Fun Fact Friday: Meet Smeagol the Spider!

(MSc. Rafael Fonseca-Ferreira)

Did you know that new species of daddy longlegs (Opiliones) has recently been discovered in Brazil, and that it’s named after Smeagol from Lord of the Rings? It’s true!

This arachnid is no social butterfly! It’s a cave dweller, and it never ventures outside, so it’s safe to say that our long legged friend is a bit of a hermit. The creature is sort of a translucent yellow, so it doesn’t have much need for melanin, since it never sees the sun. As a matter of fact, Iandumoema smeagol (its formal name) has one factor that distinguishes it from its namesake Smeagol…..it has no eyes at all!

As you might imagine, if you live in a dark cave that you never venture out of, you probably don’t have much need for eyes anyway! Want to learn more? Check out the research article here.

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