The new species of tarantula was discovered by villagers in the northern part of the war-torn country.
With a leg span that would cover a human face, the Poecilotheria rajaei variety of arachnid is a completely new species that had gone undiscovered until some locals took a specimen they'd killed to a spider expert who had been visiting the region. Researcher Ranil Nanayakkara and his team spent days searching the undergrowth for signs of the creature's living relatives.
"Days of extensive searching in every tree hole and bark peel were rewarded with a female and, to our satisfaction, several juveniles too," he said. The spiders were named after Michael Rajakumar Purajah, the police inspector who helped the team navigate Sri Lanka's war-torn countryside.
"A new species of venomous tarantula has been discovered – and it’s as big as your face."
View: Full article
Discuss: View comments (49)