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)