A farmer in China has found a rare spider with a disk attached to its abdomen, according to Chinese media.

The man, who found the wild spider on his orange farm, said he planned to sell the precious find for 'a good price'.

Zhao Li, an insect expert, told a local reporter that the spider was a Chinese hourglass spider and it was highly valuable.

People's Daily reported the man's discovery in a short post on its website, citing a full report from Chengdu Business Daily.

According to both reports, the man, named Li Wenhua, found the spider on his orange farm in Pujiang village near Chengdu, south-west China, on November 14.

At first, Li did not realise it was a spider; instead, he thought it was a cultural relic.

The farmer was surprised by the find and he informed his neighbours, who flocked to Li's home to see the strange spider.

By searching on the internet, Li found out that the spider was called Chinese hourglass spider, or 'li shi pan fu zhu' in Chinese.

Zhao Li, the head of the Insect Museum of West China, told a reporter from Chengdu Business Daily that the spider was indeed a Chinese hourglass spider.

The insect is one of the earliest spiders to have been documented in China.

Chinese hourglass spider has been sighted six times since it was re-discovered in China's Sichuan Province in year 2000, reported Chengdu Business Daily.

Zhao Li said the spider was highly valuable.

He told Chengdu Business Daily:

The spider has very high value in scientific research. It is an extremely rare species in Sichuan. I had spend great effort trying to find it, but I didn't see one.

Zhao also said that the spider fitted the descriptions of a species mentioned in an ancient book called Er Ya.

Published between the fifth century and the second century BC, Er Ya is said to be the oldest surviving Chinese dictionary, dating back as far as the fifth century BC. 

Farmer Li said he planned to sell the spider as pet. He also said that he hoped it could fetch a good price on the market.  

Chinese hourglass spider is a type of trapdoor spiders.

Trapdoor spiders are rarely seen because they live their lives in below-ground burrows that are covered by trapdoors.

Made by the spider using mixtures of soil, sand, and/or plant material, and silk, the trapdoor serves to hide the spider when it forages for meals at the burrow entrance, usually at night.


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