- Not Exactly Rocket Science
Spiders construct homes for endangered pygmy lizards
We think of spiders as fearsome hunters, spinners of webs and treacherous mates, but construction workers? Yes, that too. Some groups of spiders – trapdoor and wolf spiders – dig tunnels that they use to ambush passing insects. But these tunnels can also provide shelter and accommodation for other animals, including one of the rarest of Australia’s lizards – the pygmy blue-tongue lizard. It seems that the lizard’s survival depends entirely on the spiders.
The pygmy blue-tongue is a native of South Australia. It’s so rare that zoologists thought it extinct for over 30 years and it re-emerged in the public eye in the most unlikely way. In 1992, a dead specimen of this supposedly extinct animal was found in