Sydney, July 2 (IANS) Australian scientists announced on Tuesday that they have identified five new species of tiny jumping spiders and named one after late Karl Lagerfeld due to its distinct look that was reminiscent of the late fashion designer.
The discovery of the spiders – which are only a few millimetres wide – was made by Queensland Museum arachnologist Barbara Baehr, along with Joseph Schubert of Melbourne’s Monash University and Danilo Harms of the University of Hamburg in Germany.
“Jotus karllagerfeldi is a black and white spider which we looked at and instantly thought of Karl Lagerfeld and his signature look, as the spider has large black eyes, which reminded us of sunglasses and its black and white front legs were reminiscent of Lagerfeld’s kent collar,” Harms said.
Baehr said: “Jumping spiders are among some of the most beautiful spiders in Australia, yet almost nothing is known about their diversity and taxonomic identity.”
Four of the five new species discovered are known to inhabit the state of Queensland in northeastern Australia and one in neighbouring New South Wales, Efe news reported.
The new species are: Jotus albimanus – a white-handed brushed jumping spider found in New England national park, New South Wales. The Queensland species Jotus fortiniae is found in Cape York Peninsula; Jotus karllagerfeldi — Karl Lagerfeld’s jumping spider — and Jotus newtoni at Lake Broadwater, and Jotus moonensis at Mount Moon.
“These tiny spiders are quick to capture the hearts of the public and naturalists. Because of their attractive colours they are widely photographed and feature heavily in social media, but many museums hold very few actual specimens,” said Baehr.
The males have species-specific colour combinations that range from black-and-white to colourful variations and iridescent turquoise and orange patterns.
“The males perform unique dance rituals with their brilliantly decorated first pair of legs to attract females,” Schubert said.
“These five new species are close relatives of the Australian peacock spiders which also perform courtship dances for females. This courtship behaviour makes them a crowd favourite and has popularized jumping spiders worldwide,” Schubert added.
Queensland Museum CEO Jim Thompson announced that four of the five species are already in the museum’s collection and were waiting to be described. He urged people to provide pictures to help in this scientific endeavour.