Kerala forests home to new spider species

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  1. A new species of jumping spiders has been spotted in Illithodu forests, Kerala.
  2. An analysis of the spiders has revealed that they belong to the genus Habrocestum. Species of the genus Habrocestum has been recorded mostly in Eurasia and Africa. It is the first time that species belonging to this genus has been found in India.
  3. Comparisons with European Habrocestum spiders has revealed that the spiders found Illithodu forest are a new species altogether. This is because they have distinctly different reproductive organs.
  4. The spider species has a single long spine on the underside of both its first legs. It has thus been named Habrocestum longispinum (after Latin ‘longe’ meaning long and ‘spinae’ for spine).