Nine new taruntula species discovered in Brazil


This video is called Giant Tarantula.

From Wildlife Extra:

9 unusual new species of Tarantula discovered in Brazil

9 colourful and endangered tree-dwelling tarantulas discovered in Brazil

October 2012. Arboreal tarantulas are known from a few tropical places in Asia, Africa, South and Central America and the Caribbean. These tarantulas generally have a lighter build, thinner bodies and longer legs than their ground living cousins, and are much better suited for their arboreal habitat. They have increased surface area at the ends of their legs, allowing them to better climb different surfaces, while their light build makes them more agile.

Their core area is the Amazon, from where most of the species are known and are normally very common, living in the jungle or even in house’s surroundings. Now, nine new species were described from Central and Eastern Brazil, including four of the smallest arboreal species ever recorded.

‘Resurrected genus’

“Instead of the seven species formerly known in the region, we now have sixteen”, said Dr Bertani, researcher at the Instituto Butantan in Sao Paulo. “In a resurrected genus with a mysterious single species known from 1841, we have now five species”. “These are the smallest arboreal tarantulas in the world, and their analysis suggests the genus to be very old, so they can be considered relicts of a formerly more widely distributed taxon”.

Other discoveries include new species of tarantulas living inside bromeliads. “Only a single species had been known to live exclusively inside these plants, and now we have another that specialized in bromeliads as well”. A further species was found at the top of table mountains where trees are rare. “This species also inhabits bromeliads, one of the few places for an arboreal tarantula to live that offer water and a retreat against the intense sunlight” he says.

All discovered outside the Amazon

The discovery of all these new species outside the Amazon was unexpected and illustrates how little we know of the fauna surrounding us, even from hot spots of threatened biodiversity like the Brazilian Atlantic Rainforest and the Cerrado (a kind of savannah vegetation).

Highly endemic

These species are highly endemic and the regions where they live are suffering high pressure from human activities. Therefore, studies for their conservation are necessary. Furthermore, all these new species are colourful, which could attract the interest for capturing them for the pet trade, constituting another threat.

The study was undertaken by Dr Rogério Bertani, who is a tarantula specialist and a researcher at the Instituto Butantan in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His results have been published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

See also here.

USA: Tarantulas Are Busy Around Halloween, But They’re Not Trick or Treating: here.

The world’s largest spider is the Goliath Birdeater, a tarantula that has some scary dimensions to rival its frightening name. It can grow up to nearly a foot across, weighing in at more than six ounces, with fangs that are over an inch long. The largest individual, according to Guinness World Records, had legs that spanned 11 inches – large enough to cover a dinner plate: here.

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14 thoughts on “Nine new taruntula species discovered in Brazil

  1. It seems remarkable that even in this day and age as many as nine new species of a creature as iconic as the tarantula are there to be found. I do hope the good folk who like to take them as pets leave enough to maintain a viable wild population.

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    • Yes, definitely. Maybe it will help the newly discovered species that they are small, and in the pet trade bigger ones may be more in demand. On the other hand, they are colourful.

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      • Why DO humans have to own everything, including wild animals. I do wish they could be left alone to enrich our ecosystems and maintain the balance of nature. Maybe one day we’ll learn to appreciate them as essential components of the natural world and not just to be plundered for our entertainment. I live in hope 🙂

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