Researchers have named three newly discovered types of jumping spiders after Taiwan and Chiayi County.
The discoveries are the result of more than eight years of research by Kun Shan University professor Ueng Yih-tsong (翁義聰) and his team in Chiayi County’s Aogu Wetlands (鰲鼓濕地).
For a year, starting in August 2013, the team comprised of Ueng and graduate students Chen Kuo-ming (陳國明) and Lin Tai-yu (林泰宇) conducted a survey of jumping spider populations in the Dongshih Township (東石) ecosystem.
Photo courtesy of Ueng Yih-tsong
Out of thousands of samples, the team discovered 15 species of jumping spider, three that had never been discovered before and six that were newly recorded in Taiwan.
After years of classification and research, their findings were published on Sept. 30 in the international journal Natural Resources.
The names for the three new species were inspired by where they were found: Euophrys taiwanus, Microbianor formosana and Evarcha chiayiensis, Ueng said.
Photo courtesy of Ueng Yih-tsong
Through the names, the team hopes to showcase Taiwan’s biodiversity, he added.
Jumping spiders are distinguishable by their hunting techniques, which typically rely on speed and agility rather than web building, Ueng said.
Although found in a variety of habitats, they most commonly reside in tropical forests and grasslands, and are known to “hitchhike” on migrating birds, he said.
Ueng and his team are some of the world’s leading experts on jumping spiders and wetland ecology, the Chiayi County Agriculture Department said, adding that heir discoveries allow the world to appreciate the contributions of Taiwan’s academics.
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