Thanks to BBC News for this:

Australian researchers have discovered a super-sized species of trapdoor spiders found only in Queensland, Australia.

The females of this rare species can live for over 20 years in the wild and grow up to 5cm long – large in trapdoor spider terms.

The males grow up to 3cm.

Unfortunately, much of its habitat has been lost due to land clearing, making it likely to be an endangered species, scientists said.

So-called trapdoor spiders build “trap doors” out of leaves to prey on insects. They typically measure about 1.5cm to 3cm.

The newfound species, Euoplos dignitas, is a type of golden trapdoor spider discovered in the semi-arid woodlands of the Brigalow Belt, a region in central Queensland. It is not dangerous to humans.

Trapdoor Spider Queensland (photo by Queensland)
In Latin, its name means diversity or greatness, reflecting the “impressive size and nature” of the spider, said scientists from the Queensland Museum, which discovered it.

Females of the species have a red-brown carapace, while males have a honey-red outer layer and grey-brown abdomens.

Euoplos dignitas lives in open woodland habitats, building its burrows in black soil.

The females spend their lives underground. Males leave to find a mate in another burrow after five to seven years.

Very few specimens of this species have been collected in recent decades, with only a single female submitted to the Queensland Museum since the 1960s, the scientists said in a study published in the Journal of Arachnology.

Trapdoor Spider Queensland (photo by Queensland)

A three-day search in May 2021 revealed just one population along several hundred metres of a roadside verge, with most available habitat cleared for agriculture and stock.

The continuing decline of such habitats may render the species “critically endangered” in the future, they said.
The biggest spider in the world is commonly known as the goliath birdeater – with a body length of about 13cm and a leg span of 30cm – larger than the size of a dinner plate.

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