By Yining Su
Two new species of tiny spiders, each less than one millimetre long, have been discovered in Sichuan. Wired describes them as “adorably chubby”. That’s one reaction. Another reaction is terror. They are less than 1 mm long and could be anywhere.
I’m not even an arachnophobe, but these tiny critters freak me out.
Thankfully, it seems that as long as you stay away from rotting leaves in panda sanctuaries in Sichuan, there’s no need to worry about being covered in tiny spiders. Tiny spiders in your hair and your mouth and crawling up your nose, tiny pincers biting your flesh. Like I said, no need to worry.
The newly discovered species belong to the Mysmenidae family. Mysmenidae spiders typically live in the leaf litter and mosses on the forest floor, or in caves and prefer humid climates.
One of the new species, mysmena wawuensis, is just 0.75 mm long. The other, trogloneta yuensis, is 1 mm long. Their webs are the size of golf balls.
Very little is currently known about the Mysmenidae family of arachnids and one researcher told Wired that we can expect to hear more about newly discovered species in the future:
“China is currently one of the world’s most active regions for discovering and describing new species,” Miller said. “With more than 43,000 species described so far, spiders are one of the most diverse groups of animals on Earth and new species are discovered all the time.”
Read the scientific paper in which the two new species were first described, and to see disgusting diagrams of the spiders’ parts.