Tooth Cave Spider   SPIDER
Tooth Cave Spider
Tooth Cave Spider
© Robert & Linda Mitchell
Scientific Name:
Neoleptoneta myopica
Status/Date Listed as Endangered:
EN-US FWS: September 16, 1988
Area(s) Where Listed As Endangered:

The tooth cave spider the smallest of all known invertebrates and only found in the Edwards Plateau located in Travis County of Texas. Adults grow less than two millimeters in length. It is pale and cream in color and has long legs, and it has six eyes that are hardly visible.

The tooth cave spider can only thrive on the walls and ceilings of caves. It feeds on tiny microarthropods that are caught by hanging from a small tangle or sheet web using its long, thin legs. Its reproductive behavior is unknown.

The current population is estimated as less than 250. This species is threatened by loss of habitat due to urban development. Many of the caves that the species once dwelled in have been paved over or filled in, and contamination by pollutants have also posed a threat to the survival of the species. In an effort to save the species, a recovery plan has been developed which consists of further surveying, researching, protecting, and managing several caves where surviving populations are located.

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