Pelican Spiders

Hannah Wood
January 11, 2018
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image of pelican spider to scale
Hannah Wood

Eriauchenius bourgini (pictured above) is a pelican spider from Madagascar recently redescribed by the scientists. This species occurs in the central eastern part of Madagascar, but its closest relative, E. zirafy, a new species of pelican spider described by the scientists, only occurs far away in the northeastern rainforests. The distributions of these two sister species suggests that a long time ago their ancestor was widespread, then a climatic or geologic change resulted in populations becoming isolated. As time passed, these isolated populations, subject to different environments and evolutionary pressures, eventually became two separate species.

Image by Hannah Wood