AROUND SLOVAKIA

New species of spiders

ZOOLOGISTS have discovered new four species of spider previously unobserved in Slovakia, in the Cerová Vrchovina regional reserve (CHKO) in southern central Slovakia. They are tiny insects, measuring just a few millimetres across, which do not normally spin webs and hunt insects only on the ground, the ČTK newswire was told by Jaroslav Svatoň, head of research and chairman of the Arachnology Section at the Slovak Academy of Sciences.

ZOOLOGISTS have discovered new four species of spider previously unobserved in Slovakia, in the Cerová Vrchovina regional reserve (CHKO) in southern central Slovakia. They are tiny insects, measuring just a few millimetres across, which do not normally spin webs and hunt insects only on the ground, the ČTK newswire was told by Jaroslav Svatoň, head of research and chairman of the Arachnology Section at the Slovak Academy of Sciences.

“So far, none of these spiders has a Slovak name,” Svatoň said during a presentation of several years of research in the CHKO on November 7. The tiniest species found, Pelecopsis loksai, was about one millimetre long. It was originally discovered just five years ago, in central Hungary.

Another new species found living in Slovakia was Eresus moravicus (or ladybird spider), which is called stepník červený in the Czech Republic.

“So far, we have not quite finished processing the evidence, but I estimate that more than 500 species of spiders are living in Cerová Vrchovina,” Svatoň said.

According to Katarína Gaálová, the head of CHKO Cerová Vrchovina, the reserve is probably home to the largest number of spider species in Slovakia. A similar number of spider species have been found by zoologists only in Podunajská Nížina (the Danube lowlands), an area several times bigger than Cerová Vrchovina.

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