Big new spider species discovery in Sri Lanka


A male Poecilotheria rajaei

From Wildlife Extra:

New tarantula species the size of an ipad discovered in Sri Lanka

New spiders grow up to 8 inches across

April 2013. A large new species of tarantula has been discovered in Sri Lanka. At 8 inches across, the new tarantula isn’t as large as the Goliath bird eating tarantula of South America, which can grow up to 12 inches. Poecilotheria rajaei (as the new spider has been named) would still be as long as an ipad screen. It is also quite fast for a spider, and venomous.

The tarantula was discovered back in 2009 when a villager in Mankulam, up in the northern part of Sri Lanka, provided Ranil Nanayakkara (Co-founder of the Biodiversity Education And Research (BEAR) organisation) with a dead male specimen. Further live specimens were then found in the village’s former doctor’s living quarters. It was quickly established that it was different to any species known from Sri Lanka at that time.

This group of tarantulas are commonly referred to variously as the Indian and Sri Lankan Ornamental Tarantulas, Parachute Spiders, Tiger Spiders, etc. but the scientific name is Poecilotheria rajaei (named after Inspector Michael Rajakumar Purajah – who was instrumental in allowing Ranil and his team access to the areas they needed to get to). It is an arboreal tarantula, so in its natural habitat it prefers to live in holes in trees or similar such crevices.

It belongs to a group of brightly coloured tarantulas from India and Sri Lanka which we can differentiate from one another by the pattern of black bands on the underside of their legs and, in this particular species and one other, a pale, ventral abdominal band.

Adapted to living in houses!

It is the first of what we believe are several new species of tarantula that have been located in this previously inaccessible region of Sri Lanka. Although this species is scarce as a consequence of its natural habitat having been destroyed, it has been able to adapt and has started to encroach on the ‘artificial trees’ that human habitation provides.

Our thanks to The British Tarantula Society & Ranil Nanayakkara.

42 thoughts on “Big new spider species discovery in Sri Lanka

  1. Pingback: Most Influential Blogger Award, thanks oasien! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  2. Pingback: Tag “You’re it” Award, thanks Shaun! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  3. Pingback: Liebster Award, thank you Sue! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  4. Pingback: Liebster Award, thank you Tazein! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  5. Pingback: Shine On Award, thanks oasien and Tazein! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  6. Pingback: Very Inspiring Blogger Award, thanks Bette! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  7. Stunning picture.Thank you my friend for liking my post ( jalal and his Oud) l hope you enjoyed the music.? jalal

    Like

  8. Pingback: Versatile Blogger Award, thanks Tazein! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  9. Pingback: Interesting Blog Award, thanks Shaun! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  10. Pingback: Very Inspiring Blogger Award, thank you Khalil! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  11. Pingback: Shine On Award, thanks Shaun and Tazein! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  12. Pingback: Very Inspiring Blogger Award, thanks gwynnem! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  13. Pingback: Shine On Award, thanks Tazein and Anil! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  14. Pingback: Shine On Award, thanks Giovanna! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  15. Pingback: Very Inspiring Blogger Award, thanks Tazein! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  16. Pingback: Shine On Award, thanks Mush! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  17. Pingback: One Lovely Blog Award, thanks theseeker! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  18. Pingback: Very Inspiring Blogger Award, thanks limseemin! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  19. Pingback: Young chickadees leave their nest | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  20. Pingback: Three new harvestmen species discovered in Peru | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  21. Pingback: Shine On Award, thanks Ajaytao 2010! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  22. Pingback: Shine On Award, thanks Ajaytao 2010! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  23. Pingback: Versatile Blogger Award, thanks Joëlle Jean-Baptiste! | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  24. Pingback: 300,000 visits milestone for this blog | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  25. Pingback: Some entomologists fear spiders | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  26. Pingback: Which blog posts attracted most visits in 2013? | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  27. Pingback: New lizard species discovery in Sri Lanka | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  28. Pingback: Tarantulas, mating season and Halloween | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  29. Pingback: World’s largest(?) spider video | Dear Kitty. Some blog

  30. Pingback: ‘Sri Lankan women cricketers sexually abused by bigwigs’ | Dear Kitty. Some blog

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.