(CTN News) – A sensational new tarantula species has taken the scientific world by storm with its electric blue Tarantula. Discovered in the dense mangrove forests of Thailand’s Phang-Nga province, this stunning arachnid has garnered attention for its captivating appearance and the conservation efforts it has inspired. In this article, we delve into the details of this remarkable find and explore the secrets behind the mesmerizing blue coloration.
The Mesmerizing Discovery:
A team of Thai researchers, including wildlife YouTuber JoCho Sippawat, stumbled upon this mesmerizing species during an expedition aimed at understanding the diversity and distribution of tarantulas in Thailand. The spider, which exhibits a breathtaking blue-violet hue reminiscent of electric sparks, left the researchers astounded. The discovery was detailed in a study published in the research journal ZooKeys on September 18.
The Scientific Findings:
The newly discovered tarantula species, named Chilobrachys natanicharum, derives its striking blue coloration from the arrangement of biological photonic nanostructures rather than pigments. These nanostructures manipulate light to create the vivid blue appearance, a rarity in the natural world due to the challenges in absorbing and reflecting specific wavelengths of light.
Naming and Conservation Efforts:
In a bid to raise awareness and funds for the indigenous Lahu people of northern Thailand, the research team auctioned off the right to name the new species. It was ultimately named Chilobrachys natanicharum, with the name originating from two executives of the company that won the naming campaign.
The Secrets Behind the Blue Coloration:
The electric blue coloration of this tarantula comes from two distinct types of hairs, metallic-blue and violet, located on different parts of its body, including the legs, chelicera (pincer-like mouth appendages), and carapace (upper shell). The coloration varies by sex and age, with females and young males displaying more violet-colored hairs.
What sets Chilobrachys natanicharum apart is its adaptability. Unlike most tarantulas, which are either terrestrial or arboreal, this species can thrive in both environments, showcasing its remarkable versatility.
Habitat and Challenges:
This newly discovered tarantula calls tree hollows home, making it a challenging specimen to capture. Researchers had to climb trees to coax it out, and during their expedition, they managed to collect only two of these elusive creatures. Unfortunately, the decline of mangrove forests, primarily due to deforestation, has made the electric blue tarantula one of the rarest in the world.
Rarity in the World of Electric Blue Tarantula:
Intriguingly, Chilobrachys natanicharum had previously been spotted in the commercial tarantula trade market, but it was known only as “Chilobrachys sp. Electric Blue Tarantula,” with no information on its characteristics or natural habitats. Its discovery highlights the rarity and importance of preserving such unique and stunning creatures in their natural environments.
In conclusion, the mesmerizing electric blue tarantula of Thailand stands as a testament to the wonders of nature and the importance of conservation efforts. Its striking appearance and adaptability make it a captivating addition to the world of arachnology, while also serving as a stark reminder of the fragility of its habitat.