New Species of Troglobitic Tarantula Discovered in Brazilian Caves

March 27, 2013 / Brazil, South America
Brazil's Chapada Diamantina National Park.

Brazil’s Chapada Diamantina National Park. Photo by Miradas.com.br/flickr

A new species of cave dwelling tarantula has been discovered in the sandstone/quartizitic caves of Brazil’s Chapada Diamantina National Park.

Described by Brazilian researchers in the current issue of the Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences, this spider is only the fifth species to be found in the genus Tmesiphantes, and the first record of a troglobitic tarantula being found in Brazil.

Despite the high diversity and wide distribution of tarantulas throughout most tropical and subtropical areas in the world, only a few troglobitic species are known and each of them are endemic to individual Mexican caves.

It makes it all the more exciting that the two female examples of this species have been located in two different caves, Gruna das Cobras and Gruna da Parede Vermelha, some 800 meters (2,625 feet) apart from each other.

Tmesiphantes hypogeus sp. nov. (Araneae, Theraphosidae), the first troglobitic tarantula from Brazil [Annals of the Brazilian Academy of Sciences via GPME]

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