In a fascinating discovery, a new species of tarantula with electric blue coloring has been found in Thailand. This rare and astonishing species reveals secrets about nature and raises questions about the preservation of its habitat.
In 2022, the tarantula bamboo culm was discovered, marking the first known instance of a tarantula species living inside bamboo stems. Following this discovery, researcher Dr. Narin Chomphuphuang and his team undertook an exciting expedition during which they encountered a captivating new species of electric blue tarantula.
Electric blue coloring
“The first specimen we found was on a tree in the mangrove forest. These tarantulas live in hollow trees, and the difficulty in catching an electric blue tarantula lies in the need to climb a tree and lure it out of a hollow complex in wet, slippery conditions. During our expedition we walked in the evening and night during low tide, and only managed to catch two“, said Dr. Narin.
“The secret to our tarantula’s bright blue coloration lies not in the presence of blue pigments, but rather in the unique structure of its hairs, which incorporate nanostructures that manipulate light to create this striking blue appearance.“
Blue is one of the rarest colors in nature, which makes blue coloration in animals particularly fascinating.
Habitat and adaptability
“This species was previously present in the commercial tarantula market. It was known there under the name “Chilobrachys sp. Electric Blue Tarantula”, but there was no documentation describing its distinctive features or natural habitat“, Mr. Narin said.
“The electric blue tarantula demonstrates a remarkable capacity for adaptation. These tarantulas can thrive in arboreal and terrestrial burrows in evergreen forests. However, in mangrove forests, their habitat is limited to residing in tree hollows due to tidal influence“, Mr. Narin also added.
Scientific name and support for causes
The scientific name Chilobrachys natanicharum was chosen after an auction campaign to name the new species. The winner of the campaign was Nichada Properties Co., Ltd., Thailand, which suggested a combination of the company’s executive names.
All proceeds from the auction were donated to support the education of Lahu children in Thailand and cancer patients in financial difficulty.
The discovery of the electric blue tarantula highlights the importance of taxonomy and research to preserve these unique species from extinction. Mangrove forests and the habitats of these rare creatures are threatened by deforestation, and it is crucial to raise public awareness of these issues.
For a better understanding
1. Where was the electric blue tarantula discovered?
The electric blue tarantula was discovered in Thailand, in the province of Phang-Nga.
2. What makes this tarantula’s blue coloring so unique?
The blue coloring comes from the unique structure of their hairs, which incorporate light-manipulating nanostructures to create this striking blue appearance.
3. What is the natural habitat of the electric blue tarantula?
These tarantulas can live in arboreal and terrestrial burrows in evergreen forests, but their habitat in mangrove forests is limited to inside tree cavities.
The scientific name Chilobrachys natanicharum was chosen after an auction campaign to name the new species, and the proceeds were donated to charitable causes.
5. What are the issues related to preserving the habitat of the electric blue tarantula?
Mangrove forests and the habitats of these rare creatures are threatened by deforestation, and raising public awareness of these issues is crucial to saving these unique species from extinction.
Chomphuphuang N, Sippawat Z, Sriranan P, Piyatrakulchai P, Songsangchote C (2023) “A new electric-blue tarantula species of the genus Chilobrachys Karsh, 1892 from Thailand “(Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Theraphosidae). ZooKeys 1180:105-128. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.1180.106278
Legend: Chilobrachys natanicharum. Credit: Yuranan Nanthaisong
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