Photographer uncovers new species in the City of Kalamunda

04 August 2020 2:00 PM

Five new species of jumping spider have just been uncovered in Kalamunda National Park and Korung National Park in the Perth Hills by photographer, Holly Martin. The discoveries, still to be scientifically verified, have been identified via her photographs by Australian Spider expert and author of "The Field Guide to Spiders of Australia" Robert Whyte.

This could mean she has uncovered nine new spider species in Western Australia in less than three years, with three of the discoveries being new genus. 

Photographer Holly Martin with her pet dog
Image: Photographer Holly Martin

Robert Whyte stated “This new genus is exciting. It appears to be a missing link between Evarcha and ’Salpesia’.  It made me want to leap into the car and travel to WA."

Holly, originally from Welland, Ontario has been living in Australia for the past nine years, discovered the new species while out hiking in the Perth Hills, including exploring a dried-out creek bed earlier this year.  She said, "they are impossibly small, which makes them difficult to spot and why I've managed to find so many!  I'm by no means an expert on spiders, however, Roberts book has been a wonderful tool to help narrow down the identity of the spiders around the area I've searched.  He has been incredibly generous with his time over the past three years."

Mayor Margaret Thomas said, “These exciting discoveries illustrate how much we still have to learn about our environment and how important the City’s commitment to delivering ecological sustainability and maintaining the integrity of the natural environment is.”

“Enjoying one of our many trails doesn’t have to be about racing from one end to another, they’re also a great opportunity to stop and notice the little things. You never know what you might discover”.

For more information please contact the City of Kalamunda on 9257 9999, email enquiries@kalamunda.wa.gov.au.

Images below: Photographs taken by Holly Martin of the small jumping spiders.

A small jumping spider on the ground photographed by Holly Martin in 2020    A small jumping spider on the end of twig photographed by Holly Martin in 2020

A small jumping spider on dry leaves photographed by Holly Martin in 2020  A small jumping spider on a green stem photographed by Holly Martin in 2020

A small jumping spider on a rock photographed by Holly Martin in 2020  A jumping spider photographed by Holly Martin in August 2020

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