In the mangrove forests of Thailand, scientists have found a new species of tarantula that is noticeably blue in color.
Last year, scientists in Thailand discovered a new species of tarantula found only in the stems of bamboo plants. Encouraged by this discovery, they have now excavated the Thai forests again. It is not without results, as stated in the magazine ZooKeys To read. Because they have once again discovered a until recently undescribed species of tarantula. The spider has a name Chilobrachis nataliacharum Owns.
What immediately catches the eye is the striking blue color of the spider. “The secret behind the bright blue color of tarantulas is not the presence of blue pigments,” says researcher Naren Chomphovoang. Instead, the blue color is made possible by the unique structure of the hairs on the spider’s legs. “It has nanostructures that manipulate light in a way that creates this amazing blue appearance.”
Blue is a fairly rare color in nature. What makes tarantulas even more special is that in addition to the royal blue color, they can also create a violet color (see photo below).
In the trees
Researchers discovered a tarantula in a tree in a mangrove forest. “These spiders live in hollow trees,” Chomphovoang says. It didn’t make catching spiders immediately easier. “You have to climb a tree and then lure the spider out of its burrow, under wet and slippery conditions. During our journey we walked in the evening and at night, when the tide was low, and we could only catch two.
Researchers believe that the newly discovered tarantula could in any case be considered one of the rarest tarantulas on Earth. There are certainly concerns about the survival of this species. Because mangrove forests, their habitat, are becoming smaller and smaller due to deforestation. “It raises an important question,” the researchers wrote. “By destroying their natural habitat, are we inadvertently depopulating these unique creatures?”
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