Peacock Parachute Spider spotted in Eastern Ghats

For the first time, the researchers have sighted a critically endangered species of tarantula – Peacock Parachute Spider (or Gooty Tarantula) beyond its known habitat in the Eastern Ghats. The spider belongs to the genus ‘Poecilotheria’. The spider was spotted by a team of researchers of the Puducherry-based Indigenous Biodiversity Foundation (IBF) in the Pakkamalai Reserve Forests near Gingee in Villupuram district. The spider was first sighted in 1899 by Reginald Innes Pocock on the basis of a single female specimen in Gooty. The known habitat of Peacock Parachute Spider is in degraded forests near Nandyal in Andhra Pradesh. Tarantulas are biological pest controllers and there is a huge demand for them by collectors in the pet trade. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) categorised it as Critically Endangered.

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