Habitat: Southeastern India and Sri Lanka
Status: Critically Endangered
I’m having a serious internal struggle right now over this tarantula. Never thought I’d write that sentence! Normally I can’t even stand to look at spiders; everything about them freaks me out from their excessive amount of eyes which all seem to be penetrating deep into your soul to their hairy, creepin’ legs that spawn nightmares from the thought of them touching me.
But here’s my problem – just look at this tarantula! It’s simply gorgeous! It’s called the Gooty Sapphire Ornamental Tree Spider (Poecilotheria metallica) and even its name is all fancy. They’re insanely rare, too, only being found in a single location which is severely fragmented. The extent of occurrence is less than 100 km2.
The markings on their bellies are really stunning, with bright yellow spots stamped against metallic greens and blues. As you can probably imagine, they are highly prized amongst tarantula enthusiasts with adults fetching sometimes over $500 USD.
So I really don’t know, should I let my deeply ingrained fear of spiders prevent me from appreciating the magnificence of this increasingly declining species? Siiiiiigh. I guess the answer to that would be a resounding NO.
Tarantuala: 1 Carly: 0