Researchers from the California Academy of Sciences have discovered an eight-legged creature that is at once a new family, genus and species of spider. This marks the first discovery of a new North American spider species since 1890.

Called the trogloraptor, the creature is a large, cave-dwelling spider with primitive features and long, claw-like legs it likely uses to pin down its prey, according to a report published in the journal ZooKeys. Its name literally means “cave robber.” The spiders were only found hanging from cave roofs by a few strands of silk.

The spider is unique in that it has a breathing apparatus unlike any other breed of spider known to man.

“It’s very unusual for anywhere, in all of life, to walk out in the woods, pick up something, look at it, and say, ‘Bam, this is a new family of life on Earth,’” Jonathan Coddington, associate director for science at the Smithsonian Institution, told PBS. ”That isn’t just among spiders. It almost never happens.”

The spider was first brought to the attention of researcher Charles Griswold by a group of citizen scientists from the Western Cave Conservancy, the news organization reports. Griswold spent 18 months studying the mystery spider before determining it was an undiscovered breed.

Though various attempts were made to study the predatory and mating habits of trogloraptor, the researchers were unable to determine much about the species’ lifestyle. Numerous unsuccessful attempts to feed the spider may indicate a prey preference that was not offered.

Featured photo credit: Charles E. Griswold, Tracy Audisio, Joel M. Ledford/ZooKeys