We just can't finish 2013 without another skin-crawling story or two from the front lines of the arachnid apocalypse... and we've found just the thing: according to Wired.com, scientists from the University of Haifa-Oranim in Israel are studying a huge new species of nocturnal desert spider which they found hiding beneath the dunes on the border between Israel and Jordan.
Photo: Yael Olek/University of Haifa
Dubbed Cerbalus aravensis, the hand-sized predator is the largest species of its kind ever found in the Middle East. Its existence was uknown prior to 2010, due to its habit of hiding in a tunnel beneath the sand during the day, complete with a camouflaged entrance similar to that of the trap-door spider. It lies in wait for insects or small lizards to pass close enough to its lair to become a late-night snack.
Photo: Roy Talbi/University of Haifa
Cerbalus may be a fairly new entry in the bug books, but its habitat may already be endangered by mining operations now underway in the area.