News / Science & Technology

Super Spider Discovered in Sri Lanka

The newly discovered tarantula Poecilotheria rajaei is seen in a forest in Sri Lanka (Courtesy: Ranil P. Nanayakkara)
The newly discovered tarantula Poecilotheria rajaei is seen in a forest in Sri Lanka (Courtesy: Ranil P. Nanayakkara)
TEXT SIZE - +
VOA News
Arachnophobes beware! Your worst nightmare has been discovered in the form of a venomous and quick-moving tarantula the size of your face that lives in the forests of northern Sri Lanka.

The colorful creature boasts a leg span of up to 20 centimeters across and belongs to the genus Poecilotheria, according to Wired magazine. Spiders in this genus are known as tiger spiders because of their ornate markings.

About 15 species of tarantulas have been classified in the genus.

The new spider has been given the name Poecilotheria rajaei and differs from other spiders in the category mostly because of leg markings and a pink band on its abdomen.
The leg span of the Poecilotheria rajeal tarantula species.The leg span of the Poecilotheria rajeal tarantula species.

The British Tarantula Society published a study on the spider in December, and the editor of the society’s journal told Wired that “this species has enough significant differences to separate it from the other species,” but added that even though there appear to be physical differences from other tarantulas in the genus, a DNA sampling would need to be done to confirm a new species.

Many of the tree-dwelling tarantulas in Poecilotheria are endangered due to loss of habitat.

"They are quite rare," Ranil Nanayakkara, co-founder of the Sri Lankan organization Biodiversity Education and Research, told Wired. "They prefer well-established old trees, but due to deforestation, the number have dwindled and due to lack of suitable habitat they enter old buildings."

Poecilotheria rajaei, while large, would not be the world’s largest spider. That title belongs to the South American tarantula known as the Goliath bird-eater.

You May Like

Algerians Vote in Presidential Election

There were few media reports of protests and clashes around the country, but so far no significant violence More

Sharks More Evolved than Previously Thought

The discovery could “profoundly affect our understanding of evolutionary history” More

Pakistan Military Asked to Protect Polio Workers

Request comes as authorities say a Taliban ban on vaccinations in 2012 and deadly attacks on anti-polio teams have prevented thousands of children from getting inoculated More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Google Buys Drone Companyi
|| 0:00:00
...
 
🔇
X
George Putic
April 15, 2014
In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Google Buys Drone Company

In its latest purchase of high-tech companies, Google has acquired a manufacturer of solar-powered drones that can stay in the air almost indefinitely, relaying broadband Internet connection to remote areas. It is seen as yet another step in the U.S. based Web giant’s bid to bring Internet to the whole world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Ray Bonneville Sings the Blues and More on New CD

Singer/songwriter Ray Bonneville has released a new CD called “Easy Gone” with music that reflects his musical and personal journey from French-speaking Canada to his current home in Austin,Texas. The eclectic artist’s fan base extends from Texas to various parts of North America and Europe. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Austin.
Video

Video Millions Labor in Pakistan's Informal Economy

The World Bank says that in Pakistan, roughly 70 percent work in the so-called informal sector, a part of the economy that is unregulated and untaxed. VOA's Sharon Behn reports from Islamabad on how the informal sector impact's the Pakistani economy.
Video

Video Passover Celebrates Liberation from Bondage

Jewish people around the world are celebrating Passover, a commemoration of their liberation from slavery in Egypt more than 3,300 years ago. According to scripture, God helped the Jews, led by Moses, escape bondage in Egypt and cross the Red Sea into the desert. Zlatica Hoke reports that the story of the Jewish Exodus resonates with other people trying to escape slave-like conditions.
Video

Video Police Pursue Hate Crime Charges Against Kansas Shooting Suspect

Prosecutors are sifting through the evidence in the wake of Sunday’s shootings in a suburb of Kansas City, Missouri that left three people dead. A suspect in the shootings taken into custody is a white supremacist. As VOA’s Kane Farabaugh reports, he was well-known to law enforcement agencies and human rights groups alike.
Video

Video In Eastern Ukraine, Pro-unity Activists Emerge from Shadows

Amid the pro-Russian uprisings in eastern Ukraine, there is a large body of activists who support Ukrainian unity and reject Russian intervention. Their activities have remained largely underground, but they are preparing to take on their pro-Moscow opponents, as Henry Ridgwell reports from the eastern city of Donetsk.
Video

Video Basket Maker’s Skills Have World Reach

A prestigious craft show in the U.S. capital offers one-of-a-kind creations by more than 120 artists working in a variety of media. As VOA’s Julie Taboh reports from Washington, one artist lucky enough to be selected says sharing her skills with women overseas is just as significant.
Video

Video UN Report Urges Speedier Action to Avoid Climate Disaster

A new United Nations report says the world must switch from fossil fuels to cleaner energy sources to control the effects of climate change. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change released the report (Sunday) following a meeting of scientists and government representatives in Berlin. The comprehensive review follows two recent IPCC reports that detail the certainty of climate change, its impacts and in this most recent report what to do about it. VOA’s Rosanne Skirble has the details.
AppleAndroid