Piggyback baby spiders photographed in cave

For the first time in the wild, scientists have photographed one of the unusual characteristics of the blind Kaua'i cave wolf spider: a mother carrying her newly hatched young on her backs.
The endangered species, known only from caves and crevices in the lava of the Koloa region of south Kaua'i, live out their lives in the underground darkness and have evolved in a special way. While their surface relatives have large eyes, these hunting spiders have no eyes.
"This unique eyeless wolf spider is the most remarkable cave species in Hawai'i," said Bishop Museum entomologist Frank Howarth, in text prepared for the announcement.
But that's not all, he said.
"Besides being perfectly adapted to life in the dark lava tubes of Kaua'i, like their big-eyed surface relatives, cave wolf spiders share a special adaptation — their spiderlings have a row of comb-like teeth on their claws that perfectly match the spaces on the multi-branched hairs found on the mother's back. This match allows the spiderlings to hold on for safe transport and protection by the mother."

No comments: