‘Peculiar’ 8-legged creature found hiding at resort in India. It’s a new species

At a resort in southern India, a “peculiar” 8-legged creature hid under a plant. But the attempt wasn’t very successful.

Visiting scientists spotted the animal — and discovered a new species.

Researchers visited a golf resort and spa in Garvale in March 2023 to survey wildlife, according to a study published May 13 in the peer-reviewed journal Zootaxa. While there, they noticed a “peculiar” spider.

Researchers captured the minuscule critter and, taking a closer look, realized they’d discovered a new species: Ligdus garvale, or the Garvale jumping spider.

The Garvale jumping spider is about 0.2 inches in length, the study said. It has eight legs, eight eyes and a body “clothed with fine pale hairs.”

A Ligdus garvale, or Garvale jumping spider.
A Ligdus garvale, or Garvale jumping spider.

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Photos show the dark brown coloring of a Garvale jumping spider. It has several white stripes and spots scattered along its back. Its front pair of legs are significantly larger than the rest, giving it a scorpion-like appearance.

A Ligdus garvale, or Garvale jumping spider, as seen on a plant.
A Ligdus garvale, or Garvale jumping spider, as seen on a plant.

Researchers only found one male Garvale jumping spider, the study said. That spider was found hiding in a web-spun retreat on the underside of a leaf.

Researchers said they named the new species after the Garvale area where it was discovered and, so far, the only area where it has been found. Garvale is a village in Karnataka, a roughly 1,400-mile drive south from New Delhi.

The new species was identified by its coloring, body shape and other subtle physical features, the study said. Researchers did not provide a DNA analysis of the new species.

The research team included John Caleb, A. Divya Shree, Lohith Kumar and A.P.C. Abhijith.

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