Newly discovered giant tarantula species filmed

ninemsn staff
9:54am April 8, 2013
April 08, 2013: What is believed to be a new species of tarantula has been found in Sri Lanka with a leg span of up to 20cm.

Video has emerged of a newly discovered species of tarantula which has legs that span an area as large as a human face.

The Poecilotheria rajaei tarantula was first sighted in Sri Lanka in 2009 and initially believed to be a subspecies of another spider group.

But researchers now believe the spider is a new species because of its distinctive physical characteristics and bright yellow markings.

"This species has enough significant differences to separate it from the other species," said Peter Kirk, editor of the British Tarantula Society's journal.

The spider's huge leg span, which can stretch up to 20cm, is on display in a newly released video shot by researcher Ranil Nanayakkara.

Despite its formidable size, a bite from the venomous Poecilotheria rajaei is not believed to be fatal to humans.

Enormous spiders devouring oversized prey
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Source: Wired

Author: Sylvia Varnham O'Regan, Approving editor: Mark Worley

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