back to article MULTICOLOURED TARANTULAS found UP TREES in Brazil

Spider experts working in Brazil have discovered nine new species of pink, purple and orange mini tarantulas after carefully probing into the classification of the hairy horrors. The haul of new spider species comes from a study in the Amazon rainforest by tarantula specialist Dr Rogerio Bertani of the Instituto Butantan in Sao …

COMMENTS

This topic is closed for new posts.
Thumb Down

Oh well done.

How many times do you use the word "small", "tiny", "smallest" and so on without once giving us an idea of scale. How about you use the unit `dinner plate'. Tell us how small small is for a tarantula as a proportion of a dinner plate. 1 ground dwelling tarantula being one dinner plate, is one of these little critters 1/10th of a dinner plate? 1/1000th? 1/2?

What?

I'm none the wiser.

14
0
Silver badge
Black Helicopters

Re: Oh well done.

Indeed. When it comes to spiders, anything larger than my little finger nail moves from Tiny all the way to Stamp-On-The-Scary-Bastard-Now.

Oh look, a spider icon. Must have lost a leg while a mate was trying to eat it.

8
0
Silver badge

Re: Oh well done.

Looking at the other pictures in the article, it appears one leg segment ∼ 1cm. So still O(dinner plate).

0
0
Silver badge

@FartingHippo

Takes all kinds, I guess. Personally, I thought they were cute, but then, I've always liked spiders.

They eat pests, and are one of Nature's most perfect predators, while being mostly harmless to humans.

Sure there are a few species dangerous to humans, like the Redback, Brown Recluse, and the Black Widow, but the vast majority are less dangerous to people than Honeybees. Hell, even more harmless than flies, since they don't spread disease!

Of course, on the downside, they do tend to show up everywhere! Factoid: Unless you're outdoors in Antartica, you're probably never further than a meter from a spider.

3
0
Anonymous Coward

@Captain DaFt

Thanks for the info, Sheldon. Here's another factoid - people who already know all that can still be creeped out by them.

3
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

@ Captain DaFt

I also like spiders, but living in Australia I'm fairly choosy about what species I allow to cohabit with me. Redbacks and White-tails, for example, die upon detection.

My favourite kind is the Huntsman spider, a common household species in Adelaide. They're definitely in the huge-'n'-hairy category, averaging 3 inches across the legs with a fat bulbous body more than an inch long. They look horrific, but they're completely non-poisonous and harmless (although if you piss them off they can inflict a painful bite). These I'm quite happy to have around the house, since they get rid of the flies and mozzies that are a perennial problem here.

What I most like about Huntsmans is they don't build webs, so they don't clutter up your place with scruffy spider silk wall hangings. Instead, they lie quietly in a corner until a fly or moth or mozzie flies near them, then they teleport themselves to the location of the prey insect, knocking it to the floor, and scoff it down then and there. "Teleport" is the only way to describe the speed with which these spiders jump to snatch prey, and it can be a bit disconcerting to watch, but I have yet to have one land on me - they choose their launch vectors wisely!

Want to see what one looks like? Have a look at this! (WARNING: horrible-huge-'n'-hairy alert!)

0
0
Silver badge

Re: @ Captain DaFt

Being American, I did a double take when I read that, as I read "mozzies" and thought for a moment you meant felines. That would be one hell of a nasty spider to take down a cat!

I'm not afraid of spiders per se, and quite like tarantulas, but I'd have to draw the line at seeing a furry 3" blur zipping across the room out of the corner of my eye, regardless of its ability to kill flies and mosquitoes. If insects that much of a problem, I'll be sure to keep my window screens in good repair rather than sharing my house with prowling spiders!

Come to think of it, can moggies share a house with huntsman spiders? It's bad enough when the cat tries to bring in a half eaten something it caught outside, but if it's catching them inside it'd probably bring a half eaten spider into my bed first thing in the morning. No thanks!

0
0
Anonymous Coward

fractal dinnerplates

If it's say 1/10th of a dinner plate, are we properly talking dinnerplate surface or dinnerplate radius (so 1/100th of surface)?

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: @ Captain DaFt

Want to see what one looks like? Have a look at this! (WARNING: horrible-huge-'n'-hairy alert!)

That actually looks quite cute to me, and that's from someone who doesn't particularly care to be near spiders!

0
0
Happy

Re: @ Captain DaFt

@ Steven Roper

That Huntsman is so CUTE. Totally in agreement that a nice non-web-building spider is a boon to have in the house, I used tgo have whatever the UK equivalent is in my previous houses & they seemed to not only keep the place clear of flying beasties but also I had few other spiders about - wish I could find & import some to this house, for some reason I only seem to have web producing ones here.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Preserve the rain forest

So we can save tree-dwelling poisonous spiders?

Have these people never seen "Eight Legged Freaks"? We're one accident away from large, colourful, carnivorous spiders jumping out of trees at us.

Burn the forest down now! It's us or them...

3
1
Anonymous Coward

can I have one with Hello Kitty please

my daughter would love that!

I wonder, how soon before they'll start showing off logos, like apples and such.. .windows, and stuff.

2
0
Thumb Up

Re: can I have one with Hello Kitty please

Sure - old stuff - can't miss the chance to plug my workplace - http://www.delcam.com/ ... you can see Boris the Spider everywhere, especially here - http://www.delcam.com/general/about/boris.asp !

0
0
Mushroom

Re: can I have one with Hello Kitty please

I think you mis-worded that. I think you meant "How long before they're sued by Apple for having an apple logo on their body?". ;-)

Dave

1
0
Bronze badge
Thumb Down

No blue arse - no story!

Meh. I preferred the story about the monkey with the massive blue arse.

*Where's the arse on a spider anyway? Just wondering.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: No blue arse - no story!

And the question science has always wanted to know - why don't they have 7 of them, one between each pair of buttocks ?

2
0

Seven missing buttocks could be a story.

They also missed the chance to have seven more heads, or armpits or something.

I suppose you don't really need them, just living in trees.

Arses would be useful, though.

0
0
Mushroom

Arachnophobia

Won't someone think of the children?

Have none of you seen Arachnophoblia? It only takes one of the little buggers to get flown over here....met a local lass....Implant her will a million offspring, and I'll be scared to move!

Explosion = What we should be doing to the spiders that are bigger than 1cm

1
0
WTF?

Re: Arachnophobia

Do you see what happens?

Someone mentions spiders and my spelling goes to pot!

What is this "Arachnophoblia" that I've mentioned??

3
0
Coat

Re: Arachnophobia

Arachnophoblia = the extremely confused mental (and likely physical) state resulting from a person simultaneously feeling both arachnophobia and arachnophilia.

You need to trade mark this while you can, before you get sued in the EU and US.

0
0
Anonymous Coward

Re: Arachnophobia

arachnophilia - is that getting it on with dead spiders?

0
0
Boffin

genuine question

what use, specifically, would a pharma company for these lil' critters?

Is it just for the colours and how to make new dyes?

0
0
Silver badge

Re: genuine question

Venom...possibly their silk? Venom has lots of compounds which can be researched to find new drugs.

0
0
Silver badge

Re: genuine question

It is confusing - I thought it was pharma first multicoloured spiders second.

0
0
Silver badge
Thumb Up

Re: genuine question

Silk is of extreme interest to engineering companies more than pharma. strength-weight ratio is better than steel, but no-ones been able to properly replicate it industrially. BUT - do tarantulas even produce silk at all?? I thought the were hunters rather than trappers

0
0

Re: genuine question

Funny you should ask that. The answer is yes, and, unusually, they can exude it from their feet.

See http://www.bbc.co.uk/nature/13382903 for details (warning, spider pics)

Spider silk isn't just used for predatory webs. It's used to make homes (funnels and tunnels and trapdoors), to protect young (the nursery spiders make little tents full of spiderlings), to constrain prey, to package up eggs and for transport - both for the traditional dangly stuff and, if they're not too heavy, for 'parachuting' on the wind from one place to another. Some insects, particularly moths, can use silk in some of these ways, but only spiders have such a wide range of uses, and only spiders, as far as I know, can vary the structure of their silk according to what they are doing.

That said, I'm still terrified of the bastards.

1
0

Re: genuine question

Yes, some of the ground-dwelling tarantulas produce a great deal of silk, as a cross between a mat and a web surrounding their favourite resting place.

0
0
Happy

Me too!

That said, despite suffering from arachnophobia still, I can appreciate their beauty and definitely their usefulness!

Just as long as they stay in the tropics, we'll get along just fine.

0
0

Re: Me too!

They don't have to stay in the tropics, they can go anywhere I don't. I'm not fussy.

0
0
Bronze badge

Tropical houseguests

We used to have a large bird eating spider (I have a pic of it on a bathroom tile and it was getting on for 8 inches across). Living wild in the house.

I have no idea why it had decided to live above the toilet cistern (and not one of the cisterns that are high up on the wall the waist height ones) rather than a burrow it used to like sitting on the wall at about chest height, once you got over that fact during your toilet you were fine.

I just made sure to shuffle my feet when walking round at night with the lights off (toilet light was a bit dodgy and didn't always work). Frankly it was a welcome house guest for getting rid of other annoying bugs.

It lived in the house for quite a while until one day the tokay gecko living in the eaves of the house ate it.

0
0
This topic is closed for new posts.

Forums