A scientist at Royal Holloway, University of London discovered the first kind of spider from Indonesia.The new species is called the Chikunia bilde spider.In an article published in the Zoological Journal of the Linnean Society the author, Professor Lena Grinsted, an early career research associate within the School of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway, together with American and Indonesian collaborators, describe the new species of spider and call it Chikunia bilde.The spider is highly related with a spider, called Chikunia the nigra. Unlike the majority of spiders, which are usually hostile and cannibalistic, the two Chikunia species are known to live together in large groups.
The first evidence of any colonial group consisting of two distinct species who share a closest relative.The arrangement of the living spaces is fascinating and not just due to the fact that mixed species spider associations are uncommon and rare, but also because each of the Chikunia species were observed for feeding young, and could extend this assistance to neighboring young.And because of their peaceful life style, and their non-harmful behavior towards humans, they could be fantastic pest controllers.As they are fond of eating white fly larvae that create havoc for crops as well as mosquitoes carrying disease. And because they don’t attack or feed on one another when they reach huge numbers, they can assist in protecting people and the agricultural sector, thus reducing the requirement for chemical as well as pesticides.Dr Lena Grinsted, from the department of Biological Sciences at Royal Holloway stated: “I came across this new species of spider when I was in Bali studying their cousins. The new species was not among the colony of C. the nigra.
“They are tiny spiders and are unlike those I’ve seen previously because they are often found in colonies of multiple species. Both species are so alike that they’re almost impossible to distinguish apart.”They evidently find living in close proximity with both species attractive yet they manage to preserve their genes and lines distinct. The majority of spider species are antagonistic towards other species of spiders and are solitary creatures and would never think of living so close proximity to one other.”Not only are they remarkably accommodating to one another and their closest relatives, they are also extremely tolerant of human activities. In fact, they seemed to favor gardens, areas that have extensive agricultural use as well as local dumps, in which food trash and animal care attracted a large number of insects and mosquitos.”We must study these spiders more deeply however it’s been thrilling to discover a unique species that has this unique way of sharing a home with other species that is a great candidate to be a bio-based pest management.”
The spider’s tiny size can range from brown or black to yellow and orange hue and is part of the family of cobwebs Theridiiae.