Parks Australia

Thursday 16 February 2023

Spider Discovery Bush Blitz. Credit Joseph Schubert

An 11-day expedition to discover new species in Australia’s Alpine region has uncovered three new species of spider previously unknown to science.

A warrior huntsman with a shield on its chest, a tiny 3mm jumping spider that looks like a liquorice-all-sort and a wraparound spider that impersonates a tree branch have just been discovered as part of the Australian Alps Bush Blitz species discovery expedition, which continues until Friday 10 February 2023.

The Alps Bush Blitz is the program’s 47th expedition and is focused on the Pilot Wilderness area in the NSW alpine region and the Cobberas Range in Victoria.

The Alps Bush Blitz expedition boasts 15 scientists including botanists and zoologists from Parks Australia’s National Seed Bank in Canberra, the Australian Museum, Museums Victoria, the National Herbaria of NSW and Victoria and the University of New South Wales.

Five science teachers are also on the expedition. They were selected to participate in the Bush Blitz Teach Live program. This allows teachers to work as field assistants during expeditions. This allows them to bring the expedition directly into the classroom in real time via a dedicated website.

Since Bush Blitz’s inception in 2010 it has discovered over 1,850 new plant and animal species including frogs, reptiles, fish, spiders and insects.

Spider Bush Blitz Credit Joseph Schubert

Bush Blitz is the world’s largest species discovery program and is a partnership between the Australian Government through Parks Australia, BHP and Earthwatch Australia.