Thirty New Spiders Discovered At Xishuangbanna, China

A paper describes 30 new spider species discovered at Xishuangbanna, bringing the total number discovered since 2006 to 250.

AsianScientist (Dec. 12, 2014) – In a paper published in the open access journal ZooKeys, 30 new spider species from Xishuangbanna have been documented, a small percentage of what is yet to be found in this biodiversity hotspot.

Xishuangbanna is situated in the southern part of Yunnan with the Lancang (Mekong) River flowing through it. The region is well-known for its rich biodiversity and is one of the few places in China that still maintains large tracts of tropical rain forest.

Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden (XTBG) is a comprehensive botanical research institution that belongs to the Chinese Academy of Sciences (CAS). It is famous for holding over 10 thousand species of tropical and subtropical plants.

The Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden. Credit: Li Shuqiang.
The Xishuangbanna Tropical Botanical Garden. Credit: Li Shuqiang.

But what animal species are hidden in this remarkable place? Studying the rich fauna of rainforests can be a great challenge due to the extreme diversity of species and the hardships posed by the specific terrain.

Since 2006, Professor Li Shuqiang and his team have collected approximately 700 spider species in an area of just 200 hectares in the Huladao area. Apart from the 30 described in the present study, about 250 new spider species have been described from Xishuangbanna alone.

“The amazing biological diversity we have witnessed during our work on spiders in Huladao is perhaps only a part of what Xishuangbanna tropical rain forests hold. Studying the flora and fauna in biodiversity hotspots like these attests to the importance of their preservation and gives a sad insight of what was lost with the destruction of forests elsewhere,” said Li.

The article can be found at: Zhao and Li (2014) A Survey of Linyphiid Spiders from Xishuangbanna, Yunnan Province, China.


Source: Pensoft Publishers.
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