Project DIG is a partnership between Queensland Museum Network, BHP and BMA to transform how we store, explore and share our collections and research with communities worldwide.
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A rare and giant species of trapdoor spider only found in the Brigalow Belt in Central Queensland has been described by Queensland Museum scientists and named Euoplos dignitas.
Euoplos dignitas is a large trapdoor spider that lives in open woodland habitats and builds its burrows in the black soils of the Central Queensland region.
The name of this species is derived from the Latin dignitas meaning dignity or greatness, reflecting the impressive size and nature of the spider. It also pays homage to Project DIG, who supported this research which is vital to understanding Queensland’s biodiversity.
This species is known from only a very few locations around Eidsvold and Monto in Central Queensland and has lost much of its habitat to land clearing, which makes it likely to be an endangered species.
Read the full publication.
The semi-arid woodlands of the Brigalow Belt formerly occurred across large areas of eastern Queensland, west of the Great Dividing Range. However, these woodlands have been fractured by over 150 years of human development, and now include some of Queensland’s most threatened ecological communities. Yet, they have received relatively little scientific attention, with negligible work in understanding and synthesising patterns of biodiversity. This project will undertake targeted fieldwork across the Brigalow Belt (North) bioregion to build museum collections, enabling us to document new species, understand the ecology and conservation status of endemic species, and test hypotheses about the impacts of past climate change.
This research is led by Dr Paul Oliver, Senior Curator Terrestrial Vertebrates (Queensland Museum) and Dr Michael Rix, Principal Scientist (Terrestrial Biodiversity) and Curator of Arachnology (Queensland Museum) in collaboration with DES (Department of Environmental Science) threatened species team and Boobook Consulting, Roma.