Meet the Poecilotheria rajaei: The gigantic, newly discovered tarantula researchers found in Sri Lanka

Originally posted on National Post | News:

If you thought that tarantulas weren’t terrifying enough, scientists have now discovered a new kind of tarantula about the same size as a human face.

The Poecilotheria rajaei, discovered in Sri Lanka, was at first thought to be a subspecies of another known type of spider.

“This species has enough significant differences to separate it from the other species,” Peter Kirk, the editor of the British Tarantula Society‘s journal, told Wired. The BTS published a paper on the Poecilotheria rajaei in late December.

The spider’s distinctive leg markings and grey inlays are what sets it apart from other tarantulas.

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However, arachnologist Robert Raven, curator at the Queensland Museum in Australia, told Wired he isn’t quite sure the spider is a new species quite yet, though he says the team did a good job detailing the arachnid.

“The description and figures are excellent and will provide a good basis for establishing whether it…

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