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New underwater spider species named 'Desis Bobmarleyi' after Bob Marley.

A new species of spider has been discovered in Australia that has developed its own unique way to breathe while living underwater. Like most animals from the land down under, this one takes survival to the extreme by being a predominantly marine insect. And, that is not all. The spider has been named Desis bobmarleyi after late Reggae singer Bob Marley.

In their (https://evolsyst.pensoft.net/articles.php?id=15735) paper , published in the open access journal Evolutionary Systematics, the team of researchers from Queensland Museum and the University of Hamburg says that this spider has adapted to living underwater.

Spiders that live under water have been found in Samoa and Western Australia but little is known about these insects.

Unlike the spiders which people are familiar with, the intertidal species of spiders are truly marine. They have adapted to living underwater by finding small pockets of air under barnacle shells, corals or kelp holdfast during high tide.

But the Desis bobmarleyi has developed a unique way to breathe. They use their web to build air chambers from silk. When the sea water recedes, they come out and do usual spider stuff like hunting small invertebrates that roam the surfaces of the nearby rocks, corals and plants.

Both male and female specimens were found and documented from brain coral in January. They are predominantly red-brown in colour. Their legs are slightly of a slightly lighter shade of orange-brown compared to the rest of their body. They are pretty hairy, much like the late Bob Marley, with a dense layer of long, thin and dark grey hair-like covering on their eight limbs and lower body.

The female specimens were larger in size with the studied specimen measuring nearly 9 mm, whereas the male was about 6 mm long.

Little else is known about these spiders in terms of their range and the areas they live in as they are found predominantly underwater. They were spotted in the intertidal zones of the Great Barrier Reef on the north-eastern coast of Queensland.

"The song 'High Tide or Low Tide' promotes love and friendship through all struggles of life," explain the authors for their curious choice of a name in a Phys.org (https://phys.org/news/2017-12-species-marine-spider-emerges-tide.html) report . "It is his music that aided a field trip to Port Douglas in coastal Queensland, Australia, to collect spiders with a highly unique biology."

Robert Nesta "Bob" Marley had a colorful but short career and has been elevated to a cult status since his death at the young age of 36. His best works include hits like "One Love ," "No Woman, No Cry" and "Redemption Song."

He died of Melanoma (skin cancer) in 1981 after he turned down a toe amputation, where the illness was first located. Marley turned down his doctors' advice citing his Rastafarian religious beliefs. Instead the nail and nail bed were removed and a skin graft taken from his thigh to cover the area; but the disease still spread to his brain which claimed the life of the Jamaican legend in 1981.

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Publication:International Business Times - US ed.
Geographic Code:8AUST
Date:Dec 23, 2017
Words:517
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