Visitor weblog publish by Dr. Narin Chomphuphuang
Bamboo is essential to some animals as it could function a supply of diet, shelter, and habitat. Inside a bamboo culm, we found a brand new genus of tarantula, which was collected from Mae Tho, Mueang Tak district, Tak province, in Thailand.
The found genus has not been beforehand studied by scientists; that is the primary case of a genus of tarantula that exhibits the stunning specialization of dwelling in bamboo stalks.
We named the brand new tarantula genus Taksinus in honor of the Thai king Taksin the Nice. The identify was chosen in recognition of Taksin the Nice’s previous identify, Phraya Tak – governor of Tak province, which is the place the brand new genus was found. After the Second Fall of Ayutthaya in 1767, Taksin the Nice was the one king of the Thonburi Kingdom to turn into a key chief of Siam, previous to the institution of Thailand.
The bamboo culm tarantula Taksinus bambus was present in Thailand by JoCho Sippawat, a nationally recognized wildlife YouTuber in Thailand with 2.45 million subscribers, who collaborated with Dr. Narin Chomphuphuang and Mr. Chaowalit Songsangchote, the arachnologists who studied and described the brand new genus.
Typically, tarantulas from Southeast Asia will be both terrestrial or arboreal. Arboreal tarantulas spend time on various kinds of timber, however till now, researchers had not beforehand recognized a tarantula discovered solely on a particular tree sort.
“These animals are actually outstanding; they’re the primary recognized tarantulas ever with a bamboo-based ecology,” Narin stated.
The tarantulas had been found inside mature culms of Asian bamboo stalks (Gigantochloa sp.), with nest entrances ranging in measurement from 2–3 cm to a big fissure, inside a silk-lined tubular burrow, both within the department stub or in the midst of the bamboo culms. All of the tarantulas discovered dwelling within the culms had constructed silken retreat tubes that lined the stem cavity.
The tarantulas can not bore into bamboo stems; due to this fact, they rely on the help of different animals. Bamboo is preyed upon by quite a lot of animals, together with the bamboo borer beetle, bamboo worm, bamboo-nesting carpenter bee, and small mammals equivalent to rodents. Moreover, bamboo cracking is primarily brought on by speedy modifications in moisture content material induced by the ambiance, uneven drying, or drenching adopted by speedy drying or by human actions.
Taksinus is assessed as a brand new genus inside the Ornithoctoninae subfamily of Southeast Asian tarantulas. The invention comes 104 years after Chamberlin outlined the earlier genus on this subfamily, Melognathus, in 1917.
What makes Taksinus distinct from all different Asian arboreal genera is the comparatively quick embolus of the male pedipalps, which is used to move sperm to the feminine seminal receptacles throughout mating. Along with morphology, its habitat sort and distribution are additionally completely different from these of associated species. Whereas Asian arboreal tarantulas have been reported in Indonesia (Sangihe Island and Sulawesi), Malaysia, Singapore, Sumatra, and Borneo, Taksinus was found in northern Thailand, which is a brand new geographical location for these spiders.
“We examined the entire timber within the space the place the species was found. This species is exclusive as a result of it’s related to bamboo, and now we have by no means noticed this tarantula species in some other plant. Bamboo is essential to this tarantula, not solely by way of life-style but additionally as a result of it could solely be present in excessive hill forests within the northern a part of Thailand, at an elevation of about 1,000 m. It isn’t an exaggeration to say that they’re now Thailand’s rarest tarantulas,” says Narin.
Few individuals notice how a lot of Thailand’s wildlife stays undocumented. Thai forests now cowl solely 31.64% of the nation’s complete land space. We’re totally on a mission to analysis and save the biodiversity and wildlife inside these forests from extinction, particularly species-specific microhabitats.
Songsangchote C, Sippawat Z, Khaikaew W, Chomphuphuang N (2022) A brand new genus of bamboo culm tarantula from Thailand (Araneae, Mygalomorphae, Theraphosidae). ZooKeys 1080: 1-19. https://doi.org/10.3897/zookeys.1080.76876