Laurence Sanders rediscovered the long lost Australian spider 'Thomisidae Monaeses brevicaudatus' in Emerald.

Photographer's uncovers long-lost spider species

TAKING up the hobby of macro photography five years ago allowed Emerald man Laurence Sanders to discover a new world.

The 61-year-old recently rediscovered the long-lost Australian spider Thomisidae Monaeses brevicaudatus in Emerald.

Spider expert and author Robert Whyte confirmed the identification when Mr Sanders posted his discovery to an Arachnid Facebook group.


Laurence Sanders.
Laurence Sanders.

Mr Whyte said the spider could be characterised by its long, narrow body.

The Thomisidae Monaeses are medium-sized, slow-moving spiders that cling to stems of plants with outstretched legs.

Mr Whyte said they live on plants - mainly grass - where their long and straw-coloured bodies camouflage them exceedingly well.

"Well done, Laurence Sanders, another mystery solved," Mr Whyte said.

Mr Sanders took up macro photography as a hobby five years ago, with a passion for photographing small objects.

"I do a lot of native bee photography, which has been published in books," hesaid.


WILDLIFE: Leafcutter Bee - Megachile macularis sharing nest cavity with wolf spider.
WILDLIFE: Leafcutter Bee - Megachile macularis sharing nest cavity with wolf spider. Laurence Sanders

"I photograph any insects, reptiles and anything to do with nature. I do it every afternoon. I just go for a walk around the area.

"It opens up a whole new world and you find things that people never see or notice."

Mr Sanders' work has been published multiple times in The BowerBird Bugle, a weekly newsletter by the BowerBird organisation.

The Bugle shows the variety of animals, plants and fungi that people find across Australia.

Alongside the rediscovery of the Thomisidae Monaeses, Mr Sanders has made many interesting discoveries in town.

In January last year he photographed an extraordinary interaction between a wolf spider and a leafcutter bee.

What Laurence photographed broke the "natural rules" of predator versus prey relationships.

The image circulated and no one had ever seen or heard of such an interaction, let alone had a series of wonderful images that documented what happened.

As well, on August 28 last year MrSanders discovered a never-before-seen spider in Emerald, which is under investigation and yet to be named.

The BowerBird Bugle founder Ken Walker said Laurence was a good citizen scientist.