World’s Oldest Known Spider Dies at the Age of 43

With over 35,000 species of spiders present in the world, most of us have always freaked at the very sight of one of these creatures climbing along the walls. Some of these spider species are very famous, like the tarantula, black widow and trapdoor spider.

Recently, the world’s oldest known trapdoor spider “No.16” was declared dead after surviving for 43 remarkable years. Living for such an incredibly long time might help you understand why some scientists mourn the loss of such versatile living organisms.

No. 16

This particular spider was named “No. 16” because she was the 16th member of a group of spiders that were kept under observation at Australia. This eight-legged quadragenarian was under the observation of Australian scientists and Arachnologists in her natural habitat when she was found dead.  The cause of death was the sting of a parasitic wasp.

Arachnologists have found that the wasp’s sting resulted in the growth of larvae inside the spider’s body which eventually spread and ate her from the inside. Not exactly the best way to go, huh?

Doctors also stated that the spider would have lived up to 50 years of age had the unfortunate event not taken place.

Trapdoor Spiders – An Overview 

Trapdoor Spiders are a common species of spider which can be found all over the world. They are medium-sized mygalomorphs which live in burrows with a cork-like trapdoor made of soil, vegetation or sometimes silk.

They are sly predators that feed on small eggs, baby snakes, other spiders and mice – and belong to the family of Ctenizidae of the order Araneae.  They are most common along the western parts of Australia and the United States.

Interesting facts about No.16

Here are some interesting facts about No.16 which will surely make you almost admire this spider:

  • No.16 was born in 1974 at North Bungulla Reserve which is situated near Tammin in Southwestern Australia.
  • The spider was kept with other 15 trapdoor spiders for observing their habits, movements, mentality, and instincts.
  • No.16 beat the record of the Mexican tarantula which was alive for 28 years by living for 15 years.
  • The lead researcher who kept the spider under observation is Barbara York Main who monitored the spider since 1974.
  • Trapdoor spiders usually have a lifespan of up to 20 years. However, miraculously No.16 survived for 43 years, and doctors say that it might be her genes or instincts that kept her alive.

Scientists believe that this spider contributed immensely to science and animal culture.  Rest in peace, No. 16.

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