The Hebrew University of Jerusalem announced that Israeli researchers have discovered a new species of desert spider in Wadi Araba, in the southeast of the country.

The spider, which builds nests lined with silk in its nest, was discovered by researchers at the Hebrew University and Ben-Gurion University while studying the effects of oil pollution on spider species.

The black velvet spider was named Sahastata aravaensis, in reference to its habitat.


In their study, researchers at the university analyzed how the 1975 oil spill and 2014 spill affected spider populations. Based on the observation, it was concluded that accidents have negative and long-term effects.

The researchers said the new spider species could be used to indicate a state of ongoing soil pollution in desert habitats.

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