Bexar County spider to be removed from Endangered Species list after misidentification

Braken Bat Cave meshweaver no longer meets the definition of a new species under the ESA

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service does not have an image of the Madla Cave meshweaver, but the Bandit Cave spider shown here is a similar species also found in Central Texas. (Colin Strickland/City of Austin via US FWS)

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has removed the Braken Bat Cave meshweaver from the Endangered Species Act (ESA).

The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services discovered that the Braken Bat Cave meshweaver is not a separate species but one that already exists under the Endangered Species List, as the Madla Cave meshweaver.

Due to this fact, the Braken Bat Cave meshweaver will be removed from the ESA. But the Madla Cave meshweaver will remain a part of the ESA.

“Based on the results of genetic and morphological studies, in 2018, researchers ‘synonymized’ the Braken Bat Cave meshweaver with the Madla Cave meshweaver meaning that they are the same species,” said the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services.

According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Services, “because individuals previously attributed to this species have been synonymized with the endangered Madla Cave meshweaver, they will continue to remain protected under the ESA.”

The final removal of the spider from the list of threatened and endangered species will be published in the Federal Register and will go into effect 30 days after publication.

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About the Author:

Emily Ramirez is a Digital Producer trainee for KSAT 12. She has written and photographed for several magazines and newspapers, including San Antonio Magazine, Austin Monthly and the San Antonio Current. A proud San Antonio native and graduate of Southwestern University in Georgetown, she is now completing her M.A. at UTSA.