11 | DIC | 2019
New recluse spider species discovered in Mexico
The species is native from the Valley of Mexico - Photo: File photo/EL UNIVERSAL

New recluse spider species discovered in Mexico

03/12/2019
13:13
Newsroom
Mexico City
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The new species is called Loxosceles tenochtitlan

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Researchers of the Biology Institute of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) found a recluse spider from the Valley of Mexico who they called Loxosceles tenochtitlan.

“At a glance, it can be identified because its dark brown color is not loud, and unlike other species in the country, it has a very noticeable dorsal pattern in the shape of a violin, hence its name,” explained researcher Alejandro Valdez-Mondragón, who participated in the discovery.

Although these spiders are very shy and avoid human contact, if they feel threatened, they bite as a defense mechanism.

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According to a release issued by UNAM, this spider’s bite has very common characteristics: It begins with an ulcer that turns purple and pink. However, it is hard to identify the clinical picture because the bite is not painful and can be confused with a skin infection, a bug’s bite, or a rash.

Until now, “L. tenochtitlán” is the only native spider in Mexico City, State of Mexico, and Tlaxcala, as explained by Valdez.Mondragón.

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The researcher added that in urban areas, this species lives in places where humans themselves provide the adequate conditions to live: spaces with many objects (like storage units) and garbage because trash attracts the insects they feed on (cockroaches, flies, and cochineals).

“We give them the ideal temperature, humidity, and food for them to settle in our homes, which puts us in danger of having an accident with them, although they also perform an important ecological task by feeding on insects,” he added.

The UNAM reported that in rainy season, the males look for the females on their web and, since they have night and wandering habits, they can hide in clothes, shoes, or in a bed. The expert also said that the best way to avoid them is to keep our home clean and free from debris.

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