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Name a spider and discover immortality

Published: Sunday, 10 December 2017

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A four millimetre jumping spider, with hipster ginger beard and red hairs on the top of its legs, has been discovered in Queensland – and Australia is being asked to name it.

Small in size, but flamboyant in colour, the spider was discovered at a Bush Blitz in the Quinkan region of Queensland’s Cape York by Dr Barbara Baehr and Robert Whyte of the Queensland Museum and PhD student Jim Mclean of Macquarie University.

“This fantastic little beast has yet to find a scientific or even a common name. Which is why we want your suggestions to name the critter,” said the Hon Josh Frydenberg MP, Minister for the Environment and Energy.

“I encourage everyone, especially kids, to have a go at naming this spider. It’s a great way for Australians of all ages to be part of the discovery of the wonderful plants and animals found in our own backyards.”

Queensland Museum’s Dr Barbara Baehr, Bush Blitz’s Jo Harding and Minister Frydenberg will shortlist two names for the public to vote on via a social media poll in February 2018.

The winner will become part of scientific history, with the name forever enshrined in literature.

Bush Blitz is Australia’s world-leading species discovery program – a unique and creative partnership between the Australian Government, BHP Billion Sustainable Communities and Earthwatch Institute.

Over the past eight years, Bush Blitz has found more than 1,350 new species by ‘blitzing’, surveying the plants, insects and animals across Australia.
“Australia is biodiversity rich, yet scientists estimate about 75 per cent of species across our vast continent and seas are still waiting to be discovered and described,” said Minister Frydenberg.

The competition is open until midnight on 22 December 2017. For further information and/or to enter, visit http://bushblitz.org.au/name-new-species/.

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