September 19, 2014
GRANTS PASS, Ore. (AP) - Amateur cave explorers have found a new family of spiders in southern Oregon that scientists have dubbed Trogloraptor, or cave robber, for its fearsome front claws.
The spelunkers sent specimens to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Entomologists there say the spider - the size of a half dollar - evolved so distinctly that it requires its own taxonomic family - the first new spider family from North America since 1870.
The species name, marchingtoni, honors Deschutes County sheriff's Deputy Neil Marchington, who led scientists to the cave outside Grants Pass.
Academy entomologist Charles Griswold says the spider spins a crude web, but scientists don't know yet what or how it eats.
The discovery is described in the online edition of the journal ZooKeys.
Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Viewers with disabilities can get assistance accessing this station's FCC Public Inspection File by contacting the station with the information listed below. Questions or concerns relating to the accessibility of the FCC's online public file system should be directed to the FCC at 888-225-5322, 888-835-5322 (TTY), or firstname.lastname@example.org.