Biologists in Texas recently discovered a rare spider that was believed to be extinct for the past thirty years. The discovery was made in San Antonio, Texas.
The spider, which was tested and confirmed to be the Braken Bat Cave Meshweaver, is known to be eyeless and creates intricate webs that led to its namesake. The spider has been on the endangered species list since 2000 along with eight other spiders in the local area.
Biologists discovered the Meshweaver habitat when a huge downpour of rain exposed a gigantic six-foot deep spider hole. Finding that sounds terrifying to me! Anyway, they tested the spider and confirmed that it was indeed the same species that was discovered in the Texan county some thirty years ago. A biologist associated with the project likened the discovery to “stumbling on a new Galapagos Island in terms of the biological significance of the region.”
However, many people are not excited about finding the Braken Bat Cave Meshweaver in this area of San Antonio. The reason is because this discovery is stopping the expansion of highways Texas 151 and Loop 1064. All construction must be stopped until the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service can hammer out the details with the Federal Highway Administration to protect this spider’s delicate natural habitat. The project is currently underway and the total expenditure is projected to be over $15 million.
It will be interesting to see how this situation plays out. Often, these battles get heated while federal contractors are held responsible for supplies and labor needed to finish the work. Although the spider is rare and endangered, it doesn’t make accepting this change in plans any easier. I am not sure if engineers will have to draft another planned expansion away from this area or if they will try to relocate the spider nests. Learn more here.