New species crawling, hopping, climbing; Biology secrets uncovered


Zoo Miami

A daunting shot of the Pine Rockland trapdoor spider was captured by Zoo Miami; It’s keen resemblance to a Tarantula spider can be observed.

Jessica Fannin, Reporter

     The world of science is fast paced as scientists are constantly searching for what new things the world has to offer. New species of animals are constantly being revealed, teaching us more about the creatures that onced lived undiscovered. 

     A particularly “bright orange amphibian, which shines green under UV light,” has made an appearance along “Brazil’s Atlantic coast,” according to an article written by Riley Black.  

     It is unclear how many species of the Brachyephalus family exist but many scientists say, “36 have been named,” (Black). 

     Despite the frog’s small size it can still catch your eye when it “shines neon green when flashed with UV light,” (Black). Science teacher, Brady Green guessed that this glowing feature was, “probably to attract a mate or possibly to advertise itself as poisonous.”

     He was spot on with his speculations because the fluorescence acting as “Signals for potential mates or a signal to rival males,” is what some biologists like Nunes use to explain the purpose of their glowing features. Despite how harmless they might look this species of frog, “carries poisons in their skins called tetrodotoxins,” (Black). 

    Writer Nikkita Amir revealed in her article another species of bug that has taken the spotlight. It is a type of praying mantis that is found to have, “a protrusion that is actually a pheromone gland emitted by females unlike any other species.”

     What scientist Frank Glaw found so unique about the gland is, “it only appears for two to five hours a night and instantly recoils when exposed to light or vibrations.” 

      It is so rare because, “it only makes four to five of the ootheca [eggs] needed for offspring during a lifetime.” 

     A  species of animal that has crawled out of the shadows is the, “new species of venomous Pine Rockland trapdoor spiders,” discussed in an article written by Caroline Tien. 

     Green has “ no burning desire to pick spiders up,” but he does know a lot about them. He explained how, “most spiders are shy and reclusive. There are only a few species that need anger management, including the deadly Brazilian Wandering Spider.”

     These hairless tarantula look-alikes do not have venom “potent enough to pose a danger to humans,”(Tien).  Even with their menacing appearance, “they are very shy and are reluctant to bite,” scientist Ridgley stated. 

     Due to their timid nature the spider digs holes to cover themselves, “in earth that features a hinged “door,”” (Tien). They surprise their prey by, “opening the door and pouncing on their feast,” (Tien). 

    Green believes the most variation of a species is in insects because, “there are just so dang many of them. There are more insects than all other species combined.” One of these species of insects includes the, “photuris versicolor.” 

     According to Green this is a, “species of firefly where the female mimics the flash of another species of firefly. When the males think they are going to find a mate, she kills them and eats them. She is known as the femme fetale.”