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Freak New Species Of Terrifying Tarantula Discovered

by : Cameron Frew on :
Freak New Species Of Terrifying Tarantula Discovered
Freak New Species Of Terrifying Tarantula Discovered (JoCho Sippawat)

Beware, arachnophobes: a terrifying new species of tarantula has been discovered in Thailand.

For people in the UK, the biggest eight-legged freak they'll ever have to deal with is an above-average house spider. For those in countries like Australia and even parts of the US, there's a risk of colourful, more dangerous encounters.

This new breed of creepy-crawler was discovered by JoCho Sippawat, a famous wildlife YouTuber from Thailand. He'd been exploring Mae Tho, Mueang Tak district, Tak province, when he came across the spiders inside mature culms of Asian bamboo stalks.

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After collaborating with Dr. Narin Chomphuphuang, of Khon Kaen University, and Chaowalit Songsangchote, of Kasetsart University, they came to the conclusion that it's the first case of a genus of tarantula that lives exclusively in bamboo stalks, according to a news release.

It was named Taksinus, in honour of the Thai king Taksin the Great, who reunited Thailand after its defeat at the hands of the Myanmar, and is recognised as one of the country's great rulers. The name was also chosen in recognition of his previous name, Phraya Tak, when he governed Tak province.

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'These animals are truly remarkable; they are the first known tarantulas ever with a bamboo-based ecology. Few people realise how much of Thailand's wildlife remains undocumented... we are primarily on a mission to research and save the biodiversity and wildlife within these forests from extinction, especially species-specific microhabitats,' Dr. Chomphuphuang said.

The tarantula exclusively lives in bamboo. (JoCho Sippawat)
The tarantula exclusively lives in bamboo. (JoCho Sippawat)
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'We examined all of the trees in the area where the species was discovered. This species is unique because it is associated with bamboo, and we have never observed this tarantula species in any other plant.

'Bamboo is important to this tarantula, not only in terms of lifestyle but also because it can only be found in high hill forests in the northern part of Thailand, at an elevation of about 1,000m. It is not an exaggeration to say that they are now Thailand's rarest tarantulas.'

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The tarantula is the first of its kind found anywhere in the world. (JoCho Sippawat)
The tarantula is the first of its kind found anywhere in the world. (JoCho Sippawat)

Taksinus does have a fairly icky 'quality', you could say: it has a short embolus of the male pedipalps, used to transport sperm to the female seminal receptacles during mating. Its habitat type is also vastly different to those of related species, with Southeast Asian tarantulas known for being terrestrial or arboreal, while this genus spends its time on just one tree type.

Due to the thickness of the bamboo stems, the spiders aren't able to bore into them on their own. They have to wait for other animals to chomp or break their way in, whether it's a bamboo borer beetle, worm, carpenter bee or other rodents. Bamboo can also crack as a result of the weather.

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Cameron Frew

Entertainment Editor at UNILAD. 2001: A Space Odyssey is the best film ever made, and Warrior is better than Rocky. That's all you need to know.

Topics: News, Animals, Thailand