A tarantula, with the nickname “bambootula,” belonging to a new species of tarantula was discovered by JoCho Sippawat, a popular wildlife Youtuber. Sippawat discovered bambootula while cutting bamboo in the forest near his house in northern Thailand.
A new study also highlights the morphological characteristics of bambootula, determining its different reproductive organs indicate that it also belongs to a new tarantula genus. The unprecedented discoveries show a unique spider that uses bamboo as its dwelling place to live.
New Species and Genus
(Photo : Lillian Suwanrumpha/AFP via Getty Images)
In Sippawat’s YouTube channel below, the popular wildlife YouTuber posted a video containing his discovery of the bambootula tarantula spider:
Other tarantulas are known for dwelling on trees but the case of bambootula is unique. Bambootula derived its name since it uses a bamboo cane or bamboo hardwood as its shelter and eating grounds. The discovery is also a subject of a recent study by arachnologists in Thailand.
The official scientific name of the new tarantula species is known as Taksinus bambus. It is reportedly the first known tarantula in the world to have biological features linked to bamboo, according to Narin Chomphuphuang, an arachnologist at Khon Kaen University in Thailand, as cited by Science News.
The scientific study and research of T. bambus were published in the journal ZooKeys on Jan. 4. Chomphuphuang, along with other researchers, acknowledged the newly discovered spider adapts to living and feeding inside bamboo, making it a home.
Based on the new study, the new tarantula species rely on animals and natural forces to create openings on bamboo stems or culms so they can start to adjust their structure to move around easily and protect themselves from external threats.
Furthermore, the researchers claim that T. bambus does not only belong to a new tarantula spider species but is also a part of a new tarantula genus for the first time in 104 years. The basis was based on the reported size and shape of the spider’s reproductive organs, as per Science News.
The arachnology experts from Khon Kaen University collected samples of the new tarantula genus and species in the Mae Tho area of Mueang Tak district, Tak province, Thailand in July 2020. The team used the genital morphology approach to determine that the spider also belong to a new genus.
Specifically, the researchers distinguished the different features of bambootula, along with additional data from its population, natural history, and morphological characteristics. In light of the new study and the YouTuber’s discovery, it shows that the population of bambootula is thriving in the forest of Thailand.
Tarantulas (Theraphosidae) is a carnivorous spider that can grow up to 11 inches long and has a lifespan of up to 30 years, as per National Geographic. Tarantulas are considered harmless to humans except on rare incidents where they bite a person-who is then intoxicated with its relatively mild venom.
Tarantulas are generally known for living underground where they burrow their way in. It is for this reason that the discoveries of the new bamboo-dwelling tarantula spider open the door for possibilities that spiders can diversely live in different settings as their natural habitat.
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