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Spruce-fir moss spider

Spruce-fir moss spider
Conservation status

Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Arthropoda
Class: Arachnida
Order: Araneae
Family: Dipluridae
Genus: Microhexura
Species: M. montivaga
Binomial name
Microhexura montivaga
Crosby & Bishop, 1925

Spruce-fir moss spiders (Microhexura montivaga) are an endangered species of spider found at high elevations in the southern Appalachian Mountains. First identified in 1923, they inhabit moss that grows on rocks underneath the forest canopy. They construct tube-shaped webs, apparently for shelter rather than catching food. The spiders can take as long as three years to reach maturity, due to the low temperatures and resulting slow metabolism.

The widespread death of Fraser fir trees in the 1980s destroyed many habitats for the spiders, and they were listed as endangered in 1994. Today they are known to exist on Clingmans Dome, Mount Collins, Mount Le Conte, Mount Mitchell, Grandfather Mountain, and Roan Mountain.

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Spruce-fir_moss_spider". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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