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The comforts of home

Standing guard at the entry to the cave that serves as its home for years, spiders of the genus Stenoterommata, relatives of bird spiders, are not particular about their prey. Even frogs are captured: they just cannot be any bigger than the spiders themselves. Biologist Rafael Indicatti has traveled through the state of Santa Catarina in search of these spiders and in April, 2017, he published the description of six species in the journal Zootaxa. Stenoterommata gugai (at left) is from Florianópolis and pays homage to Brazilian tennis star Gustavo Kuerten, the famous Guga. The doorway to the cave is lined with silk; S. pavesii (at right) is named in a nod to inn owner Mário Pavesi who welcomed the biologist on many a late night during his collection trip.

Images submitted by Rafael Indicatti, a researcher at the Butantan Institute