A new species

A nature photographer’s hairy moment in UAE leads to discovery of a new species of spider


DUBAI // At home under rocks deep in wadis of the Northern Emirates, a tarantula has officially been recognised as native to the UAE thanks to amateur photographer Priscilla van Andel, who found it on a hiking trip with her husband.

The Dutch couple were convinced that the spider they had found in Hatta was a runaway pet, as no records of local mygalomorphae, or tarantula, existed.

“First we thought that if there were tarantulas out here, why would I be the one to find them?” said Ms van Andel.

“We thought there were many people with tarantulas as pets, so this must be one of them.”

Only after she had posted photos of the spider on Facebook did Ms van Andel receive a reaction from arachnologists in her network that indicated what they had found was a species that had gone unrecorded in the UAE.

Read more: http://www.thenational.ae/uae/environment/a-nature-photographers-hairy-moment-in-uae-leads-to-discovery-of-a-new-species-of-spider

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