A new species of spider was discovered in Mexico that camouflages itself wherever it’s hiding.
The guerilla spider, known as Paratropis tuxtlesis, is able to cover itself in dirt and soil particles from wherever it’s hiding as a way of hiding from predators, but for those who are afraid of spiders, this means less of a chance of knowing that it’s there.
“It is distinguished from other species because it has rough skin, like scales, that are used by the animal to attract floor particles which in turn give it perfect camouflage,” said researchers at the National Autonomous University of Mexico. “In order to make sure its vision is not obstructed by its camouflage of dirt, the spider has eyes that are raised up higher than usual so that it can see over the covering.”
Back in 2010, baby versions of this type of spider were first discovered in Mexico, and a year later, full-grown adult versions were seen. Professor Oscar Federico Francke, the leader of the university’s research team on this project, says that they are really only visible when they begin to move.
“If you do not look carefully, you can lift a stone up and look and not see that the spider is there,” said Professor Francke. “In fact you can often only see them when they move which may well be why they escaped notice so long.”