In news: Researchers have sighted a critically endangered species of tarantulas for the first time beyond its known habitat in the Eastern Ghats. Tarantulas are part of the family of spiders called Hairy Mygalomorphs.

About the species

  • The spider belonging to the genus Poecilotheria, commonly known as the Peacock Parachute Spider or Gooty Tarantula was spotted in the Pakkamalai Reserve Forests, Tamil Nadu. 
  • It is endemic to India & was found at different locations in the reserve forests. 
  • It had so far not been sighted in any other part of India or Sri Lanka except its known habitat in Andhra Pradesh.
  • The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categorises it as Critically Endangered.

Tarantulas are biological pest controllers and there is a huge demand for them by collectors in the pet trade. There is an urgent need to protect them.