Full Thread: New Species Discovered
View Single Post
Old April 4th, 2013 #26
Alex Linder
Join Date: Nov 2003
Posts: 45,342
Blog Entries: 34
Alex Linder

Sleep Tight: Venomous Tarantula the Size of a Human Face Found in Sri Lanka
Neetzan Zimmerman

Just when you thought spiders couldn't possibly get any worse, along comes Poecilotheria rajaei.

The newly discovered tarantula is described as being the size of a human face, with "beautiful, ornate markings" on its legs which can span up to 8 inches across.

Though venomous, the so-called "tiger spider" is not known to be lethal to humans, which is a fairly small comfort to the people of Northern Sri Lanka, particularly patients at a local hospital, where at least one of these eight-legged freaks was found.

Though some arachnologists expressed doubt that a wholly new species had been discovered, British Tarantula Society journal editor Peter Kirk said the spider "has enough significant differences to separate it from the other species."

Ranil Nanayakkara, the scientist who first documented the face-sized spider's existence, did note that the Poecilotheria rajaei is hard to stumble across — though that might soon change.

"They prefer well-established old trees," he is quoted as saying, "but due to deforestation the number have dwindled and due to lack of suitable habitat they enter old buildings."

End. Deforestation. NOW.