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A New Species of tiger Spider, Genus Poecilotheria, from Northern Sri Lanka

Authors:
  • Biodiversity Education And Research (BEAR) and University of Kelaniya, Kelaniya, Sri Lanka
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... old world genus Poecilotheria Simon, 1885 of the subfamily Poecilotheriinae is the only genus specifically arboreal in habit, occurring largely in the dry deciduous and evergreen forests or wooded areas in peninsular India and Sri Lanka (Siliwal et al. 2013). Spiders of the genus Poecilotheria are widely known for their large size, colourful marking within a flattish carapace (Pocock 1900;Smith & Kirk 2002), their potent venom (Nanayakkara et al. 2012) and familiarity in the pet trade (Siliwal et al. 2013). ...
... The family Theraphosidae Thorell, 1869 is represented by 999 species in 147 genera (World Spider Catalogue 2019). The greatest diversity of this family is found in the tropical regions of the world and some species exist in the subtropical and temperate regions but notably absent in the polar region (Nanayakkara et al. 2012). In India, it is represented by six subfamilies: Eumenophorinae, Ischnocolinae, Poecilotheriinae, Selenocosmiinae, Selenogyrinae and Thrigmopoeinae (Pocock 1900;Mirza et al. 2011;Siliwal et al. 2012). ...
... In India, it is represented by six subfamilies: Eumenophorinae, Ischnocolinae, Poecilotheriinae, Selenocosmiinae, Selenogyrinae and Thrigmopoeinae (Pocock 1900;Mirza et al. 2011;Siliwal et al. 2012). Members of the family Theraphosidae are predominantly terrestrial in habit, dwelling in burrows, beneath the rocks, and fallen logs (Nanayakkara et al. 2012). The et al. (2003 provided the first detailed description of its habitat. ...
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This paper is based on the observations from Tamil Nadu. The presence of this critically endangered Theraphosidae, P. metallica has been recorded for the first time outside of its known distribution, wherefore, expanding its range to further south from its type locality. The present sighting extends its distribution ranges along the Eastern Ghats by approximately 370 Km to further south from its type locality (Pocock 1899).
... In India, it is represented by six subfamilies: Eumenophorinae, Ischnocolinae, Poecilotheriinae, Selenocosmiinae, Selenogyrinae and Thrigmopoeinae (Pocock, 1900a;Siliwal et al., 2012) [6,10] . Members of the family Theraphosidae mostly terrestrial, dwelling in burrows, beneath the rocks, and fallen logs (Nanayakkara et al., 2012) [4] . To date 15 species the genus Poecilotheria have been recognized, of which seven are endemic to India (P.formosa, P.metallica, P.miranda, P.regalis, P.rufilata, P.striata, and P.tigrinawesseli) and six are endemic to Sri Lanka (P.fasciata, P.ornata, P.rajaei, P.smithi, P.subfusca and P.srilankensis) and two (P.hanumavilasumica and P.vittata) are found in both regions (World Spider Catalogue, 2022) [13] . ...
... In India, it is represented by six subfamilies: Eumenophorinae, Ischnocolinae, Poecilotheriinae, Selenocosmiinae, Selenogyrinae and Thrigmopoeinae (Pocock, 1900a;Siliwal et al., 2012) [6,10] . Members of the family Theraphosidae mostly terrestrial, dwelling in burrows, beneath the rocks, and fallen logs (Nanayakkara et al., 2012) [4] . To date 15 species the genus Poecilotheria have been recognized, of which seven are endemic to India (P.formosa, P.metallica, P.miranda, P.regalis, P.rufilata, P.striata, and P.tigrinawesseli) and six are endemic to Sri Lanka (P.fasciata, P.ornata, P.rajaei, P.smithi, P.subfusca and P.srilankensis) and two (P.hanumavilasumica and P.vittata) are found in both regions (World Spider Catalogue, 2022) [13] . ...
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Poeciiotheria formosa is an endangered theraposid known only from the type locality Kadiampatti and Mullapuram near Sheveroy Hills in the Salem District, Tamil Nadu. It was thought to be restricted to Sheveroy Hills in the Eastern Ghats. During a faunal survey in 2019, the Salem ornamental tarantula P.formosa was rediscovered outside of its known range from Madurai District about 265km south of the type locality. The present record extends its known distribution range further towards the southern part of India. They are scarcely recorded in their known type locality and have been pushed towards the edge of extinction due to habitat destruction and various anthropogenic activities.
... Sri Lanka is home to 393 species of spiders classified in 45 families (World Spider Catalog 2018). A large proportion of these species was described over the past two decades (Azarkina 2004;Baehr and Ubick 2010;Bayer 2012;Benjamin 2000Benjamin , 2001Benjamin , 2004Benjamin , 2006Benjamin , 2010Benjamin , 2015Benjamin and Jocqué 2000;Benjamin and Kanesharatnam 2016;Dong et al. 2016;Dunlop and Jekel 2009;Eichenberger et al., 2012;Grismado et al. 2011;Huber 2005Huber , 2011Huber and Benjamin 2005;Jäger 2003; Kanesharatnam and Benjamin 2016;Kim et al. 2013Kim et al. , 2014Nanayakkara et al. 2012;Platnick et al. 2011;Polotow and Griswold 2017;Ranasinghe and Benjamin 2016a, b, c;Smith 2004) and almost all of the new species (55 of 58 new species) are endemics that are presently not known from anywhere else outside of Sri Lanka. Taxonomic studies are necessary to document biodiversity and provide base data for effective nature conservation (Alvarez-Padilla et al. 2015). ...
Article
Nine new species of goblin spiders are described in six different genera: Cavisternumbom n. sp., Grymeusdharmapriyai n. sp., Ischnothyreuschippy n. sp., Opopaeaspinosiscorona n. sp., Pelicinussnooky n. sp., P.tumpy n. sp., Silhouettellasaaristoi n. sp., S.snippy n. sp. and S.tiggy n. sp. Three genera are recorded for the first time in Sri Lanka: Cavisternum , Grymeus and Silhouettella . The first two genera are reported for the first time outside of Australia. Sri Lankan goblin spider diversity now comprises 45 described species in 13 different genera.
... The old world genus of arboreal spiders Poecilotheria is represented by 16 species, and is restricted to India and Sri Lanka (Nanayakkara et al 2012a(Nanayakkara et al , 2012bNanayakkara 2013;Platnick 2014). ...
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The arboreal spiders in the genus Poecilotheria is represented by 16 species and restricted to India and Sri Lanka. Each country has eight endemic species. During a survey on Mygalomorph spiders in the Northern Province of Sri Lanka, the Critically Endangered species of Theraphosidae, Poecilotheria hanumavilasumica was discovered for the first time outside of it native habitat in India, expanding its range to northern Sri Lanka. The discovery of P. hanumavilasumica is unique as it is a Critically Endangered and endemic species of the genus Poecilotheria in India earlier, and it evident that during the land bridge connection between Indian and Sri Lanka during the Pleistocene epoch biotic exchange took place between the two countries dispersing taxa through the land connections.
Book
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The book gives an insight in to spiders, while speaking about the families that are found in Sri Lanka and the more commonly seen spider in and around houses and home gardens. it also highlight the imoprtance of spiders as bio control agents and as bio indicators.