What lives in a cave and has big claws? You guessed from the picture that it’s not a bear. It’s a new kind of spider.
Amateur cave explorers have found a new family of spiders in southern Oregon that scientists have dubbed Trogloraptor (TRA-gla-rap-tor), or cave robber, for its fearsome front claws.
The spelunkers sent specimens to the California Academy of Sciences in San Francisco. Entomologists (scientists who study insects and spiders) there say the spider — the size of a half dollar — evolved so distinctly that it requires its own classification, called a family. And it’s the first new spider family from North America since 1870.
The species name, marchingtoni (mar-CHING-tow-nee), honors Deschutes County Sheriff’s Deputy Neil Marchington, who led scientists to the cave outside Grants Pass, Oregon.
Academy entomologist Charles Griswold says the spider spins a rough-looking web, but scientists don’t know yet what or how the animal eats.