I’m sure we all wish we could pretend to be a dead leaf sometimes. At those family get-togethers where you have to talk about your unemployment as a learning experience for example.
Well this spider has been doing just that for a very long time, no one has even noticed their existence until now.
It’s so new that it doesn’t even have a name, but it was found by Professor Matjaz Kuntner, a principal investigator with the Evolutionary Zoology Lab at the Slovenian Academy of Sciences and Arts.
This is the first known spider species to be leaf-shaped, but it is not new for insects to masquerade.
Masquerading and camouflaging can be a great way for insects to hide from prey, or to spy on their own.
The discovery of the spider was actually accidental. The scientists photographed it n 2011 while looking for a different type of spider in Yunnan, China.
They noticed that the dead leaves around it were attached with silk, implying that the spider had placed them there as camouflage…very clever!
Having first noticed their rarity in nature, we talked to curators and established their overall rarity.
It all sounds very exciting and rare. The findings of the research were published online in the Journal of Arachnology,