A creepy new venomous spider that lives for up to twenty years has been discovered at a Florida zoo.
The Pine Rockland trapdoor spider, or Ummidia richmond, looks like a “small shiny black tarantula” and has a venom that induces a painful sting similar to that of a bee.
The arachnid was first spotted in Zoo Miami in Florida in 2012, but scientists didn’t confirm that it was an entirely new species until this year.
Lurking for decades in burrows, the creepy-crawlies pop out to subdue prey when it crosses their path.
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“They spend their entire lives in that same burrow, waiting for prey to come past their trapdoor,” Zoo Miami conservation chief Frank Ridgley told the Daily Mail.
“Then they lunge out from their camouflaged lair to grab their prey.”
To a human, a bite from the spider would feel something like a bee sting, according to experts.
The spiders certainly look like miniature tarantulas.
The male Pine Rockland spider is about the size of a quarter, and females are thought to be two to three times bigger.
The females live for up to two decades, while the males typically burrow for about seven years before leaving their shelter to mate.
They die shortly after that.
Dr. Rebecca Godwin, an assistant professor of biology at Piedmont College who published a paper on the new species this month, believes that the spiders that were found in the zoo were “wandering males.”
She also noted that the species is likely limited to “the small area of threatened habitat and subsequently could be threatened itself.”
According to Dr. Godwin, little of the animal’s natural habitat exists outside of Everglades National Park.
The research was published in the journal ZooKeys.
This story was published by The Sun and reproduced with permission.