New huge spider discovered in Queensland

Euoplos Dignitas male (left) and female (right)
Euoplos Dignitas male (left) and female (right) Photo credit: Queensland Museum

The discovery of a new and huge trapdoor spider in Australia has shocked researchers.

This species of trapdoor spider are only found in Queensland's Brigalow Belt, where they burrow in deep black soils.

They have named the spider Euoplos Dignitas, a Latin name which translates to dignity or greatness and is in response to the sheer scale of the spiders.

The new species can only be found in a few locations around Eidsvold and Monto in central Queensland and was found through BHP Mining and Queensland Museums work to find and document new species across the state.

The female Euoplos Dignitas, which are the larger of the two, reach around five centimetres in body length compared to most trapdoor spiders which tend to be around 1-3cms. 

 They are also more stocky and darker brown than their male counterparts. 

According to researchers, this is because the female spiders live underground, never intentionally coming to the surface. 

Whereas the male spider will spend its first 7-8 years underground maturing and then will venture out in search of female burrows to breed. 

Queensland museums principal scientist Dr Rix says the creatures are nothing to be scared of and he himself is very excited by the discovery. 

"It's a big beautiful species!"

He also shares that although they are large they do not pose any serious risk to humans. 

"They have venom apparatus in the fangs, but none of the Australian trapdoor spiders in the group are known to be dangerously venomous," he said.

Researchers do have concerns about how much longer the species will last with much of its habitat cleared out for agriculture and stock.