Eyeless Huntsman Spider Discovered In Southeast Asia

Sparassidae, are a family of spiders known as huntsman spiders. Huntsman spiders normally have eight eyes. Like most typical spiders, these eyes normally appear in two forward-facing rows of four on the anterior aspect of the prosoma, however, a new eyeless species of huntsman spider has been discovered in Southeast Asia.

According toNBCNews.com, Peter Jäger, head of arachnology at the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, discovered the new species of huntsman in a cave in Laos. The cave that he found the spider in is about 60 miles away from the Xe Bang Fei river cave.Sinopoda scurion is the first eyeless species out of the 1,100 known species of huntsman spider.

This was a unique discovery,

“We already knew of spiders of this genus from other caves, but they always had eyes and complete pigmentation,” Jäger said in Senckenberg. “Sinopoda scurion is the first huntsman spider without eyes.”

Jäger explained that the regression of this new species can be attributed to the spider’s life without daylight. This kind of adaptation to the dark has been found in some of the spiders cave-dwelling cousins across Asia. They show similar cave adaptations, “from eight functioning eyes to forms with six, four and two lenses, right up to blind spiders,” Jäger said.

Missing eyes of the huntsman spider

There are a number of other creatures that have been discovered in the same region, along with Sinopoda scurion, that have adapted to cave life. Among these creatures are the scorpions Troglokhammouanus steineri and Vietbocap lao from the Xe Bang Fai cave and Nam Lot cave, a blind cavefish, Bangana musaei, from the Xe Bang Fai cave system, and a freshwater crab found in the same location as the eyeless huntsman.

The ability for different to adapt and survive in different conditions never cease to amaze me.