The start of a six-month journey (more or less) around the globe with the sole aim to document tarantula spiders in their native habitat. This was the start of the idea of video documenting tarantulas in the wild and make the footage publicly available – the start of a new chapter of birdspidersCH and of course, things change along the journey.
It was the year 2018 in Colombia, South America – the start of this epic journey. The travels in Colombia were started with a colleague who was friendly and kind enough to share some of his most iconic tarantula spots where he was able to observe some of the beautiful tarantulas the country of Colombia had to offer.
Not the first tarantula we saw in Colombia, but the first documented on video was certainly the dwarf tarantula living around Medellin – Aguapanela arvi. Described by Perafan & Cifuentes in 2015 this species of tarantula is relatively new to science. A new genus was created to house this species, since no other close relatives could have been identified.
Aguapanela arvi is a tarantula species from Colombia, located near the country of Medellin. Aguapanela arvi belongs to the subfamily of Theraphosinae, marking the presence of urticating hairs on the abdomen of the tarantula.
Multiple individuals of the dwarf tarantula, Aguapanela arvi were encountered in this mossy landscape. All the specimens showed a proper defense mechanism and raised their front legs, presenting us their chelicera. Even though the posses urticating setae we did not witness any use of it.
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By their round and bobbly appearance, they somewhat remind me of the genus Agnostopelma. Hopefully, there will be phylogenetic studies in the future to show the relationships among Theraphosinae spiders within Colombia.
This species of tarantula from the Medellin area, inhabiting lush forests around 2500 meters above sea level is not present in the spider tarantula hobby. Even though it has been documented for the first time in 2015 and in 2018 by our team. The locality of this species is quite well documented in public and given the size and coloration and its rarity it could have been a potential candidate for illegal extraction for many years now – but nothing happened.