Kochi: A research team of Kuravilangadu Devamatha college discovered 19 rare venomous spiders called Tarantula in the Western Ghats of Kerala. Tarantula spider has the size of a small frog and hairy body. Its life expectancy is 10 to 20 years.
Compared to other spiders, its bite will cause severe pain as this species is venomous, said Dr Sunil Jose who led the research team. Tarantulas are illegally exported to Europe and US. Poecilotheria and Haploclastus, two genus under tarantulas, will cost US $ 275 in the market here.
The team found 19 tarantulas of 7 genus from the survey in Western Ghats within 4 years. Annandaliella, Poecilotheria, Neoheterophrictus, Haploclastus, Sahydroaraneus, Thrigmopoeus and Chilobrachys are the seven genus spotted here.
When four spiders belong to Annandaliella and Poecilotheria, four spiders of Haploclastus and Sahydroaraneus were spotted in the Western Ghats. Meanwhile, two spiders of Neoheterophrictus and Thrigmopoeus were discovered. One spider in Chilobrachys species was also found.
The team also discovered two new genus of this spider at Chimminy wildlife sanctuary. Sahydroaraneus Sebastiani and Haploclastus are the two new spiders found here. Sahydroaraneus Sebastiani genus is found in dry deciduous forests.
Haploclostus Devamatha spider was found at Kulathoopuzha and Achankovil areas. It is a hairy spider in a mixed combination of pink and blue colours. This spider was named after Devamatha college.
Landslide and floods destruct the habitat of these spiders, said Dr Sunil Jose. Tarantulas are described in World Spider Catalogue of 2018.