There's a trapdoor spider on my kitchen floor on Kangaroo Island

A winter downpour a few weeks back flushed out a rather impressive spider that somehow ended up on my kitchen floor.

Knowing we had a resident arachnologist on Kangaroo Island, I captured the spider using a plastic container.

Dr Jess Marsh was indeed interested in my spider and last I heard it was living happily in an enclosure at her place, at least for now.

It turns out my spider could indeed be a new species to science.

"Your spider is of the genus Idiosoma and there is a pretty good chance she is a new species. You cannot tell for sure with females- need DNA analysis, so this is as accurate as I can be for now," Dr Marsh said

"A friend of mine actually gave me a male last week of the same genus, from her place at D'Estrees, which is also likely new.

"Your spider is similar and so they may well be the same species, but again need DNA analysis to tell if they are the same species and if they are undescribed. So...she is very interesting!

I will put her in alcohol and send her, with the male, up to a colleague of mine at the Queensland Museum, who is working on this genus of spiders at the moment.

"There they will sequence her DNA, take detailed images of her and describe her, including count the hairs on her legs etc!.

"Sad to kill her, but she will contribute to science and if it turns out she is a new species then she may become a type specimen for the group - this means she will be a specimen that the whole species is described from, basically gains her a very high level of importance.

"I am currently doing the same with a group of tube-web spiders from KI. We have some really excellent spiders over here!"

But Dr Marsh has been researching another species of trapdoor spider that has an interesting story indeed but tragically has not been seen alive since the summer's devastating bushfires.

Her new project, funded by the federal government, working for the National Environmental Science Programme (NESP), Threatened Species Hub and Charles Darwin University, is trying to work out a way to assess and prioritise fire-impacted invertebrates Australia wide.

Dr Jess on the ABC

The Kangaroo Island micro-trapdoor spider (Moggridgea rainbowi) is thought to have hitched a ride to the Island from Africa on floating rafts of vegetation millions of years ago.

These spiders live along creek beds on the western end of Kangaroo Island that were almost all destroyed by the recent bushfires.

Also impacted on by the recent fires was the KI assassin spider, only known from Western River Conservation Park.

"100 per cent of its known range burnt and we haven't managed to find any after the fires, yet," she said.

Working with her on the invertebrate fire impact study is fellow Kangaroo Island scientist, entomologist Dr Richard Glatz.

There are 10 KI insect species and three arachnids that made the federal priority list for funding, he said.

"We have started looking at various sites on KI to prioritise them for these surveys. In reality, there are many other species that may have been heavily impacted on KI.

"Some aren't described, some have very few records, some have had their entire known range burnt etc. There's lots of specimens in my collection that are the only records of them being on KI."