New Spider Species found on Malaita

The new spider species found on Malaita
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A new spider species was recently discovered inside the Ahetaha Water Conservation Association (AWCA) area in East Are’Are.

The species was found during a two-days terrestrial species baseline survey carried out from 11th to 13th May at Ahetaha Water conservation site.

According to Coordinator of AWACA, Eddie Huitarau the baseline survey was led by two specialists and scientists Albert Kwatelae and Corzzierrah Posala

He said apart from their expertise, Kwatelae is the President of the Solomon Islands Rangers’ office and Posala is a Tropical Ecologist and a PhD Candidate at the Lincoln University, Christ Church, New Zealand, both of whom had supported AWCA rangers during the survey to find this particular spider species.

Huitarau who is also the General Secretary of Solomon Islands Rangers Association said the species was first discovered in India and this is the first record of the species for Solomon Islands and Malaita province.

He said the finding has opened the possibility for a new record of spiders on Malaita, although it is identified in Asia, this will be an opportunity for Solomon Islands.

Huitarau said this is wonderful news for the country, and especially Malaita where information about insects and spiders are lacking.

According to Kwatelae the finding will pave way for further study.

 “The spider species is being screened against the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red list,” he said.

Kwatelae said, the common name for the new spider species is Rolled-up leaf spider and is scientifically known as Poltys Mouhoti.

Huitarau described the appearance of the spider as more similar to dead leaves during day time, but it can eat up its web and destroy it before nightfall and camouflage.

And at night it builds its web to trap insects and butterflies for food.

He further described the spider roll itself as a purpose of defense and protection.

He further explained that the spider species is native to Vietnam and can be found in Thailand and Malaysia.

He said AWCA is a leading mentor to a newly established conservation group in ward 19 of East Are Are and has been always inclusive and led by examples.

He said through AWCA’s networking and recognition they have helped many new groups to become affiliated members with Solomon Islands Rangers Association and Mai-Maasina Green Belt (MMGB).