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DWU Professor, Intern Discover 3 Spider Species

September 14, 2011, 5:36 AM

DWU Professor, Intern Discover 3 Spider Species
Dakota Wesleyan University

MITCHELL, SD - A Dakota Wesleyan University professor and his intern have discovered three new species of spider.

Biology professor Brian Patrick and his summer intern, 22-year-old Dan Sitzmann, discovered the new spiders while performing research at the Fort Pierre National Grasslands this summer.

Two of the discoveries are in the family Linyphiidae, often called penny spiders. One is in the family Theridiidae, also known as the cobweb spiders. This is the same family as the black widow, although the new species is not that toxic. All three spiders are about 1 millimeter in length.

South Dakota Game, Fish and Parks funded the research as part of a grant program.

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