General, Research, Technology

A new spider has been discovered with a Joker painted on its back.

For the most part, spiders are scary-lookingcreatures that can bite and kill a person with their poison. But in the world there are varieties that do not pose a danger to people and look like small works of art. For example, these species include velvet spiders (Eresidae), whose bodies are covered with thin hairs and decorated with patterns. Recently, in Iran, Finnish scientists have discovered a new variety of velvet spiders, on the back of which is painted something similar to the face of the famous Joker from the 2019 film of the same name. The new look was named Loureedia Phoenixi in honor of actor Joaquin Phoenix, who played a major role in the film. He was awarded such an honor not only thanks to his role - the actor is an active conservationist.

Shot from the movie "Joker"

Beautiful spiders

The new spider was described in the Daily.Mail As a rule, velvet spiders live in Africa, so the joker spider was the first of its kind to live in Iran. The body of a small spider up to 20 millimeters long, covered with many thin hairs of black and white. But on the back there is a red strip against which black hairs form a smile. According to a group of scientists led by Alireza Zamani, this pattern is very reminiscent of the face of one of Batman's main enemies.

"Joker" on the back of the spider Loureedia Phoenixi

The new Loureedia Phoenixi spider is not enoughwell studied. Scientists have so far managed to find only males, so in the future they plan to track them and get to the females. As a rule, velvet spiders are characterized by sexual dimorphism - a phenomenon in which very strong differences in the structure of the body arise between males and females of the same species. Scientists are almost sure that female joker spiders are painted black and have no pattern on their backs. They are also probably larger than males in size.

Interesting fact: joker spider belongs to the genus Loureedia, which was named after one of the most influential musicians of the XX century - Lou Reed (Lou Reed).

Spider maternal instinct

Also, the females of velvet spiders are very strange,frightening and at the same time impressive maternal instinct. After the birth of the offspring, the female feeds them with her own internal organs. When a young mother removes all organs from the body, she dies. Kids, in order not to die of hunger, have no choice but to eat the remains of their mother. Sounds awful, but nature is full of such surprises. This phenomenon is known as "Matrifagy" - from the ancient Greek language, this term can be literally translated as "eating the mother."

Spiders eat their mother's body

After discovering the females, the researchers wantfind out how spiders mate. Most likely, the pattern on the back of males is necessary to attract the attention of individuals of the opposite sex. It may also be that the "joker" on the back warns other animals of the poisonousness of the spider. Yes, they are poisonous, but only for certain types of living organisms - substances containing spider venom do not affect a person in any way.

Another photo of Loureedia Phoenixi

Spider life

If there are no special joker spidersdifferences from other velvet spiders, then about their lifestyle, we can say, everything is known. Tiny spiders covered with thin hairs live in burrows of various beetles and in cracks on the earth's surface. These creatures hunt and feed on fast bugs, worms, and other small organisms. Of the norms, only males usually crawl out - young individuals to search for new housing, and adults to mate with females and get food.

As stated, actor Joaquin Phoenix is ​​ardentdefender of nature. He is a convinced vegan, actively promotes an ethical attitude towards animals and voiced the shocking film "Earthlings", which is devoted to the problem of cruel treatment of our smaller brothers.

In general, in the world there is a huge amountinteresting spiders. For example, recently I talked about tarantulas, some of which weigh like small dogs. Photographer Petr Naskrecki, who retold the whole story with an unusual creation, managed to shoot one of them on camera. You can also find out from the material why this variety of spiders is called "tarantulas" - after all, they eat far from not only feathered creatures.