13" Wide, Newly Discovered, Arachnid Needs a Name

giant harvestman with ruler photo© Senckenberg

A scientist has discovered a new giant harvestman (a daddy longlegs) in Laos that has a leg span of over 13" and seems to have researchers stumped as to what species it belongs. Its size makes it just smaller than the current record-holding species from South America, which has a leg span of 13.375".

Dr Peter J├Ąger of the Senckenberg Research Institute in Frankfurt, Germany:

In between takes [of a film production I was part of], I collected spiders from the caves in the southern province of Khammouan. In one of the caves I discovered a harvestman that absolutely huge. It's a shame we can't identify such an exceptional discovery correctly. We haven't dealt with these and related genera from China and neighboring Southeast Asia before. Specialists are also unavailable due to the fact that descriptive taxonomy is no longer the main focus of research funding.
Whatever it ends up being called, the notion of a foot-wide daddy longlegs living in caves of Laos is pretty fascinating.

Here's a better look at it:

giant harvestman photo© Senckenberg

13" Wide, Newly Discovered, Arachnid Needs a Name
A new harvestman from Laos has been discovered, but scientists haven't been able to determine to what species it belongs.

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