This Never Before Seen Spider Looks Like a Leaf
Scientists stumbled upon the potentially new species in a Chinese rain forest.
For Matjaz Kuntner, it was just another evening trek through southwestern China's Yunnan rain forest—until his headlamp illuminated a strand of spider silk.
That's not so surprising on its own. But what attracted the arachnologist's attention is the silk appeared to attach a leaf to a tree branch. After looking closer, Kuntner realized one of these leaves was actually a spider.
“If there’s a web, there’s a spider,” says Kuntner, of the Smithsonian Institution and the Evolutionary Zoology Laboratory in Slovenia. (Read about a newfound tarantula that shocked scientists.)
“I was so taken aback.”
That's because Kuntner and colleagues suspect they've found a new species of orb-weaving spider—and the first one known to mimic a leaf.
The arachnid uses its silk