Wayne Maddison, Director of the Beaty Biodiversity Museum, spent part of the summer of 2008 in the jungles of Papua New Guinea searching for new species of jumping spiders.
The work was part of a Conservation International project surveying the rich biodiversity of the Papua New Guinea forests. Amazingly, Maddison found dozens of species new to science.
|A salticid spider in the genus Cytaea, showing the characteristic eyes of the family.||Kris Helgen, Robert Sine and Steve Richards about to board the plane in Port Moresby going to Mt. Hagen.||The high-altitude moss-covered forest environment found at Kai-Ingri in Papua New Guinea.||Muse Opiang and Kris Helgen in the field camp in the cold forests at 3300m elevation.|
|Collecting spiders. The stick is used to shake spiders off the branch, causing them to fall onto the white screen where they can be easily spotted.||Some salticids show astonishing body colourations, such as the metallic regions on this species in the genus Zenodorus.||Dr. Wayne Maddison photographs live spiders in the field camp.||Cucudeta zabkai, one of the previously undescribed species belonging to a completely new genus.|
|A species in the genus Bulolia showing iridescence on the pedipalps and a highly modified first pair of legs.||Spider-hunting colleagues from Suyan Village who were instrumental in finding the new species Tabuina rufa.||A sample of the vibrant colours found in salticid spiders.||In this species (genus Bathippus) the chelicerae, or mouthparts, are remarkably large. Most spiders feed by using their chelicerae to grab their food, injecting venom with fangs (on the tips of the chelicerae), then sucking the juices out of their prey, as if they were drinking a milkshake through a straw.|
|Puali Yain Khapiap observes mammologist Kris Helgen working on a bat specimen.||A jumping spider believed to be a new genus and species, photographed in its natural habitat; a montane rainforest at 1400m elevation in Papua New Guinea.||Aislan Tama Wanakipa Indiaf, Kris Helgen and Wanakipa Indiap Pita examine a live bat trapped in a mist net in the montane rainforest.||Some of the great diversity of body forms and colours found in salticids from Papua New Guinea.|
|The logistics of doing field work in Papua New Guinea involved helicopters, supply drops, field camps, and lots of trekking through the jungle. Watch as Dr. Maddison documents one stage of his journey from Wanakipa to the main field site.|
|Though not from Papua New Guinea, this footage from Dr. Maddison shows a pair of spiders of the species Habronattus coecatus, in which the male is doing a courtship dance.|
|How do you document tiny spiders when you're in an isolated field camp? Watch this video to find out. The camera is a simple waterproof digital camera with a lens glued onto it: crude but sturdy and good enough to document the species.|
|Dr. Maddison also shot video of the spiders in the camp. See several different types of spiders in action in this video: the genera are Agorius (looks like an ant!), Coccorchestes (looks like a beetle!), Leptathamas (looks like a bird dropping!), Chalcolecta, and Diolenius.|