zones of the Great Barrier Reef on the north- eastern coast of Queensland.
“The song ‘High Tide or Low Tide’ promotes love and friendship through all struggles of life,” researchers said.
“It is his music that aided a field trip to Port Douglas in coastal Queensland, Australia, to collect spiders with a highly unique biology,” they said.