New species of spider discovered in Seattle

Feb 23, 2011

A new species of crab spider was found last spring by Rob Crawford, curator of arachnids for the Univesity of Washington's Burke Museum.  He discovered it on Foster Island in the Washington Park Arboretum.  Seattlepi.com reports a team of students will soon be scouring the island for more information.

Just as intriguing as a new discovery is the question raised by Knute Berger of Crosscut who wonders about the effect a newly discovered spider could have on the Highway 520 expansion.  The highway cuts across Foster Island.

Just because a spider hasn't been discovered by science before doesn't mean that it's endangered, but shouldn't the Department of Transportation be informed? Doesn't this impact the EIS for the expanded 520 bridge?

Arboretum botanist  Sarah Reichard tells Crosscut there will be discussions with the state Department of Transportation about the find.

Meanwhile, there's a lot more to learn about the spider.  Rob Crawford tells seattlepi.com that gathering additional data could take a while, since it isn't a top priority for him.

Crawford has about 160 new spider species in backlog now, a boon of discoveries he's accumulated over decades of being the state's resident arachnid expert.

Other links:

Rob Crawford's blog about spider myths

Bioblitz