New type of giant trapdoor spider found in Australia: 'A big, beautiful species'

A new "big, beautiful" kind of giant trapdoor spider has been discovered in Australia, and scientists say it's a rare find.

The newly discovered species, Euoplos dignitas, was found in the Brigalow Belt in central Queensland, according to a statement from the Queensland Museum. The name comes from the Latin word dignitas, which means "dignity or greatness," to reflect the "impressive size and nature of the spider."

Scientists published their findings in the Journal of Arachnology on March 15.

"You just never know what you're going to find," Jeremy Wilson, arachnology research assistant with the Queensland Museum Network, said in a video.

What to know about Euoplos dignitas

The trapdoor spider lives in the open woodland habitats and builds burrows in the black soils in northeast Australia.


"It's a big, beautiful species," said Michael Rix, principal curator of arachnology with the Queensland Museum Network.

Although scientists were thrilled to discover the species, they say it's probably endangered. It has been found in few locations in Queensland, and it has lost much of its habitat because of land clearing, or deforestation. Wilson said being able to name the species could lead to it receiving wildlife protection.

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What is a trapdoor spider?

Trapdoor spiders can grow up to 1½ inches long and get their name because they burrow themselves and make a trapdoor out of silk to ambush prey, according to AZ Animals.

They can be found throughout the world, and although they aren't a threat to humans, their bites can be painful.

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This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: New trapdoor spider species Euoplos dignitas found in Australia