A new species of tarantula has been discovered thanks to a YouTuber

(CNN) – To the surprise of scientists, a new species of tarantula, which lives exclusively in the hollow stems of bamboo plants, was discovered recently in Thailand.

“These animals are really exceptional; they are the first known tarantulas with a bamboo-based ecology,” said Naren Chumphowang, a researcher in the Department of Entomology and Pathology at Khon Kaen University in Thailand. In a blog post.

Thai JoCho Sippawat, A wildlife enthusiast and 2.5 million YouTube subscribers, Chumphowang first encountered a tarantula during a walk in the forest near where he lives in Mae Tho, Mueang Tak District, Tak Province, in northwestern Thailand.

Sippawat later emailed a photo of a spider to Chomphuphuang, a spider scientist, which means he’s a scientist who studies spiders.

Chomphuphuang immediately thought it was a new species of tarantula, but it wasn’t until he went on a field trip to examine and study the spider that the creature was officially declared new to science. A new genus and species have been declared distinct from all other known tarantulas: Taxinos Bamboo. Its name is in honor of the eighteenth century Thai king Taksin the Great.

Naren Chumfuwang, center, takes a photo of the research team. YouTuber JoCho Sippawat is on the far left.

The tarantula in Southeast Asia usually lives on the ground or in trees. Tree-dwelling tarantulas often spend time in different types of trees, and this is the first tarantula to live exclusively on a particular plant. According to the study, the newly recognized spider is the only tree tarantula living in Thailand.

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Chomphuphuang said that making a bamboo house has many advantages for the spider. Bamboo contains moisture that helps the spider maintain its temperature, which is especially important for the tarantula, which sheds its exoskeleton and sheds it. The slippery surface of bamboo also deters predators.

tarantula thailand

Taksinus Bambus is the first tarantula known to live only on bamboo stems.

“We examined all the trees in the area where the species was discovered. This species is unique in that it is related to bamboo, and we have never observed this type of tarantula on any other plant,” He said in a press release.

Taksinus Bambus has adapted to life in hollow bamboo stalks, building entrance tubes to the nest with its silk. They also make silk tubes inside the bamboo that they can shelter in.

tarantula

Spiders weave silk tubes inside bamboo stems.

Tarantulas do not burrow into bamboo stems on their own. Instead, they rely on the help of other animals.

According to the study, bamboo is attacked by many animals, such as beetles and worms. Or sometimes bamboo cracks due to changes in humidity.

biodiversity thailand tarantula

The researchers stated that there are a lot of wild animals in Thailand that are still undocumented.

Few people realize how much wildlife there is in Thailand and is still undocumented, Chumphowang said.
“Our main task is to study and conserve the biodiversity and fauna of these forests from extinction, particularly the specific micro-habitats of each species,” he said.

tarantula thailand

Tarantulas live in the high hill forests of northern Thailand, at an altitude of about 1000 meters.

“The first step is to inform people of this species and its location. Then you have to manage and protect this jungle area for the wildlife.”

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The research was published in the academic journal last week Zukes.

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