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Η Ύπατη Αρμοστεία του ΟΗΕ για τους Πρόσφυγες εργάζεται για την προστασία και την παροχή βοήθειας σε ανθρώπους που ξεφεύγουν από τον πόλεμο και τις διώξεις. Από το 1951, έχουμε βοηθήσει δεκάδες εκατομμύρια ανθρώπους να βρουν ασφάλεια και να ξαναχτίσουν τη ζωή τους. Με τη δική σου υποστήριξη, μπορούμε να δώσουμε ελπίδα σε πολύ περισσότερους πρόσφυγες.....ς.

Τρίτη, 24 Μαρτίου 2015

Asian "Fortune-Teller" Spider Found in U.S. for First Time

Nephila clavata, a large, orb-weaving arachnid, has taken up residence in northern Georgia, recent research shows.






An East Asian spider known for its colorful nicknames and strong, golden silk has moved into the U.S. state of Georgia—the first time the species has been recorded in North America.

A new study found that trees and shrubs in at least three counties in northern Georgia are now seasonally decorated with Nephila clavata's big, yellow webs. (See spider pictures on National Geographic's Your Shot.)
Scientists think the hand-size arachnids hitchhiked across the ocean as shipping stowaways and have been quietly living in the state for a few years.


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In Japanese mythology, this species is considered a deceptive shape-shifter that preys on young, handsome men—hence its name jorō-gumo, which means "binding bride" or "whore spider." In Korea, the arachnid's name ismudang gumi, which translates to "shaman" or "fortune-teller" spider.
But in real life, so-called Joro spiders are not harmful to humans, and there's no evidence—at least not yet—that their presence has had a negative impact on U.S. ecosystems.
"It knocked my socks off, to some extent, when I saw the first image," says study leader E. Richard Hoebeke, curator of arthropods at the Georgia Museum of Natural History.
"I knew full well it wasn't anything that was among the native spider fauna in this area," said Hoebeke, who described the find in February in the journal PeerJ.

New Kid on the Block
Adult female N. clavata are spectacular sights, with striped legs and abdomens that appear as though they've been dipped in a pool of swirling yellow, red, and black paint. In contrast, the males are a relatively colorless brown, and like males throughout the Nephila genus, are dwarfed by the females.
Sometimes four times as big as the males, female N. clavata can reach up to 3 to 4 inches (7.6 to 10 centimeters) wide in their leg spans.
With such a striking appearance, it's not surprising that study co-author Wesley Huffmaster noticed one near his house in September 2014.
After that incident, Huffmaster, Hoebeke, and colleagues began looking for more such suspicious spiders. Over ten days, the team collected or spotted about a dozen Joro spiders and their tough webs in three counties—a wide distribution that suggests the spiders are successfully setting up shop on their new continent.
The team verified the critters' identities photographically and with DNA testing, which indicated that the Georgia spiders all came from the same source in China or Japan.

Spider Stowaways
As strange as it may seem, spiders have no problem hitching rides around the world.
"With international trade, spiders are hitchhiking all over the place," saysRick Vetter, who studies spiders at the University of California, Riverside. "They get in quite often."
With international trade, spiders are hitchhiking all over the place

Rick Vetter
Researcher, University of California, Riverside

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