A new species of a giant tarantula is discovered.
Let’s start with some reassuring news. Tarantulas don’t eat people, their bite is less toxic than a bee’s, and they prefer to live underground.
Moving on, there was big excitement in the arachnid world recently when scientists found a tarantula the size of a human face. They think the Sri Lankan spider is a new species.
Differentiating characteristics include its leg markings and a pink band across its underside.
It belongs to the tiger spider group indigenous to India and Sri Lanka but with relatives scattered across the globe. Noteworthy kin includes the even larger Goliath Bird-eater of South America.
The first official sighting of new tarantula was recorded in 2009 when a local man brought a dead specimen to a Sri Lanka research facility. In the following years the scientists collected and studied enough of them to declare them unique.
Peter Kirk, editor of the British Tarantula Society's journal is on board with the call but acknowledges there may not be enough evidence to satisfy some.
He hopes in the future a more complete DNA analysis of the group will take place