Indian researchers have spotted a species of jumping spider known as piranthus decorus, which was last seen in Burma 122 years ago.
The discovery was first made by Rajesh Sanap, a Mumbai-based independent researcher and photographer who photographed a male specimen of the species in 2015 in Aarey Milk Colony in the city. The female spider of the species was found in the same neighbourhood in 2016. Yet it is only now that the spider as been idenitified as the rare Piranthus decorus, which was last seen in Tharrrawaddy, Burma, in 1895.
The final study was carried out by John Caleb, who works at the Zoological Survey of India, and Sanap. "Spiders are one of the most diverse predators," Caleb told HuffPost India in an email. "They constitute a major component of the terrestrial ecosystems and help to regulate insect populations."
Jumping spiders are classified as the largest family of spiders and comprise 13 percent of the global spider diversity. They are known as jumping spiders because of their habit of hopping over long distances with the help of their strong forelegs. The spiders discovered in Mumbai are found in tree trunks. They are black in colour and have a characteristic broad, longitudinal median yellow patch in the abdomen.
"Spiders, as a group are understudied," Sanap, who has been documenting the biodiversity in Aarey Milk Colony, said. "Aarey Colony would be an ideal habitat to explore spider diversity. More extensive surveys need to be carried out to bring attention to the diversity of this group. Considering that several species have been described or rediscovered from Aarey Colony in recent past, we certainly expect more discoveries from this forest."