A new species of spiders discovered in the forests of Karnataka has been named after Godric Gryffindor – a character from the wizarding world of Harry Potter. The spider is uniquly shaped like the magical artifact, the Sorting Hat, which features in J K Rowling’s ‘Harry Potter’ series.
The famous talking hat was owned by the medieval wizard Godric Gryffindor, one of the four founders of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry.
The name ‘Eriovixia gryffindori’ is an ode to the “magic lost and found” – in an effort to draw attention to the fascinating, but often overlooked world of invertebrates, and their secret lives.
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The spider is “a small, cryptic, nocturnal araneid which takes refuge in and mimics dried foliage, during daylight hours,” researchers wrote in the study published in the Indian Journal of Arachnology.
Members of the genus Eriovixia Archer are characterised by sub-triangular abdomen, tapering posterior and spiny legs.
Globally represented by 20 species, four are known to occur in India, researchers said.
The new species was found in the ‘Kans’ of Shivamogga in Karnataka – specialised forest lands harbouring unique microclimatic conditions and consisting of evergreen and semi-evergreen vegetation, surrounded by deciduous forest.
Researchers, including Javed Ahmed and Rajashree Khalap from Mumbai, found a female specimen of the spider during a survey of the ‘Kans’ of central western ghats.
The specimen was photographed and subsequently collected and preserved.