11yo Murphy Widdowson finds new Wolf Spider

Meet Tasmania’s newest species, the wolf spider ‘Artoriopsis murphyi’, and its namesake, 11-year-old Murphy Widdowson, Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery, December 2021

In 2020 Murphy discovered this spider on Deal Island, Bass Strait where his parents were working at the time.

Murphy asked QVMAG for an identification, however, our resident spider expert – John Douglas – couldn’t find a match.

The specimen was sent to spider taxonomist, Dr Volker Framenau in Western Australia to be described as a new species. Acknowledging Murphy’s inquisitiveness and contribution to biodiversity science, he named it after Murphy, ‘Artoriopsis murphyi’.

Natural Sciences staff, QVMAG volunteers, Murphy’s family, friends and his teacher, all celebrated Murphy’s achievement yesterday with an ‘Artoriopsis murphyi’ cake!