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9 colorful and endangered tree-dwelling tarantulas discovered in Brazil
Date:10/30/2012

Arboreal tarantulas are known from a few tropical places in Asia, Africa, South and Central America and the Caribbean. These tarantulas generally have a lighter build, thinner bodies and longer legs, better suited for their habitat. They have increased surface area at the ends of their legs, allowing them to better climb different surfaces, while their light build makes them more agile.

Their core area is the Amazon, from where most of the species are known and normally very common, living in the jungle or even in house's surroundings. Now, nine new species were described from Central and Eastern Brazil, including four of the smallest arboreal species ever recorded.

The study was performed by Dr Rogrio Bertani, who is a tarantula specialist and a researcher at the Instituto Butantan in Sao Paulo, Brazil. His results have been published in the open access journal ZooKeys.

"Instead of the seven species formerly known in the region, we now have sixteen", said Dr Bertani. "In a resurrected genus with a mysterious single species known from 1841, we have now five species". "These are the smallest arboreal tarantulas in the world, and their analysis suggests the genus to be very old, so they can be considered relicts of a formerly more widely distributed taxon".

Other discoveries include new species of tarantulas living inside bromeliads. "Only a single species had been known to live exclusively inside these plants, and now we have another that specialized in bromeliads as well". A further species was found at the top of table mountains where trees are rare. "This species also inhabits bromel
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Contact: Dr. Rogerio Bertani
rogerio.bertani@uol.com.br
Pensoft Publishers
Source:Eurekalert  

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