New Giant Tarantula Discovered in Sri Lanka

by Nadia Drake

A new type of tarantula about the size of your face has been found in northern Sri Lanka. Scientists found the spiders — with a leg span up to 8 inches across — living in trees and the old doctor’s quarters of a hospital in Mankulam.

Covered in beautiful, ornate markings, the spiders belong to the genus Poecilotheria, known as “Pokies” for short. These are the tiger spiders, an arboreal group indigenous to India and Sri Lanka that are known for being colorful, fast, and venomous. As a group, the spiders are related to a class of South American tarantula that includes the Goliath bird-eater, the world’s largest.

The new spider, named Poecilotheria rajaei after a local police inspector who helped the team navigate post-civil war northern Sri Lanka, differs from similar species primarily in the markings on its legs and underside, which bears a pink abdominal band…

(read more: Wired Science)          (photos: Ranil Nanayakkara)

  1. thesmellbeforeraain reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  2. cannapolis reblogged this from rhamphotheca
  3. gandhicupcake reblogged this from rhamphotheca and added:
    Nope!!!! Nope nope nope nope nope nope no no no no no!!!!
  4. nature-of-the-day reblogged this from rhamphotheca
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  6. private-eden reblogged this from invertebrate-science
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  8. warriorculture reblogged this from invertebrate-science and added:
    AWESOME. The markings remind me a bit of a fringed ornamental.
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  18. homeinabottle reblogged this from rhamphotheca and added:
    Science is when you give a really scary-looking group of spiders an adorable name like “Pokies”.
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  27. lycan1989 reblogged this from rhamphotheca and added:
    Guess so.
  28. occumbomortuus reblogged this from aleshaterae
  29. implodesoncontact reblogged this from chinabluee and added:
    This is now the reason why I will NEVER EVER travel to Sri Lanka
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