Scientists from the Institute of Zoology with the Chinese Academy of Sciences have devoted years of their careers to studying the astounding diversity hidden in the depths of the Xishuangbanna tropical rain forests. Using multiple collecting methods, they have been collecting samples in an area called Huludao since 2006. Covering only about 200 hectares, this area has yielded a collection of approximately 700 spider species, including 30 new species which were recently described in the journal ZooKeys.
“The amazing biological diversity we have witnessed during our work on spiders in Huladao is perhaps only a part of what Xishuangbanna tropical rain forests hold,” said Professor Shuqiang Li, one of the co-authors. “Studying the flora and fauna in biodiversity hotspots like these attests for the importance of their preservation, and gives a sad insight of what was lost with the destruction of forests elsewhere.”
All of the spiders belong to the Linyphiidae family, the second most diverse spider family in the world.
In addition to the 30 new spider species, Dr. Li and his colleagues have also described eight new genera, and they’ve still got about 100 other new species that will be described in a future publication.
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