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New Species of Spider That Emerges Only at Low Tide Has Been Named After Bob Marley





A new type of spider was discovered in Queensland in 2009. It emerges only during low tide in Australia; the sea along the coast of Queensland revealed a score of water-adapted spiders when the waters recede.

This species of marine spider was recently named Bob Marley – yes, after the reggae legend himself. Researchers got their inspiration from Marley’s hit 1973 song “High Tide or Low Tide.”

Listed scientifically as Desis bobmarleyi, the Bob Marley intertidal spider has adapted to the underwater life by hiding during high tide.

They seek shelter in shells, corals, or kelp holdfast. This was revealed on a study recently published in the journal of Evolutionary Systematics.

Dr. Barbara Baehr, one of the authors of the study, said that in order for the spiders to breathe, “they build air chambers from silk.”

“Once the sea water recedes, though, they are out and about hunting small invertebrates that roam the surfaces of the nearby rocks, corals and plants.”

Dr. Baehr, who is from Queensland Museum, said that both genders of the spider have predominantly red-brown colors. Their eggs are orange-brown and covered with a thick layer of hair-like structures that are long, thin, and dark-grey.

She also said that the female spiders look larger. Their studied specimen was nearly 9 mm, compared to the male which was about 6 mm long.

Researchers added that the species are “truly marine.” They haven’t discovered the exact regions where these creatures live but they recorded the species from the inter-tidal zones of the Great Barrier Reef, which are located on the northeastern coast of Queensland.

As for their decision to name the spiders after the reggae legend, Dr. Baehr said that “The song ‘High Tide or Low Tide’ promotes love and friendship through all struggles of life.”

“It is his [Bob Marley] music that aided a field trip to Port Douglas in coastal Queensland, Australia to collect spiders with a highly unique biology.”

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