Over 1,000 spider species in Taiwan 台灣蜘蛛 估逾千種

Sat, Aug 31, 2013 - Page 11

While many people are afraid of spiders, not all of these eight-legged creatures are actually vermin. The brown huntsman spider, for example, is quite adept at killing cockroaches. Around 450 spider species have been recorded in Taiwan, but the estimated number of arachnid species to be found in the wild actually exceeds a thousand. The Endemic Species Research Institute (ESRI) has set up a Web page on Facebook — The Spider Club: Taiwan Spider Studies — to encourage the public to help create a platform for sharing data on various spider species.

ESRI says that relatively few spiders pose any apparent threat to humans, adding that the few highly poisonous spiders found in Taiwan include Macrothele taiwanensis and the female redback spider. You can avoid putting yourself in harm’s way by not trying to catch any of these spiders, the institute says. There is no shortage of uniquely shaped spiders out there, including the Cyrtarachne bufo, which disguises itself as bird excrement, the ant-like Myrmarachne formosana, or the crab spider which exhibits an eyeshade-like feature and the Ariamnes with its adorably long, slender body.

(Liberty Times, Translated by Kyle Jeffcoat)

許多人雖然怕蜘蛛,但這些八條腿的動物不見得都是害蟲,像是白額高腳蛛,可是剋蟑高手。目前台灣記錄到的蜘蛛有四百五十種,但野外估計應有千種以上。特有生物研究保育中心成立臉書社團「蛛式會社—台灣蜘蛛研究」,號召民眾協助建立蜘蛛物種時空分布資訊。

特生中心指出,僅有極少數蜘蛛對人體有顯著危害,在台灣僅長尾蛛、赤背寡婦蛛等具較強毒性,只要不徒手捕捉,就能避免傷害。其實有不少蜘蛛造型特殊,如偽裝成鳥糞的鳥糞蛛、擬態成螞蟻的蟻蛛、戴著眼罩的蟹蛛、身體細長的蚓腹蛛等,模樣可愛。

(自由時報記者鍾麗華)