- Kerala is home to around six species of large, hairy spiders called tarantulas.
- Kerala may be home to more than 11 species of these often iridescently-coloured arachnids.
- Several districts including Kasaragod, Kollam and Ernakulam for tarantulas, has identified four genus of the large spiders (Sahydroaraneus, Chilobrachys, Neoheterophrictus and Thrigmopoeus) that have not been recorded in the State before.
- For instance, the team recorded Chilobrachys fimbiratus (also called the Indian violet spider, which is endemic to the Western Ghats of Karnataka and Maharashtra) in Kasaragod district.
- Similarly, they spotted the Rameshwaram Parachute Spider (Poecilotheria hanumavilasumica) which has so far been recorded only from Tamil Nadu’s Ramanathapuram district (found only on the Rameshwaram Island and Mandapam area here) from Chinnar in Kerala. This tarantula has been classified as critically endangered by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature’s Red List. Totally, tarantulas from seven genus have now been recorded in the State.
- Tarantulas are a group of large, hairy spiders that can live up to 10 to 20 years.