New species of tarantula found in Tak

New species of tarantula found in Tak

Taksinus bambus, the first new species of tarantula found in Asia in over a century.  (Photo: Chakkrapan Natanri)
Taksinus bambus, the first new species of tarantula found in Asia in over a century.  (Photo: Chakkrapan Natanri)

A new genus of tarantula has been discovered atop a mountain at an altitude above 1,000 metres in Tak province.

The discovery of the bamboo-dwelling spider was announced on Wednesday by entomologists at Khon Kaen University's agriculture faculty.

The spider, named Taksinus bambus, has been declared a new genus and species in Asia. It is the first time a new species has been discovered in Tak.

The discovery was made by researchers from Khon Kaen and Kasetsart universities, as well as independent academics.

Narin Chomphuphuang, an academic at the entomology and plant pathology division of Khon Kaen University, said the team named the new tarantula after King Taksin the Great, who ruled Tak during the 18th century. It is distinct from other known species as it lives only in bamboo, he said.

"The tarantula was found in the most remote of all geographical areas ever known to us: bamboo forests on a mountaintop higher than 1,000m," he said, adding only 31% of unspoiled forested areas remain in Thailand, posing an existential risk for the species.

The last time a new species of tarantula was found in Asia was 104 years ago.

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