News

A new species of spider

During a research stay in the highlands of Colombia conducted as part of her doctorate, Charlotte Hopfe, PhD student under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Thomas Scheibel at the Biomaterials research group at the University of Bayreuth, has discovered and zoologically described a new species of spider. The previously unknown arachnids are native to the central cordillera, not far from the Pacific coast, at an altitude of over 3,500 meters above sea-level. In the magazine PLOS ONE, the scientist from Bayreuth presents the spider she has called Ocrepeira klamt.

advertisement

"I chose the zoological name Ocrepeira klamt in honour of Ulrike Klamt, my German teacher at high school. The enthusiasm with which she pursues her profession and the interest she shows in her students and in literature are an inspiration to me," says Charlotte Hopfe.

The study of spiders from regions of such various huge climatic and ecological variety may also offer a chance to find answers to two as yet unexplored questions. It is not yet known whether temperatures, precipitation, or other climatic factors influence the evolution of spiders, or the properties of their silk. For example, is the proportion of species with extremely elastic silk in the lowland rainforest higher than in the semi-desert? And it is also still unclear whether the properties of the silk produced by a species of spider are modified by climatic factors. Would a spider living in the high mountains, such as Ocrepeira klamt, produce the same silk if it were native to a much lower region of the cordillera? The answer to these questions could provide important clues as to the conditions under which unusual spider silks develop.

Along similar lines, it would also be interesting to explore whether there are spider silk proteins which, due to their properties, are even more suitable for certain applications in biomedicine and biotechnology than silk proteins currently known. "The greater the variety of spider silks whose structures and properties we know, the greater the potential to optimize existing biomaterials and to develop new types of biomaterials on the basis of silk proteins," Hopfe explains.

Charlotte Hopfe s research was funded by the German Academic Exchange Service and the German Academic Scholarship Foundation.

Materials provided by Universität Bayreuth . Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Universität Bayreuth. "A new species of spider." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 16 September 2020. .

Universität Bayreuth. "A new species of spider." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2020/09/200916131040.htm (accessed September 16, 2020).

advertisement

1

Aug. 6, 2019 — A PhD student in South Africa has discovered a new dinosaur species in the University s vaults, after it has been laying misidentified in a collection for 30 ...

Nov. 27, 2018 — It sounds like the plot of the world s tiniest horror movie: deep in the Ecuadorian Amazon, a newly discovered species of wasp transforms a social spider into a zombie that abandons ...

Jan. 11, 2017 — The Graduate Record Exam (GRE), which is required for admission to graduate and doctorate programs across the country, is not the best indicator for predicting a student s success while pursuing ...

June 1, 2016 — Among the eight new bee species that Ph.D. student Spencer Monckton has discovered as part of his Master s degree, there is one named after a draconic creature from the Japanese franchise ...
Read more on sciencedaily.com
News Topics :
RELATED STORIES :
Technology
Close Spider silks, the stuff of spider webs, are a materials engineer s dream they can be stronger than steel at a mere fraction of weight, and also can be...
Technology
Spider silk is useful for a variety of biomedical applications. It exhibits mechanical properties superior to synthetic fibers for tissue engineering, and it is not toxic or harmful to living...
Technology
Spider silk consists of fiber forming proteins, stored by the spider in a specialized gland. When the spider needs silk, for instance to build a web, it extrudes the silk proteins...
Science
The crab spider spins out tens of fine silk fibers for its aerial dispersal. A triangular sheet of fibers is observed at the moment of the takeoff. Credit Moonsung Cho,...
Science
Spiders, or at least caricatures of them, are out in full force this Halloween weekend. But next time you see the eight legged creature carved into a pumpkin, or dropping from...