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They’re Not Happy About The Discovery Of Two New Tarantula Species In Ecuador

Despite the humor in their names, these species are seriously threatened.

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Remarkably frequently, new species are discovered, and eight-legged animals appear to be enjoying a bit of a boom year. Two new species of tarantulas have been discovered in Ecuador; however, they don’t seem to be happy about it, and their names are meant to reflect both their sly natures and the challenges they face in terms of conservation.

The first species was discovered in the Cordillera Occidental forest in the Andes mountain range in western Ecuador. The name Psalmopoeus Chrono Arachne is derived from the Greek words for “spider” and “time.” Regretfully, the name implies a sense of urgency because the scientists who made the discovery feel that mining and agricultural practices in the species’ habitat are seriously endangering it.

The phrase that these spiders might “have their time counted” or diminished by significant human activities is referenced in the compound word. In their recently published paper, the researchers write, “The name addresses conservation concerns about the survival and prevalence of spider species in natural environments.”

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Researcher Roberto J. León-E discovered the second species in San José de Alluriquín on a bamboo fence. This species is called Psalmopoeus satanas, the last part of the name referring to the tarantula’s slightly cheeky nature.

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“The members of the Mygalomorphae Research Group in the Laboratory of Terrestrial Zoology at Universidad San Francisco de Quito grew very fond of this individual during its care, despite the individual’s bad temperament and sporadic attacks (reason for the nickname),” the authors write.

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Threats to this species are similar to those faced by the first, including habitat loss due to urbanization and agricultural use.

The possible extinction of P. Chrono Arachne and P. satanas, as well as the ensuing ecological effects, must be taken into account. In their paper, the researchers speculate that these species “may serve essential roles in the stratified micro-ecosystems in their respective areas.”

Based on the morphology, or outward appearance, of specialized reproductive organs known as spermathecae and, in males, palpal bulbs, the two species have been classified as new. In contrast to other known species of tarantula, the new species were also discovered in different geographic regions.

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Regarding the population densities of both species, not much is known. The team is concerned about the illegal pet trade, which has existed in Ecuador for more than 30 years and involves the capture and sale of wild specimens without appropriate regulation, in addition to the threats posed by habitat loss.

The lead author, Pedro Peñaherrera-R, released a statement saying, “We discovered that a species that we described (Neischnocolus cisneros) is currently in the illegal pet trade during the writing of this article and the publication of another article.”

The group emphasizes how important it is for institutions and governments to safeguard these species’ natural habitats as well as those whose populations are being threatened by smuggling.

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I'm Michael, a young enthusiast with an insatiable curiosity for the mysteries of science and technology. As a passionate explorer of knowledge, I envisioned a platform that could not only keep us all informed about the latest breakthroughs but also inspire us to marvel at the wonders that surround us.
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