There are now 50,000 different species of spiders known to crawl the Earth, according to the World Spider Catalog (WSC) announced Wednesday – and there could be another 50,000 there.
The CMSbased at the Natural History Museum of Bern in the Swiss capital, said the 50,000th recorded spider is the Guriurius minuanowhich belongs to the jumping spider family Salticidae and hunts its prey on shrubs and trees in southern Brazil, Uruguay and around Buenos Aires.
It was described by arachnologist Kimberly S. Marta and colleagues from Brazil, and is named after the now-extinct Minuane people who lived in the area.
The first scientific description of a spider dates back to 1757, and although it took 265 years to reach 50,000, the rate of discovery is steadily increasing and it is believed that it would take less than 100 years to discover the same number again. .
“We estimate that there are still around 50,000 species of spiders yet to be discovered,” the WSC editors said.
The catalog of spiders is available free of charge on the museum’s website.
“Spiders are the most important predators of terrestrial habitats on Earth, and their ecological importance should not be underestimated,” the museum said.
“Consuming around 400 to 800 million tonnes of insects every year, they are the most important regulators of insect populations. As a result, they are also of fundamental importance to humans.”
© Agence France-Presse