New family of spiders found in Ore. cave

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(AP) – Amateur cave explorers have found a new family of spiders in Southern Oregon,  which 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 Douglas County sheriff’s Deputy Dave 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.

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